This month’s election results were a bitter pill to swallow.

Monmouthshire has been one of the best run, most innovative and caring councils in Wales.

I feel so sorry for my Conservative colleagues who have worked so hard and brilliantly for many years and who fought such a strong campaign, only to have victory snatched from them for wider issues out of their control.

I must pay tribute to Richard John for his leadership over the last year and his vision to take the council forward.

It is extremely sad that he and his fantastic team can’t take that agenda forward as planned.

Over the years in control of the council, Conservatives have achieved so much including new state-of-the-art primary schools all over the county; two new fantastic comprehensives at Caldicot and Monmouth, with a third coming to Abergavenny and plans for a new one at Chepstow; we delivered town regeneration; we delivered a new livestock market to support our agricultural sector; we were ahead of the field with our social justice and carbon reduction agendas.

In addition, we found new ways to generate additional income to compensate for the shocking level of funding Monmouthshire receives year on year - which remains the lowest funded council in Wales by a country mile.

I wish colleagues who have been re-elected every success and my heart goes out to my great colleagues who sadly didn’t make it back.

I just hope any new administration puts the needs of citizens in the county above all else.

But this hope was shattered less than a week later by the Monmouthshire Labour group’s colleagues in the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, where both parties have unveiled plans to overhaul the Welsh electoral map, by abolishing all 40 one-membered constituencies—like Monmouth—and the 20 regions, and replace them with 16 new six-membered super constituencies.

As it stands, the current proposals are short-sighted and plain wrong.

Under the plan Monmouthshire as we know it will be lost, where we will be forced to merge with another constituency.

For decades, I’ve championed and safeguarded the uniqueness of Monmouthshire, yet Labour and Plaid’s plan will rip this in half.

What Wales needs is more nurses, teachers and doctors, not more politicians.

Upon my election to the Senedd, I vowed to fight tooth and nail in standing up for the whole of Monmouthshire, and I pledge to you that I will continue to fight these totally wrong plans.

The future of Monmouthshire, as we know it, is depending on it.