Bring on Election Year!
The General Election is getting ever closer. A 2nd May election date means we have around 6 weeks until the election is called and around 85 days until polling day! Our message to voters is simple, we will give Pembrokeshire the fresh start it deserves. The county is desperately in need of change – the cost-of-living crisis is biting hard, and our public services are in dire need of proper funding after years of Tory austerity in Westminster. Labour is ready to provide that change with a long-term plan that will bring good jobs and economic prosperity to Pembrokeshire.
We are continuing to campaign hard across Pembrokeshire and thank you to all of you that have been out leafletting, canvassing, and helped with leaflet bundling in the office! Our strength is in our collective movement – by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone. In mounting a people powered grass roots campaign right across the county, we can bring the change that Pembrokeshire so desperately needs.
Welsh Leadership Race
The race to be the next leader of our Welsh Labour Party is firmly up and running. I am backing Vaughan Gething as I believe that he has the ability and experience to be an exceptional First Minister of Wales. Furthermore, he understands the level of economic regeneration needed in Pembrokeshire and is committed to fight for a new hospital while maintaining services at Withybush. A strong Welsh Labour Government led by Vaughan and a UK Labour Government in Westminster will bring great benefits to Pembrokeshire and I was extremely pleased that he received the endorsement of our CLP in January. Voting will begin on 16 February and close on 14 March, with the winner announced on 16 March.
Green New Deal
I continue to advocate within the Party for Pembrokeshire to be front and centre of Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan. I have spoken with stakeholders right across the energy sector in Pembrokeshire and continued with this process in Pembroke Dock by visiting Svitzer and Mainstay Marine Solutions this month. I managed to get out in the Waterway on a line boat with the Svitzer team and a representative from the UK Chamber of Shipping to see their work first hand, which includes supporting the energy industry and wider port operations. At Mainstay Marine Solutions I got the full tour and saw the wide range of work they do from new boat build to marine energy device fabrication. Both these businesses provide high quality jobs for local people and will play a crucial role as we look to seize the opportunities from renewable energy and in particular Floating Offshore Wind. I also managed to catch up with the Floventis Energy team as part of their Llŷr 1 public consultation at Hundleton Sports Pavilion.
To achieve the economic regeneration and high-quality public services that we so desperately need in Pembrokeshire, we must invest to provide local people with the skills they need to seize the opportunities of the future. I was therefore pleased to kick off the New Year with a visit to Pembrokeshire College with Vaughan Gething, Joyce Watson and Eluned Morgan to speak with their work-based learning Health and Social care apprentices. It was great to meet with learners and staff, and to hear not just about the excellent work being done, but also about the challenges facing apprenticeships, particularly around the curriculum and pay. I also visited the team at Providence Training, to hear about the work they are doing in delivering a wide range of training courses to organisations and individuals right across Pembrokeshire and South Wales.
I met with the Stop the Stink campaign who are calling for accountability, transparency and a sustainable solution to the odour and environmental concerns emanating from the Withyhedge Landfill site near Haverfordwest. I will be attending the public meeting at Crundale Hall on 26th February at 7pm and I encourage anyone affected by the issue to attend as well. I share the concerns of the campaigners, particularly around the adverse effects on the community’s health and well-being, and I will be doing what I can to find a resolution to the issue.
I really enjoyed meeting the residents and staff at the Pembroke Haven Residential Home and we discussed a wide range of political issues. The message was loud and clear that we need a change in Westminster and while some residents normally vote Conservative, they are now looking to Labour to provide that change.
I had a great time visiting Ysgol Gynradd Waldo Williams Primary school and took questions from a year 6 class as part of their “inspire” topic on what careers they are interested in pursuing after they leave school. I was incredibly impressed by the level of questions that were put to me and once they were done grilling me, I deafened everyone in the class by playing a couple of tunes on my bagpipes! I also managed to make it down to the Pembroke Dock learning centre and play my bagpipes to the Scouts, Beavers and Cubs as well as give them a brief tutorial on the history of the bagpipes and how it works as an instrument.
As always, thank you for your support!
Very best wishes,
Parliamentary Candidate for Mid & South Pembrokeshire