MY CHILDREN enjoyed a sunny half term, and with Parliament in recess for the week, it was nice to see more of them. It was still a busy week for me as a local MP though, holding surgeries and attending events in Torfaen to support local groups, businesses and organisations.

I was honoured to attend the grand opening of the Blaenavon Community Museum on Friday. As a Blaenavon man myself, it’s fantastic to see the museum opening and gaining accredited status from the Arts Council. It is vital that we preserve the collective memory of the working people of our valleys towns and villages.

If you’ve ever visited the People’s History Museum in Manchester, you’d be struck by how rich the history of working class people is, yet it is often overlooked in museums and popular history. That is why I became the Chair of Parliament’s all-party group on industrial heritage. We should be proud of the industrial heritage of places like Blaenavon.

Huge advances were made in our valleys – things which shaped the modern world - like Gilchrist and Thomas’ invention of the process for mass producing steel.

Much of my work in Parliament in the past month has been focused on the more contemporary challenges facing the steel industry. I’ve been asking questions in Parliament about how our steelworkers jobs can be saved and their pensions protected.

I contributed to the Queen’s Speech debate and Welsh Questions, pressing the Government to take action to prevent steel dumping and put in place a proper industrial strategy. I also showed my support for our steelworkers by joining them at their rally outside Parliament, which was organised by the trade unions. As the son of a retired steelworker, this is an issue I have a personal connection with, but it is also one which is vital for our wider economy.

Back home, I paid a visit to Blaenavon Ironworks in the week, and noticed the European Development Fund sign on the way in. I also noticed an EU funding sign when visiting the market in Pontypool to do some shopping. It’s surprising how much development work locally is funded in this way, which is another reason I’m supporting a vote to remain in the EU on 23rd June.

The EU may not be perfect, but too many jobs and too many of the rights of working people are at risk if we take a leap in the dark on Brexit. But whatever your position on the EU, I hope as many people as possible register to vote. The deadline for registering is 7th June and details can be found online at or via your local Council.