I would like to start my report by wishing all my constituents a Happy New Year.
We undoubtedly face a challenging year at Westminster as the Brexit process rolls on. Unfortunately will still face many uncertainties over the potential outcomes of negotiations with the EU, but whilst I remain committed to the view that we need to conclude these negotiations to deliver on the result on the referendum of June last year I will continue to be a strong advocate for Parliament as a whole to be given the final say on the terms of any proposed deal – no deal is not an option.
Prior to the Christmas break I made contributions in Parliament during a debate on social mobility in Wales with specific reference to the inequality of access to higher education, and concerns over the loss of EU structural funds. Wales has gained £9 billion in private and public sector funding over the past 17 years, and an equivalent level of funding must be guaranteed post Brexit to help support social mobility.
I was also pleased to have the opportunity to speak at the All Party Parliamentary Group on the 4th Industrial Revolution on the Defence Sector. I am particular keen to ensure that UK Government money is invested in this Country’s defence industry, a sector which is particularly crucial to my Caerphilly constituency, and the wider South East Wales valleys area.
In the constituency, I have met with the Stroke Association, to support its representations on securing future funding from Caerphilly County Borough Council when it faces tough decisions during its forthcoming budget setting process.