One of the former First Minister Mark Drakeford's most important legacies for us here in Newport will be his commitment to the protection of the Gwent Levels – setting up the working group I chair to help protect and enhance this unique and precious area.

As well as its historic and landscape significance, it has distinct and important biodiversity (which includes species such as the Water Vole and Shrill Carder Bee) there, which is why multiple areas of local land have been categorised as SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest).

The current and very real worry is energy companies (often solar companies) now looking to build large development using the landscape’s flatness and closeness to the grid. If this happens, it will effectively change the nature and the environment of the Levels.

I am working closely with Welsh Government, local authorities, environmental groups and local communities to ensure we have stronger planning policies in place – particularly in relation to SSSIs, to better protect our precious land and water.

There is a lot of public support to protect the Levels – and in the last 12 months, more than 5,700 people have signed a petition calling for a halt to significant new developments on the SSSIs there.

The people living and working there locally are not against renewable energy initiatives – far from it! But it has to be done in locations which are appropriate and not in places which have an adverse impact on our efforts to protect both nature and our wider climate.

Over the next couple of years, both in my role as the Newport East MS and chairman of the Gwent Levels Working Group, I will continue to make sure the protection and enhancement of this unique and historic landscape, continues to remain a priority for the new First Minister and the Welsh Government he leads.

The Levels’ drainage system of reens was introduced by the Romans. It has remained a vital measure for nature and people ever since. We must ensure we pass it onto future generations in a fit and proper state.

Finally, situated on the Magor and Undy SSSI part of the Gwent Levels is the recently opened community hub. Last Friday (3rd May) I was pleased to hold a coffee and cake event there with Councillors John Crook and Angela Sandles and to raise money for Dementia UK.

The event raised valuable funds that will support the work of Dementia Nurses in supporting people with the condition. Thank you to everyone who came and contributed.