ACROSS Blaenau Gwent we rely heavily on our public service workers to provide the most vital of frontline services, our nurses, police officers, firefighters and teachers are at the core of our communities and they deserve a fair deal.

Since 2010 public sector workers have endured a pay cap of a 1 per cent annual average increase.

The impact on the household finances of these workers is deteriorating, as inflation rises and the cost of living escalates they are facing a real terms, year on year, pay cut.

This dreadful Tory policy must be scrapped. It cannot be right that those who work to serve the public, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances, are in this position.

We have seen stories of nurses being forced to turn to foodbanks to feed themselves and their families.

The Royal College of Nursing reports that nurses have faced, in real terms, since 2010 a 14 per cent pay cut because of this cap.

And that is why we all need to force the UK Government to end the public sector pay cap.

* The Welsh Government is urging tenants to have their say on letting agent fees.

This is the first step towards fulfilling the Welsh Labour Government’s Commitment to bringing forward a Fees Charged to Tenants Bill to address fees charged in the private rented sector.

With more people than ever turning to the private rental sector we know that these fees are driving up the cost of renting for poorer individuals and families.

I am therefore urging tenants across Blaenau Gwent to take part in the consultation which is available on the Welsh Government website.

Additionally, I am urging all landlords and agents across Blaenau Gwent to make sure that the are registered with the Welsh Governments Rent Smart Wales scheme.

The scheme is helping to raise standards in the private rental sector across Wales.

It is vital that tenants are reassured that their landlord is properly licensed.

We all know that there are some unscrupulous landlords in our communities so I would encourage any tenant seeking to privately rent a property in Blaenau Gwent to check the Rent Smart Wales website to ensure that their landlord is registered.

* Finally, my next advice surgery is being held on Friday, September 15th at Ebbw Vale Library, 11am – 12pm.

No appointment is necessary.

I have recently published advice surgery dates right up to the Christmas break – for more information you can get in touch by email: Alun.Davies@, by telephone: 01495 311160 or visit my Facebook page: