12:29pm Tuesday 17th April 2007
Newport and I go back a long way, as they say! I went into public life at a relatively early age, becoming a Newport councillor in 1973.
As a former Mayor, deputy leader and chair of leisure services I would like to think that I played a major part in the development of the city, particularly its leisure facilities.
Since becoming Labour Assembly Member for Newport West in 1999, the interests of Newport and its people have continued to be close to my heart.
I play a very active role in the life of the city, and enjoy working closely with a whole range of organisations including Newport University, the Newport International Competition for Young Pianists, the Friends of Newport Transporter Bridge, Caerleon Arts Festival, the YMCA and many community groups.
As a former Education Minister I maintain a strong interest in schools. I currently chair the Culture, Welsh Language and Sport Committee in the Assembly. I also represent the Assembly on the European Committee of the Regions.
My experience and contacts have proved to be enormously valuable in defending and promoting Newport and Welsh interests.
I have championed many causes during my time as an AM, including: The regeneration of Newport City Centre; the development of thousands of new quality jobs; the Newport Ship restoration project; the Ryder Cup; major health developments such as new radiology and orthopaedic units in Newport hospitals; the campaign for a Severn Barrage to generate electricity and protect Newport's coastline from rising sea levels; support for Newport City Council in its drive to recycle waste and combat fly tipping; services for children, older people and other vulnerable groups; campaigns against possible job losses; the Fairtrade Status for Newport campaign; help and encouragement for Newport's ethnic minority communities; support for community arts and sports projects; overseas links with Newport's twin cities.
If re-elected I will, as always, represent the interests of the people of Newport West. I will continue to hold regular street surgeries and support community organisations. I will continue to raise Newport issues in the Assembly. And I will endeavour to use the Assembly's new powers to improve the lives of the people of Newport and Wales as a whole.
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