YOUR AM WRITES: Newport East AM, John Griffiths
4:01pm Tuesday 8th October 2013 in News
IN the political calendar, September is party conference season. The media cover Party Conferences pretty thoroughly, with the most attention normally being put on each party leader’s speeches.
This year the Welsh Assembly was back in session during my party’s conference and I didn’t go, but like many people I watched the coverage on TV and in the papers.
Obviously you’d expect me to support Ed Miliband and Labour, and I’m going to try to avoid simply writing about that. Regardless of which party you support or what you thought of his speech, though, I think it’s worth noticing one policy announcement he made: he said he would repeal the bedroom tax.
I wrote in this column back in April how this policy was cruel and poorly thought through. Many politicians and housing campaigners in Wales have spoken out against it (as has the Argus) because of its impact, but the UK government has stuck with the policy so far.
Leaving aside party politics and whether you support the policy or not, it seems clear that UK political debate is going to involve some real debates over the next few years, on issues that affect many people in Wales, and it’s going to be an interesting time for those who think political activity can make a difference.
l Welsh Government has started consultation on the draft plans to deal with traffic problems on the M4 corridor around Newport. You’ll probably have seen this reported, but the consultation runs until December 16 and I want people to have a look and respond with their views.
You can see the consultation and respond online at www.m4newport.com or come along to an exhibition: today and tomorrow in the Newport Centre, and October 15 and 16 at All Saints Church, Brynglas; October 29 and 30 at Castleton village hall, or November 25 and 26 in the Newport Centre.
One exhibition has already taken place in Magor, but residents there can still see the documents in Magor Post Office and the Caldicot One-Stop shop.
l Last Saturday was Senior Citizens' Information Day at Newport Centre. This event has taken place every autumn for years, and a whole host of organisations have stalls about the different kinds of support and services available to older people. It’s really helpful to have all these sources of information in one place, and congratulations to everyone involved.
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