There was fantastic community spirit in Cwmafan for their first ever Christmas tree switch on. Well done to Councillors Charlotte Galsworthy, Rhydian Mizen and David Whitelock, and the whole community for coming together and pulling together such a great event. Continue reading
It was great to visit the ‘Face to Face’ exhibition in our Civic Centre. Local artist Bert Evans has produced some truly outstanding portraits. Very disconcerting to see my mug shot hanging on the wall, though!! Bert started painting the portraits after some disparaging remarks about Port Talbot, he wanted to see whether the portraits would capture the positive feelings he and others have towards the town. With over 100 portraits in the exhibition they capture Bert's love of Taibach and Port Talbot.
It was a busy morning at Baglan Library for my coffee morning with David Rees AM and local Councillors Carol Clement and Suzanne Renkes. Spoke with residents about bus services, private medical treatment and the quality of new build housing.
It was a privilege to be at the Quins ground for the Jonah Lomu legacy match. There was a great atmosphere there to mark ten years since the New Zealand legend played for Aberavon Naval club in a charity exhibition match. There was entertainment from Cymric Welsh Male Voice Choir, Lily Duncan sang the National Anthem, music from a brass band, and embers of the Fijian & Tongan communities of Britain performed a traditional Maori War Dance. It was a fitting tribute to a legend of the game who gave his time to help a local team. Continue reading
I visited the Foodbank in Carmel Chapel to see first-hand the great work they do to support the most vulnerable in our town. It was great to be able to run a surgery there and offer some advice to constituents and grow our links with the foodbank to support them in every way I can.
It was great to join First Minister Carwyn Jones and David Rees AM on a visit to the newly opened Ysgol Cwm Brombil. We were taken on a well-informed tour by the school’s prefects and had a great chat about how the new facilities are working for them. It was wonderful to see the school’s new layout preparing for the incoming new curriculum in Wales and the innovative the school has incorporated independent study and group study. Ysgol Cwm Brombil is an amazing 21st century school, showing the Welsh Labour Government and Neath Port Talbot Council once again delivering vital investment in our community, and in our future generations. Continue reading
It was great to be out and about in Port Talbot ward with our brilliant team of local councillors, Cllr Saif Rahaman, Cllr Sharon Freeguard and Cllr Dennis Keogh, and activists. Lots of good chats on the doorsteps, and plenty of local issues to follow up on! Continue reading
It was an honour to lay wreaths at the Taibach and Briton Ferry cenotaphs, in memory of the thousands who gave their lives to protect the values that we hold dear. We will remember them.
It was great to attend the Cymer Afan Community Library Annual General Meeting. Since being taken over and run by the community in 2014, the library has gone from strength to strength, developing facilities and adding services. With increased usage their opening hours have also increased. Continue reading
There was a fantastic community vibe at the Richard Burton 10k. Over 1,700 took part! It's an amazing event that really puts Cwmafan and Pontrhydhyfen on the map. I dragged myself to the finish line in 52 mins, so 3 mins slower than last year... The old legs ain’t what they used to be...
I visited Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur, the new Welsh medium school that opened in September in Sandfields. It's a fantastic facility and I really enjoyed meeting with pupils who were so enthusiastic about their new school.
I popped along to MacMillan's mobile support van, Bronwen, when it was in Port Talbot. They provide a great service for people who have a cancer diagnosis, for people who know someone affected by cancer or are worried about cancer. They can offer medical, financial, emotional and practical support.
I visited the new assault course at Bulldogs gym which was funded by the Armed Forces Covenant. I also met with Dave Singletory of SSAFA who was instrumental in helping get the assault course established and runs a drop-in for armed-service personnel. The assault course was impressive and will be great addition to the facilities that they already have at Bulldogs. Continue reading
It was great to take part in the question time event organised by Unison Neath Port Talbot on fair funding for local services. The Council chamber was packed with Councillors and council workers, who are concerned over the levels of funding for local government and what that means for future of our valued and vital services. Continue reading
It was great to visit the steelworks in Port Talbot and wonderful to see the timeline of the history of the site dating back to 13th century, followed by visit to Concast & the BOS plant. There is a long tradition of steel making in Port Talbot and the timeline shows the centuries of development of the steel making industry and how integral it is to the town. It was a real privilege to see the highly skilled workforce delivering an outstanding product for British industry. Continue reading
It was great to be with my colleague Christina Rees MP for Neath, Kev Johns and Mark Dacey, Principal and CEO of Neath Port Talbot College Group, at their Student Awards Ceremony. It was inspiring to see these brilliant students receiving the recognition they so thoroughly deserve. Well done to everyone.
It was great to meet with the Aberavon WASPI group and Chair of the APPG on State Pension Inequality for Women, Carolyn Harris MP. We had a good discussion on where the campaign is and what the next steps are.
It was great to meet the team at Port Talbot Fire and Rescue Station. These guys provide a vital service to our community. Their courage, dedication and professionalism are second to none.
I spent a great day with the police in Port Talbot, joining the neighbourhood policing team as they went out on patrol, and meeting the response team as they attended calls. The police force do a brilliant job for our community. It was great to see the speed of their response, their compassion, their engagement and their professionalism. Continue reading
Over 200 residents came to a public meeting to express their concerns about anti-social behaviour in Briton Ferry to Councillors, Council officers and the police. Agencies and community working in partnership.
It was great to attend a public meeting organised by David Rees AM in Croeserw Enterprise Centre to discuss provision of GP services at Cymmer Health Centre. The room was packed to rafters, and senior Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB managers listened carefully to concerns that were raised.
I had an engaging question and answer session about Brexit with pupils at St Joseph's. The session was arranged with Our Future, Our Choice. I spoke about how it is important for the voices of young people to be heard in the Brexit discussions as they will be living with the consequences of these decisions much longer than the politicians who are making them. There were lots of interesting and searching questions, and it was great to hear the views of young people.
I visited St Joseph's Comprehensive and Sixth Form to hear about the pupils progress as part of The Scholars Programme, a prestigious national scheme which gives school pupils an opportunity to experience university-style learning. It was great to visit and meet pupils taking part in The Scholars Programme. I was very impressed at how they engaged with such a complex and challenging academic topic. It just goes to show what young people from Aberavon can achieve if we give them the opportunity. I wish the pupils the very best for the future, and I encourage more schools to give their pupils the chance to benefit from this programme. Continue reading
Image credit: Photographsof.com I was a guest speaker at the Swansea Bay Business Club Lunch in Margam Orangery. I spoke about the effect Brexit is having on local businesses and the need for a good deal with the EU. I also talked about the need for investment in South Wales with electrification of the mainline railway and the Tidal Lagoon having been cancelled. Continue reading
I visited First Corporate Clothing which is based on Llewellyn’s Quay, they produce a range of clothing for businesses and the corporate sector including smart jackets and skirts and workwear such as hi-viz jackets and knitwear. It was great to meet the team there and learn more about their business. This year, they won the 'Local Independent Business Award' at the NPT Business Awards 2018.
‘My Life My Say’ is a youth led organisation looking to achieve a better Brexit for young people, they organised a Brexit Café event in the YMCA Port Talbot.I attended as a speaker and also participated in a Q and A session. It was great to discuss our future relationship with the EU with enthusiastic young people from the area. Continue reading
St Mary's Church hosted its summer fete, which this year was combined with and EqualiTeas event to mark the 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote. I spoke at the event about how important it is to mark the tremendous achievements of the Suffragette movement, but how there are still much more to achieve. It was great to chat with so many people and lovely way to celebrate the centenary of women getting the vote. Continue reading
It was great to be out in Margam with local council Leader Rob Jones, councillor for Margam Ward, I was joined by David Rees AM and cllrs Rob Wood and Steffan ap Dafydd. We spent the morning door knocking around the Tollgate area of Margam, and delivered my latest leaflet. Thanks to everyone who stopped to chat on the doorstep. A few issues to follow up.
I was invited to the opening of the brand new family-run Pasta and Papadums restaurant and takeaway in Briton Ferry. At the 28 seater restaurant I sampled a selection of their varied menu which has Italian, Indian and British cuisine. I wish them all the best in their new business venture.
I met with volunteers from the South Wales Miners Museum, we had a good discussion up at the site in the Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre. The group informed me of their plans for an exhibition to commemorate Vernon Hartshorn, a Welsh miner and politician. More information on the museum itself can be found at www.south-wales-miners-museum.co.uk
Glyncorrwg was the idyllic setting for the River Festival on the weekend as it basked in the early summer sunshine. There was a great atmosphere there with plenty to do including falconry and pond dipping, there was live music and demonstrations from the police and fire brigade. It was great to meet the legendary Iolo Williams who opened the festival, and well done to all those who worked hard to organise the event, it was a roaring success!
I paid a visit to 121 Security who are based on the Baglan Energy Park and have over 20 years in the electronic security industry. They are a state of the art security company offering bespoke security solutions for commercial and residential properties across South Wales. They can offer services like CCTV systems, intruder alarms, access control and door entry and fire protection and risk assessment. On the visit they showed me some of the products they have to offer.
I visited Leftfield Environmental Ltd a high tech small company comprising of a group of industry leading specialists with many years of experience within all aspects of asbestos related consultancy and testing activities. It was interesting to speak with the team at Leftfield about the services they offer, including identifying, surveying and testing asbestos. They are keen to raise awareness of asbestos in the community and are hoping to expand the business. Continue reading
Aberavon MP Expresses Serious Concerns About Indications That The UK Government Is Planning To Reject The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
Commenting on reports that the UK Government are set to reject the £1.3bn plan to build a tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, Stephen Kinnock, whose Aberavon constituency along with Swansea East, would be home to the lagoon, said, “If this is true, it is absolutely devastating news for Aberavon and for the whole Swansea Bay area. Continue reading
I recently visited CS Judo Club for their Wednesday evening class at the Llandarcy Academy of Sport. I was really impressed by the work they do with young people. Instructors Julian Alexander, Steven Blackwell and Sheena Jones, are doing a fantastic job with the CS Judo Club. Continue reading
It was great to visit Groes Primary and meet their dedicated and passionate Head Teacher Kate Key. Kate and her team have done a tremendous job moving the school out of the ‘red’ category. The pupils have been learning about democracy and how parliament works. They asked some searching questions about what it’s like being an MP and my work in the constituency as the local Member of Parliament.
I paid a visit to Port Talbot Afan Women’s Aid to see the sterling work they do to help vulnerable women in our community. The refuge is a great facility providing a safe environment for women. We discussed problems the women are experiencing with housing and Universal Credits. Continue reading
I, along with some of my office team, underwent dementia friend training, where we learnt more about how dementia affects people and the need to be more patient and understanding of people who are suffering from dementia. I also pledged to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on dementia.
I paid a visit to Coedffranc Primary and had a good chat with Headteacher Geraint Jones and Chair of Governors Steven James, about the work the school has done to turn itself around from being a ‘red’ category school to a ‘yellow’ category school. The staff are enthusiastic and passionate, with a huge emphasis placed on well-being and community involvement, all with the aim of developing independent, enthusiastic, confident and valued learners.