Assembly Voice: 9 August 2017

With the Welsh Assembly breaking up for the summer recess, it has been a pleasure to throw myself into my constituency work over the past few weeks. When the Assembly is sitting, I am expected in Cardiff Bay for most days, but the recess gives me the chance to visit groups and organisations I would not otherwise get the opportunity to meet with.

Highlights from the summer so far include the joint surgery I held in Mountain Ash Day Centre with Sarah Rochira, the Commissioner for Older People in Wales. The Commissioner ensures that the interests of people aged 60 and over in Wales are safeguarded and promoted, providing information, advocacy and support for older people in Wales and their representatives. It was excellent to get the Commissioner to Cynon Valley to speak to local residents.

Another highlight was the invitation to speak at the celebration event for fourteen new rail safety apprenticeships. Abercynon-based Ganymede Solutions has teamed up with Coleg y Cymoedd and the Welsh Labour Government to deliver these quality training opportunities. It was a pleasure to speak at a ceremony to welcome these young workers, and wish them well for their future. With Welsh Labour’s plans to create 100,000 apprenticeships during the Assembly term, and exciting developments in transport such as the South Wales Metro and renewal of the Wales and Borders rail franchise, these are timely placements.

Dare Valley Country Park hosted the 60th International Skogsmulle Symposium earlier this month. The event was a celebration of the benefits of outdoor learning, and brought delegates and practitioners from across the world to Cynon. I was pleased to be invited by Darren, Christine and the rest of the Ignite UP team to address the conference. Ignite UP run the Ladybird Toddler Group from the country park, and have plans to open the first outdoor kindergarten in Wales. They have been champions of the ways in which outdoor learning can boost physical, mental and emotional wellbeing amongst children.

I look forward to the further activities I have planned across Cynon Valley over the coming weeks.