October has been a rollercoaster of a month!
We started off with the fiasco of the Tory Party conference and the decision by Rishi Sunak to kill off the HS2 project. Any claim that this was an England and Wales project is now well and truly over and I echoed the comments of Mark Drakeford, in calling for Wales to be given its fair share from this failed England-only scheme. The huge wastage of public money and the attempt to repackage it as the ‘Network North’ when 85% of the projects are re-announcements shows that this really is a dying Government bereft of ideas. If that was not enough, Stephen Crabb took great delight in announcing the electrification of the North Wales Main Line but made no mention about West Wales, which as we all know desperately needs improved railway links and infrastructure.
It was fantastic to attend Labour Party conference this year with our two delegates: Cllr Tom Tudor and Vice-Chair campaigns Joanna Ambrose. The speeches by Mark Drakeford, Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves were inspirational in showing what a UK Labour Govt will do for Wales and the UK – driving for growth, green investment and skilled jobs is exactly what we need in Pembrokeshire. I was pleased to speak at a fringe event on Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage and am firmly committed to making sure that our industries on the Milford Haven Waterway are front and centre of this exciting transition to deliver net zero. It was a whirlwind of a Conference!
In the Community
I was lucky to be hosted by a variety of organisations this month right across the county. At Pembroke Dock Community School I was shown round by headteacher Michele Thomas who has created a progressive and dynamic environment that encourages pupils to fulfil their potential.
I had a wide-ranging discussion with members of the local NFU and I am excited to build a solid working relationship with the agricultural community in Pembrokeshire. I met the team at Câr y Môr and learned more about Wales’ first regenerative seaweed and shellfish farm as well as their positive impact on the coastal environment and benefit to the local community.
I also visited PATH – Pembrokeshire Action for the Homeless with Eluned Morgan and Cllr Marc Tierney to see the vital work they do in helping those who are homeless find safe, secure, and affordable accommodation. I even made my first appearance on the Radio with Pure West Radio only to get covered in shaving foam! You can find a more substantive discussion on this page and scrolling down for Pure Politics.
On the Doorstep
We continued in earnest with our canvassing right across the constituency. Thank you so much to all those who joined out on the doorstep. The shows of solidarity from members as the nights draw in gives us all a big lift! We are fighting for every vote, and we need your help – please join John Bramley on the phones, Joanna Ambrose on the digital airwaves and/or Ben Levy on the streets. Any time you can spare in whatever capacity is welcomed. We have a huge opportunity to get rid of the Tories in Westminster and the path to victory goes right through Mid & South Pembrokeshire.
We are supplementing the canvassing sessions with community roundtables and meet the candidate events. Julian Rutter and Amanda Goodall were instrumental in successfully putting together a faith leaders roundtable in Neyland and a Q&A session in St David’s City Hall. We are looking to hold our next Q&A session in Pembroke Dock and the next community roundtable will be focused on the environment. If you are interested in getting involved in this style of event, then please get in touch.
Finally, we had a truly memorable evening with Emily Thornberry, Mark Drakeford, Eluned Morgan, Jackie Lawrence and Nick Ainger! Thank you to Pratibha Kanse, Alex Warlow and Ben Levy for all their hard work in making it happen. We are also grateful to Matthew Evans at The Cottage Inn in Llangwm and Jackie Palitt for hosting us and providing such delicious food. Please keep an eye out for future fundraising events.
As always, thank you for your support!
Parliamentary Candidate for Mid & South Pembrokeshire