Journal Column – 22nd February

Last week was the traditional February constituency week which meant a rare opportunity to lead a slightly more normal life, catch up with friends and family and spend a working week in Carmarthenshire rather than travelling to Westminster.  

The proceeding Friday I had visited Blaenau school as a part of their eco celebrations.   Over the last two years I have visited many schools across the County as a part of their eco celebrations.   The County Council is to be commended for the manner in which it has promoted this initiative which impresses the values of sustainability on our young people.  

On Monday I held surgeries in the majestic Teifi valley town of Castell Newydd Emlyn.   I’m glad my constituency party has written to the Boundary Commission recommending that the Town continues to be an integral part of the new proposed Caerfyrddin County Westminster constituency – let’s hope the plans are amended as well as the name to Caerfyrddin Dinefwr.   In the afternoon I had meetings with Plaid Leader Peter Hughes Griffiths on the County Council and his team as well as a spot of canvassing in Llangynnwr with Plaid’s candidate Elwyn Williams.   An exercise we repeated on Friday in Llandybie with Plaid’s Karen Davies.

I am one of those slightly unorthodox politicians whose favourite part of the job is proactively engaging with people on their doorsteps.   I consider each and every constituent an employer of mine – and therefore the opportunity to discuss concerns, problems, hopes and aspirations is priceless. 

On Friday evening the Plaid Leadership campaign rolled into Llandybie.   In a packed Memorial Hall the three candidates offered substance and vision.   Whoever wins I look forward to serving the new Leader as Wales moves to the next stage in its political development.  

As I was packing my bags ready for the return to the Commons, Peter Hain the Leader of the Labour party in Wales launched an astonishing attack on Independent Councillors.   He called them ‘closet Tories’.   I take nobody had informed him that Labour Councillors in Carmarthenshire had been propping up the ‘Closet Tories’ for the last eight years here!

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