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March 2024 Newsletter

It was wonderful to see so many of you at the campaign launch earlier this month – thank you all for coming and being part of our movement to bring the change we need in Pembrokeshire.



General Election

So we won’t be having a 2 May Election… but this means Rishi Sunak is now in a desperate situation. A wipeout in the local, mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections on 2 May could leave him exposed to a leadership challenge, or potentially a summer election to fend off his own party; or, he could limp on to the Autumn in the hope that something shows up to give the Tories a boost; or, if they are still 20 points behind in the polls, he could wait right up to January 2025. The cost of all this prevarication, uncertainty and a seeming addiction to leadership elections has cost the taxpayer £8.2bn. It’s no wonder that people desperately want that general election and the opportunity for their voice to be heard. After nearly 20 years of a Tory MP in Pembrokeshire and 14 years of a failed Tory Government, it is time for change and a fresh start for Pembrokeshire.



First Minister

On the topic of change, this month we saw Mark Drakeford formally stand down as First Minister of Wales. As I am learning fast, political life can be bruising and popularity fickle, so having examples of individuals who hold onto their principles and integrity even in the face of strong headwinds is inspiring. Mark navigated us through the pandemic while steering Wales to a stronger, fairer and greener future. He did this with real integrity and latterly during a period of deep personal anguish. I admire him hugely and hope that he will remain a standard-bearer for progressive values in our movement.  

 

I was delighted to congratulate Mark’s successor, Vaughan Gething, as the new leader of Welsh Labour. I look forward to campaigning with him to secure a UK Labour Government and have been in direct contact about the challenges facing residents here in Pembrokeshire.



Port Funding

It was a pleasure to welcome Jo Stevens, our Shadow Secretary of State for Wales to Pembrokeshire this month. We visited the Milord Haven Port Authority (“the Port”) and discussed their plans to support the production of renewable energy. The Port plays a vital role in our energy production, with 20% of the UK’s energy currently coming through it. It was therefore deeply disappointing that earlier in the week the Tory Government had refused the Port’s application for a new green energy terminal in Pembroke Dock. The Port was overlooked even though it is the closest port to the Celtic Sea development, offers a heavy engineering skills base, and has strong support from Floating Offshore Wind developers. We are in danger of lagging behind international competition due to budget restrictions and thereby squandering a golden opportunity to regenerate our local economy. Labour’s plan to invest in clean home-grown power via our new publicly owned company – Great British Energy – can’t come soon enough.



Community Action

I continue to be dialogue with the local campaign group STOP the STINK over the ongoing situation at the Withyhedge Hedge Landfill site. I attended the County Council’s services overview and scrutiny committee on the issue, and remain hopeful that the 5 April deadline set by both the operator and Natural Resources Wales can be met. I was also out litter picking in Milford Haven with Milford Youth Matters and the team at McDonalds – it was good to see communities, businesses and organisations coming together for the benefit of the local community. I had an entertaining evening at Pembrokeshire College which was organised by their Learner Executive and CWBR Youth to explore how we unlock the potential of our community youth voice. It is critical that to provide opportunities to young people and to reduce the flow of outward migration, we have a strategy that is led by young people. Finally, it was good to meet up with the team at Redford Caravan Park, to hear about their exciting new developments, and to discuss the various challenges facing the tourism sector.



Campaigning

We had a great talk from our Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, Philippa Thompson, at the AMM in Pembroke Dock. Philippa spoke about the importance of the Human Rights Act, and the protections and rights it affords us. She also set out the importance of having a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner supporting our party values and holding the Chief Constable to account. We are doing what we can to help the campaign and for those who want to get involved please contact Ben Levy on 07596 596351.

 

Thank you to those who helped with the development of the five pledges. All responses have been reviewed and we are in the process of distilling it down into a workable format to then be shared more widely. And finally, thank you to all those who have volunteered their time in other ways over the past month. Remember there is always a role for everyone whether leafleting, office administration, door-knocking, phone canvassing and digital campaigning.



You can keep up to date and help share what I’m up to throughout the month by following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

If you have any questions you’d like to ask me, please just reply to this email.

 

Till next time

 

 

Henry Tufnell

Parliamentary Candidate for Mid and South Pembrokeshire

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