OVER the last few weeks there have been a series of local and national events marking the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the vote for the first time.

I was delighted to attend the Caldicot District Rainbows, Brownies and Guides commemoration event at Dewstow Primary earlier this month to support the girls as they completed a badge to honour the suffragettes and fundraised for Care International.

The charity was chosen in honour of its ambassador Helen Pankhurst – descendant of prominent suffragettes Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst.

The centenary of this important step towards women’s suffrage is also an opportunity to reflect on the life of the trailblazing Newport suffragette and campaigner Lady Rhondda.

I was also delighted to see Ringland councillor Laura Lacey selected to take part in the Jo Cox Leadership programme.

Laura has been an excellent ward representative since her election last May, and will be a great addition to this important scheme which aims to honour Jo Cox’s legacy by empowering a new generation of women to develop skills and progress in the world of politics.

l The benefits arising from the scrapping of the Severn Bridge tolls and a planned future South Wales Metro will help generate a significant economic boost for South East Wales.

We can already see positive signs in Newport with the proposed renovation of the Chartist Tower, Newport’s tallest building, which will be transformed into a new luxury hotel.

This will help support the highly-anticipated new International Convention Centre at the Celtic Manor, which in turn will be able to accommodate 5,000 delegates and attract businesses from across the world.

Meanwhile in the world of sport Newport County have done the city and wider area proud with a wonderful FA Cup run.

It was a pleasure to be at Wembley for the replay against Tottenham Hotspur alongside fellow Gwent MP Nick Smith, and it was a memorable occasion despite the result.

Even in defeat you could not fault the effort and application of the County players against top-class opposition, and the wonderful away support were a credit to the club as always.

I wish Michael Flynn and his players all the best for the rest of the season as they push on for a play-off place.