District Diary Column
The start of Parliament’s summer recess has been a great opportunity for me to get out and about across the constituency and to visit some of the places I’m not always able to because of my commitments in Westminster.
Last month, I was delighted to attend Pencoed Comprehensive School’s production of Chicago. The pupils performing in the show put on an incredibly professional spectacle which showcased the talent that the young people have across our communities.
Pencoed Comprehensive is also going to be undergoing change over the summer with David George moving on as Headteacher of the school. I’d like to thank Mr George for the sterling job he has done in Pencoed and I wish him every success in the future. I’m very pleased to hear that he will be continuing to work in the education sector within the region. I look forward to working with the school’s new Headteacher, Edward Jones, who I am sure will be looking to build upon Pencoed’s recent successes.
I also enjoyed attending the 48th annual Llanharan Horticultural Show last week. There was an incredible display of talent on display and it was fantastic to see so many people getting involved in such a well-loved community event. Many thanks to Sharon and Nathan Hughes and all the volunteers for all their hard work in putting the show together.
Likewise, last month I was delighted to go along to Brynna Carnival with Huw Irranca-Davies AM and Councillor Roger Turner. It was lovely to see so many people of different ages coming together and in such stunning weather! Many thanks to Brynnau Primary School Parent Teacher Association, Llanharan Community Council and all of the volunteers who helped organise this excellent event.
Whilst I’ve been pleased to spend more time in the community during Parliament’s summer recess, we must not forget what the UK Government has been doing behind the scenes.
On the final day of Parliament before the recess, there were 22 written statements which included several pieces of bad news for Wales.
The most shocking statement was from Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, in which he cancelled plans to extend the electrification of our railways to Swansea. On countless occasions previously, both the Transport Secretary and the Secretary of State for Wales had affirmed that this project would go ahead.
This is a betrayal of the communities across South Wales who had been promised this infrastructure.
When Parliament returns in September, rest assured that my colleagues and I will hold the Government to account for this broken promise.
On the other hand, I’m pleased to say that the Welsh Government is trying to give young people a voice through its new electoral reform proposals.
The plans, which are currently out to a 12-week consultation period, include extending the right to vote in local government elections to 16 year-olds, holding polling days on different days of the week and exploring options for electronic voting.
These proposals offer a way of widening the participation within our democracy, whilst bringing us up-to-date with the digital age. I highly recommend that you take part in the consultation to get your voice heard on this vital issue.
Lastly, on the subject of young people, I would like to congratulate all of those students receiving GCSE and A-Level results this month. I am sure all of your hard work will have paid off. It’s important to remember that there are lots of options available to you, even if your results didn’t go the way you had hoped they would. I wish you all luck in your future careers – whether you choose to continue with further study, start an apprenticeship or enter employment.
As always, if you’re an Ogmore constituent, I’m more than happy to help you deal with any issues or concerns you may have. You may wish to come along to one of my future Advice Surgeries. Please do call my office on 01656 860 034 or email me via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get in touch.