YOUR MP WRITES: Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith
Cheering on the race circuit
LAST week I met constructors for the Circuit for Wales, who are building a world-class motorbike racing track in Rassau.
The development has moved up a gear as they have now applied for planning permission for the project.
I will keep you updated on the project’s progress, as well as cheering it on towards the chequered flag!
I have heard from a number of constituents worried about the possible closure of Nantyglo Leisure Centre and the Market Hall Cinema in Brynmawr, so I wrote to the council immediately. Hedley McCarthy, the Leader of Blaenau Gwent Council, has kindly agreed to meet a delegation to discuss potential future uses for the cinema.
I am also extremely pleased that the council have changed their mind on the closure of Nantyglo Leisure Centre, which was used 191,000 times last year.
In Westminster I spoke on transport across theWales and England border. Good transport links are a crucial part of the infrastructure needed for economic regeneration in Blaenau Gwent.
Links to other parts of the country, like the Bristol Enterprise Zone, can boost trade and increase access to jobs. With our close proximity to the beautiful Brecon Beacons, hopefully the proposed electrification of our railway lines will bring even more visitors to the constituency.
In the chamber I was able to question Ministers on the significant increase in the use of Mephedrone among young people in Blaenau Gwent. Jeremy Brown, a Home Office Minister has agreed to meet me to discuss the issue. I want to see cross-border co-operation to stop the supply of this dangerous drug.
There was an important debate in Westminster Hall last week on the closure of Army recruitment offices inWales. I am concerned about the closure of the recruitment offices in Abergavenny and Pontypridd, and asked the minister for assurances that mobile recruitment units would visit Blaenau Gwent. The Army offers an opportunity for young people to gain a trade, and in some cases a second chance. SouthWales has a proud tradition of supporting our armed forces.
As an MP you get invited to lots of cultural events. It was great to hear Only Boys and Tredegar Soloists Aloud at EbbwVale Leisure Centre.
The valleys have produced some brilliant singers, particularly for male voice choirs, and it is fantastic to see another generation continuing the tradition.