“A week is a long time in politics” a former Prime Minister once famously told the waiting media. I certainly agree.
During the recent weeks of heated discussion on tax powers for the Assembly, the “Lockstep” mechanism may not have been the talk of pubs up and down Wales but it is nonetheless an important means of restricting the power of a future Welsh Government to hike income tax in Wales.
Taxation is too big an issue for us not to get right. Let me be clear, I remain opposed to unfettered income tax powers for the Assembly.
This week marks the first anniversary of the Brecon Beacons National Park obtaining its International Dark Sky status.
The designation was the first of its kind in Wales and the Beacons joins an elite international club which currently has only eight members.
With my own keen interest in astronomy I’ve been happy to support the campaign from its inception. It’s been good to see the upturn in tourism that the park’s designation has brought. It’s important that we can encourage a greater participation in astronomy and the more that we can do to reduce light pollution across Wales the easier it will be for people to enjoy the night skies from the comfort of their own homes.
Talking of stars, I was grateful to be invited to a gala concert at the Millennium Centre marking the 400th anniversary of Haberdashers Monmouth School.
It was a memorable evening including performances from past and present pupils of choral works and songs from the iconic musical Showboat.
The highlight of the evening was a recital from William Shakespeare’s Henry V (born in Monmouth) by old boy and BBC rugby commentator Eddie Butler.
The event was a sell out and it was great to catch up afterwards with teachers, pupils and parents. Founder William Jones would be justly proud of his legacy and the young people still benefitting from his foresight and generosity.
Finally I would like to thank constituents for the support I have received following the recent changes to the Shadow Cabinet in Cardiff Bay.
Although I no longer hold the Shadow Business Portfolio I remain committed to serving the people of Monmouthshire as your Assembly Member. I have recently been reselected to contest the seat again in 2016 and will continue to stand up for Monmouthshire and hold the Welsh Government to account.