M4 COMMUTERS can’t have helped but notice the motorway warning signs and miles of security fencing paving the way for the NATO summit.

Potential disruption and benefits aside, it’s ironic that the summit is being hosted by Wales as a constituent part of the UK in the run up to the referendum on Scottish independence on September 18.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation surely represents one of the best examples of international co-operation in the post-war era with its “all for one, one for all” approach making an incalculable contribution during the Cold War era to warding off a thermonuclear Third World War.

Advocates of a Scottish Yes vote may well cite the freedom to act alone as an advantage of independence but we would all do well to remember that the fundamental safeguard of a nation’s freedom is its external security. In this respect, Scotland has undoubtedly benefited massively over the years from its membership of the United Kingdom.

Perhaps the most bizarre story in Monmouthshire recently was the news of an A4042 hold-up at Llanellen caused by the “escape” of 100 plastic ducks en route to a Canals and River Trust duck race in Llangynidr. They may have been ducks out of water but I certainly wasn’t when I found myself nominated for the ALS/MND ice bucket challenge, the charity craze currently sweeping Facebook.

Motor Neurone Disease may only affect a small minority of the Welsh population but the consequences of this cruel disease on sufferers and their families are huge. Let’s do all we can to support them by taking the challenge.

Like MND, rare cancers can often be overshadowed by more common conditions. Cancer sufferers in England benefit from the Cancer Drugs Fund which covers the cost of innovative but expensive new medicines. It’s completely unacceptable that we don’t have a cancer drugs fund here in Wales and that some patients are having to consider moving across the border for treatment. I’m supporting a petition calling on the Welsh Government to make access to cancer drugs here equitable to that in England.

Finally this month a call to all you pub quizzers out there. I will be hosting a charity curry and quiz night at Raglan Golf Club on Saturday, September 6, all proceeds to the Raglan “Raise the Roof” church roof appeal. Tickets are available from Raglan Post Office or through my Usk office.