• THE OFFICE for National Statistics recently launched their Data Science Hub based in Newport.

The new £17 million Data Hub will put the ONS at the forefront of innovative methods and use data science for social and public good. They will explore ways to analyse data and present the information in a more timely way. This will help to dig deeper into the statistics to provide broader insights into the economy, society and the environment to capture more up to date information.

The Office in Newport will have the UK’s first Data Analytics apprenticeship scheme supported by the Welsh Government which will develop the next generation of experts.

• In March the Assembly relocated to Newport for a weeklong series of events. Some of the Assembly Committees had their meetings in various venues across the City including some of our schools and the University of South Wales. Indeed I heard from Members of the Finance Committee and Constitutional Affairs Committee were very impressed with their questions from Bassaleg School, St Jospeh’s and Newport High School. I think it is important that the Assembly gets out as much as possible and I’m glad the first place in this session was Newport. It was a great opportunity for residents, businesses and organisations to learn more about the work of the Assembly.

I had the opportunity to discuss the work of the Assembly and to talk about how I got involved in politics. Newport Youth Council and the youth group at Pill YMCA were excellent. It was clear how passionate these young people are about where they live and how much they care about making Newport the best it can be. Also a big thank you to Horton’s Coffee Shop for hosting the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee to discuss the issue of loneliness and social isolation. Since that meeting Horton’s is now running a social table every Monday at 10am.

• This week marked the 10-year anniversary of the landmark smoking ban in Wales. The Welsh Government’s Minister, Rebecca Evans AM,visited Malpas Court Primary School to mark the anniversary, and to celebrate the school achieving the National Quality Award which teaches the dangers of tobacco.

• Since my last column I’ve welcomed Clytha Primary School, WALK Newport, Coleg Gwent and the University of South Wales to the Senedd. If you would like to visit please contact my office on 01633 376627.