I fully welcome the good news that plans for possible gypsy traveller sites at Mitchel Troy Common and Manson Heights in Monmouth have been dropped by Monmouthshire County Council, following public meetings of concerned residents and feedback from the local authority’s own scrutiny committee.

These sites would have been completely unsuitable given the fact they are in residential areas and questions were quite rightly raised over vehicle access, road safety and damage to the natural environment.

A few people have been vocal about my grounds for opposition and I wish to make it clear that I would have felt exactly the same way if the Labour-run council had earmarked the land for industrial use or a new housing estate.

This is not a criticism of the gypsy and traveller community and I object to the comments that have been drawn in response to that.

The location of authorised and unauthorised traveller sites is a legitimate matter for public debate and scrutiny – and I will continue to hold the council to account over its failure to carry out a proper consultation.

As the local MP, it would be remiss of me not to stand up and represent constituents who are upset at the shortness of the consultation and the proposed locations.

Even members of the traveller community have stated they do not wish to be sited close to residential areas.

I am disappointed Langley Close near to the M4 in Magor and land west of Dancing Hill in Undy remain under consideration, as they are also wholly unsuitable.

I will certainly stand with Severnside residents in this corner of Monmouthshire, who are aghast at the prospect of much-loved areas being snatched away in such fashion.

* Despite the typical British summer weather, people were not put off by a bit of mud and rain and there was a good turnout for the annual Llanthony Show.

Deep in the Black Mountains and in the shadow of Llanthony Priory, this is one of the most scenic country shows in Wales.

It was fantastic to be back in the beautiful Llanthony Valley and there was certainly plenty going on.

I particularly enjoyed the sheep sheering demonstrations and had a brilliant chat with the members of Abergavenny Hockey Club, who were there with a climbing wall to raise money for the show.

My thanks to the show committee and volunteers, Colin and Cordelia Passmore at Court Farm, and the many traders and stallholders who ensured a great family day out for visitors.