Welcome to my CLP report for May 2018.
In Westminster, in addition to being the MP for Caerphilly I am also a member of Labour’s Shadow Defence team. It was in that role that I visited the defence firm QuinetiQ’s site in Farnborough, attended the launch of a new report by GMB on the importance of shipbuilding, and a took ppart in a roundtable event with defence companies on the defence policies of a future Labour Government. I also met with representatives from the BAE Systems Trade Union Group.
As part of more formal business, I participated in a General Committee examining the role the role the UK will play in a Common Security and Defence Policy missions post Brexit, and asked a question in Defence Questions about whether the Government will award the contract for the Fleet Solid Support Ships to British Shipyards. In Wales Questions I asked about the impact of the UK Government’s welfare cuts on homelessness in Wales.
I chaired an All Party Parliamentary Group for Vietnam meeting with Foreign Office Minister Mark Field.
It’s always a pleasure to see visitors from the constituency at Westminster and this month as well as welcoming 2 sets of constituents I was delighted to meet with an apprentice from General Dynamics, who lives in the constituency, at the company’s reception event. Additionally, I had the pleasure of meeting with pupils from Years 3,4, 5 and 6 from Nant Y Parc Primary School. They took the opportunity to ask some interesting, and challenging questions!
Finally I attended a Diabetes UK drop-in on the need for clear food labelling.
Sadly due to Westminster business, I was not able to avoid the whip to attend the funeral and cremation of Harry Andrews, but I was represented by staff colleagues and was pleased to submit an article commemorating Harry for publication in May’s edition of Local View.
I was pleased to meet up with many comrades, both old and new, at Welsh Labour’s Conference in Llandudno, where I chaired a Leonard Cheshire roundtable event, and attended an interesting Unions Together fringe meeting on Brexit. I was delighted to see Carolyn Harris MP elected as Deputy Leader in Wales, with the result being announced by one of my colleagues Dave Bezzina, in his capacity as Chief Scrutineer.
On the social side, I attended Bargoed Senior Citizens Party, the Spring Fayre at Parklands residential home Bedwas, a Cymanfa Ganu at Tonyfelin Welsh Baptist Chapel and a concert at St Helen’s Church Caerphilly. I was treated to an interesting tour and chat at Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall to learn of developments there and their plans for the future.
I have held meetings with NAPO about the future of the Probation Service and with the Jeff Francis Foundation to discuss the future provision of music opportunities for youngsters.
I met up with Caerphilly businesswoman Nicola Downie at her florist shop to talk about the work she is doing to reduce the shop’s usage of single-use plastics.
Finally, I organised a well attended event last Friday in Ystrad Mynach for women in the constituency, born in the 1950’s, who have suffered an injustice as a result the decision of the last Tory / Lib Dem Government to move to equalisation of the state pension retirement age without allowing these women sufficient time to adjust their pension plans. As well as a contribution from Hefin David, the meeting was addressed by Swansea East MP, and tireless campaigner on this issue, Carolyn Harris along with local WASPI co-ordinator Sue Jarman.