Since my last column in the South Wales Argus we have had a General Election that has eviscerated the Tory Government.

Its majority destroyed and Theresa May’s authority smashed.

It is difficult to ever remember a campaign before where a prime minister has sought to actively fight a campaign without meeting the public or answering any questions. It was bizarre to see the Tories run a Presidential campaign where their candidate was too scared to even appear on Woman’s Hour.

 The great positive for us all from the election was the dramatic increase in voter turnout from younger voters. Young people turned out to vote in the 2017 UK General Election in

greater numbers that at any other point for twenty five years.

Some 64 per cent of registered voters aged 18-24 are now thought to have cast a vote on 9 June, the highest since 67 per cent voted in 1992. I am a firm proponent of a change in the law to allow votes at sixteen.

 Representing the people of Islwyn in the National Assembly for Wales is a varied role. I was recently invited to a panel at a sell-out Institute of Wales and Cardiff University debate

discussing the issue of tackling poverty in Wales. This month I was asked to contribute to the journal Welsh Housing Quarterly about why I believe the Welsh Government is right to embark on abolition the Right to Buy in Wales.

 Looking ahead I am excited to be hosting in the Senedd for the Welsh Arts Council a Welsh Youth Musical showcase with artists and performers who have benefitted from educational

youth music services. We know that budgets continue to contract but it is imperative for Wales - that access to music in Wales is accessible to all, irrespective of economic background. Eluned Hollyman, former winner of the Caerphilly Young Musician of the

Year, will be performing with Catrin Finch on the harp alongside globally acclaimed artist Bryn Terfel. As readers will know I am a passionate advocate for opportunity for all and of the beneficial value of music for our collective society as well as for individuals. 

 The horrific scenes of the tragedy at the Grenfell Tower in London shocked us all. In Wales where any new or converted high rise residential blocks are developed, under the changes

introduced as part of the Domestic Fire Safety Measure (Wales) 2011, they would be required to introduce sprinklers. The Welsh Government is setting up an expert group, including representations from the social housing and fire sectors. It will examine all

of the lessons coming out of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and their application to Wales.