National Assembly returns to business in the Bay

Thanks

Can I start by thanking the many groups, individuals, businesses and organisations who gave of their time over the Summer for meetings and conversations about local issues. I have tried to raise the profile of some of these issues, and with others I have been able to offer some background support in order to help people make connections with public bodies and other organisations.

It is valuable, and always time well spent, to visit local projects and listen to the community as it always helps to inform my work in the National Assembly.

Local Economy and Businesses

It has been a pleasure to work alongside Gerald Jones MP in making a number of visits to local businesses over the Summer. It is really important to hear at first hand about their concerns and also opportunities. This work continues in to the Autumn and Winter as we face a critical period for the local economy. If you would like to meet us then please email our offices in the usual way so we can make an appointment.

Return to Cardiff Bay

While the Prime Minister has suspended the work of the UK Parliament the National Assembly for Wales returns to plenary business next week. Of course the debate over the UK’s relationship with the European Union is absorbing huge amounts of political energy but I am also very aware that there are many other important issues that need the attention of AMs on our return to the Bay.

The work of our Welsh Government and the discussions in our National Assembly continue and are important to so many areas of our life – the health service, social care, education and schools, our environment, skills and training and so on.

Welsh Budget 2020/21 – Spending Priorities

In the coming months we will discuss the Welsh Budget. I wrote on my website last week about the new UK Spending Plans and the Welsh Government will make an early statement to set out the process in Wales for the coming months.

Each of the Assembly’s Committees will have the opportunity to scrutinise the draft proposals and to make recommendations on the draft Welsh Budget before a final vote in the National Assembly.

I have invited constituents to let me know their views on priorities as I like to know your views as these important matters are discussed. Email [email protected] with the heading Spending Priorities.

Valleys Taskforce 

I continue to place high importance on my role with the Valleys Taskforce and was pleased that Deputy Minister Lee Waters this week confirmed a funding package to help deliver investment for a range of gateway parks and sites across the South Wales valleys. This includes money for improvements at Cyfarthfa park, but most importantly as part of a wider vision for the valleys.

Following on from the investment now being made in a new bus station in Merthyr Tydfil we are seeing the start of the delivery of projects from the work of the Valleys taskforce.

Next week the Minister will update the Assembly on this important work.

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council  

The independent adviser appointed by the Welsh Government will report to the Minister in the near future. I will expect some form of statement by the Minister about the next steps in an improvement journey.

Cwm Taf Maternity Services

Likewise the Health Minister will be updating us on the work of the Improvement Panel appointed to oversee changes in maternity services in Cwm Taf. An intense programme of support and guidance has been taking place and from a recent meeting with the Chair of the Health Board I am aware that a range of changes are taking place within the Health Board in response to the earlier Independent Reviews.

 

In the weeks and months ahead I will continue with my constituency activities. The diary includes more time to be spent with the local Police, some visits to local businesses, completing my schedule of visits to local schools, local charities, concerts and sports events.

My programme of surgeries and street surgeries continues and details can be found on my website which is maintained on a rolling basis.

I look forward to meeting people out and about across the constituency. As always queries and problems can be directed to my constituency office at 110 High Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8AP.

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