My District Diary Column - Chris Elmore MP
Since first being elected, I’ve been really struck by the important role our community groups, clubs and local charities play in helping to bring people together. I’ve also become all too aware of the struggles many groups like this face financially. Last year, Huw Irranca-Davies AM and I held Ogmore’s first Funding Advice Day in Pencoed which brought together many different funding providers such as the Big Lottery Fund, Charity Bank and our two local authorities to help community groups, charities and clubs access new opportunities to allow them to expand, or indeed, to start-up something new.
This year we’re holding a second Funding Advice Day at Llanharan Rugby Club to allow even more organisations to access the funding packages which are currently available. The event will be held on Friday, 16th February 2018 between 10am and 12 noon and we would highly encourage any local residents who are interested to attend. You never know what grants or other financial support is out there and this is a real opportunity to gain one-to-one access to 12 different funding providers all in one morning. With new funders attending this year, such as TATA Steel and the Institute of Fundraising Cymru, there will be a wealth of advice and support on offer. Those who attend will also be added to our mailing list to receive regular updates about new funding opportunities throughout the year as and when we are notified of them. You can register for your place today by visiting www.chriselmore.co.uk or by calling 01656 860 034.
As well as supporting community activities, Huw and I have been busy throughout January visiting businesses and local residents across the constituency. Just after the festive break, we were delighted to visit ReNeuron in Pencoed which is a world-leading stem cell therapy research company. It was brilliant to receive a tour of their laboratories which were funded with support from the Welsh Labour Government and as allowed ReNeuron to be a global player in this pioneering research. The work they are doing to progress medical treatments for strokes and sight loss in particular really was fascinating and it’s great to see this level of innovation happening on our doorstep.
Since returning to Parliament in January, I’ve continued to champion local issues and campaign on the concerns which many local residents have raised with me. Since I was first elected, myself and many others including Pencoed Town Council have raised the notable safety concerns surrounding the level crossing in Pencoed. Since the proposals for electrification were scrapped by the UK Government last July, vital safety upgrades such as these have been thrown into doubt. This month, I was pleased to seek clear assurances from the Transport Secretary that such safety improvements would not be hindered by the decision to cancel electrification. Rest assured, I will ensure that the Minister is held to account on this issue so that areas like Pencoed level crossing receive the essential upgrades which local residents have long been calling for.
As always, if you have any concerns you would like to raise with me, you can attend one of my regular Advice Surgeries (please call 01656 860 034 to find out when I’m next in your area), or you can email me via firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavour to provide whatever assistance I can.