District Diary Column | November 2017 Chris Elmore MP
It’s been a very busy month as MPs return to Parliament following the annual party conference season. It’s been great to get back to Parliament to get back to campaigning on the issues which are currently affecting our communities: investment in our railways, standing up for the workers at the Ford engine plant in Bridgend, and holding the government to account on Brexit. I’m relishing being able to stand up for what’s best for the communities across the Ogmore constituency and the concerns and issues you raise with me feed into how I campaign on these – and many other – vital issues.
As we get closer to winter, I was delighted to hold a Smart Energy Advice Surgery in Cefn Cribwr alongside Huw Irranca-Davies AM. This event provided a unique opportunity for individuals to learn more about the roll-out of smart meters and what it means for them. Those who attended found the meeting informative and said it was great to be able to question the representatives from Smart Energy GB – the voice of the smart meter roll-out – with their concerns. Myself and Huw are currently looking to organise a further similar event in the Rhondda Cynon Taff side of our Ogmore constituency. If you’re a community group or club who would like us to come along to their regular meeting with representatives from Smart Energy GB, please do get in touch with my office. There’s potentially money to be saved from effectively using a smart meter as well as the environmental benefits which go hand-in-hand with saving energy.
It was a great pleasure to attend Bridgend College’s annual Higher Education Awards at the college’s campus in Pencoed this month. Students were conferred in front of an audience of friends, families, lecturers and invited guests. It was fantastic to see the success of our local students being recognised in such an inspiring setting. Bridgend College really does go from strength to strength and it’s a testament to the hard work of the Principal, Simon Pirotte, all of the teaching and non-teaching staff and of course the hard-working students that we have so many good graduates coming out of our local area. It’s also extremely positive to see the college continuing to work so closely with the University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University. For me, having a good range of Higher Education, Further Education and hybrid choices provides our young people with a range of options and avoids this “everybody must go to university” mantra which has become perhaps a little too commonplace in recent years. Thank you to everyone at the college who was involved in organising what was such a special day.
On the subject of education, I was thrilled to attend the opening of the new Y Pant Comprehensive School earlier this month alongside Ogmore Assembly Member, Huw Irranca-Davies, Pontypridd MP and AM, Owen Smith and Mick Antoniw, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, Councillor Andrew Morgan, Mayor of RCT, Councillor Margaret Teg, and Llanharan Councillor and RCT Cabinet Member, Geraint Hopkins. The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones AM, opened the event with a keynote speech, highlighting the teaching excellence at the school and the state-of-the-art building which would only catalyse this success further. From the perspective of myself and Huw, it was a brilliant opportunity to visit the new facility which would benefit the young people and families of Llanharan, Brynna, Bryncae, Llanharry, Pencoed and further afield in our constituency. This innovative building has only been possible because of the strong leadership of Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council and the Welsh Government. The time staff and students had to spend in portacabins were certainly worth it given the modern and long-term infrastructure now at their disposal. Many thanks to the teaching staff, support staff, students and governors for giving us a tour of the school and showcasing the clear talents of the local pupils.
I can’t believe it’s November already. It’ll be Christmas before we know it and I’m looking forward to taking part in the festivities all across the constituency. If there’s an event which you’d like me to come along to, please get in touch with my office by calling 01656 860 034 or email me via email@example.com and I will endeavour to come along if I am available. Likewise, if you would ever like to raise any issues or concerns with me, please do get in touch and I’ll be happy to get back to you.