I WAS very pleased to host the launch of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report How Fair is Wales? in the Assembly this week.

The report aims to assess how far we have come on the road to equality since EHRC’s last report in 2015.

Inequality and inequality of opportunity and outcome still blights our communities and makes the quality of life worse for all, including those faring relatively well in terms of income and wealth.

Numerous factors such as crime, homelessness, begging on streets, food banks and knowing that others within our communities are facing real hardship doesn’t make anyone feel good about their town or city.

The Tory UK Government’s most recent budget worsens the situation with tax cuts for the wealthy and mere crumbs for lower earners.

Cruel benefit reductions for struggling families and continuing cuts for public services contribute to the immoral and indefensible gap between the richest and the most vulnerable in our society.

One in four adults and one in three children are still living in poverty in Wales, which is more than in any other nation in Britain.

EHRC’s report makes a number of recommendations including calling on the Welsh Government to enact an equality duty requiring public authorities to exercise their strategic decision making to reduce inequality.

We must redouble our efforts to achieve a fairer society for all and this report is an opportunity for necessary focus and progress.

To read the report in full, please visit tinyurl.com/ydavb9ls

- I was delighted to speak at the Steel Remembered event at the Lysaght Institute as part of this month’s remembrance services and celebrations.

The event was part of an ongoing project by Linc Cymru which sets out to uncover the real-life stories of the Orb steel workers who marched off to war in 1914-1918, those who came back and those who are commemorated by the Orb Steel Works War Memorial.

Linc Cymru have put the community at the heart of this project with hundreds getting involved of all ages.

The celebration included a special performances by children from Millbrook primary and the U3A choir.

I was very pleased to tell the story of the Whild brothers from Magor Street in Newport who worked in the Orb Steelworks; a tragic and fascinating story of a family who went to war.

Well done to all involved in this brilliant project.

Steel Remembered was a huge success and a fitting tribute to those Newportonians whose lives were changed irrevocably by the First World War a century ago.

In remembering the horrors of war we understand the need to be tolerant and respectful of others and to strive for stability and peace for all countries, especially those enduring terrible conflict and suffering in the world today.

- Raven House Trust are looking for volunteers.

I have visited Raven House Trust on a number of occasions and have seen first-hand the invaluable support the Trust provides for people in need, especially in the winter months.

Raven House is situated in Cromwell Road, Liswerry, and provides invaluable support for people in need by helping with food and furniture.

The Trust opens Monday to Thursday, 9am to 3pm, and 9am to midday on Fridays.

If you feel you could volunteer and help, please contact Maggie Smith on 01633 762999 or visit www.ravenhouse.org