I was glad to see such a strong turnout from residents in a walk to highlight the need to safeguard the Sirhowy Valley Country Park.

Residents in Cwmfelinfach and Ynysddu in the Sirhowy valley in my constituency have made it very clear to me, in large numbers, their great concern about plans to re-wild the former coal tips at Mynydd y Grug in Bedwas.

I met with ERI Reclamation on February 27, 2024, to hear what they had to say and to express my constituents' concerns.

There is yet to be a submission of any formal planning application by the company, so when and if one is submitted, I will study it closely and listen to the concerns of my constituents to submit my own representations to the local planning authority. While we want to see coal tips removed and remediated, it cannot and should not be at any cost.

I will be asking ERI Reclamation to reconsider their preferred route in removing 500 tonnes of coal to sell for their profit.

I will ask Natural Resources Wales to protect and maintain the Sirhowy Valley country park for the benefits of citizens who seek to enjoy the natural landscape, whether that is to walk, cycle or horse ride, as they do now.

As chairman of the Senedd’s Cross-Party Group on Music I was proud to stand with hundreds of people on the steps of the Welsh Parliament to support the campaign to save our choral history and the musical heritage of Wales in safeguarding our Welsh National Opera, the people's opera.

The Welsh National Opera was formed in the 1940s by the communities of Wales, made up of a dedicated group of miners, doctors and amateur musicians - to provide opera for the people by the people.

It is wholly a part of our Welsh iconic infrastructure and does vitally important work in schools and wellbeing and community outreach across Wales. It is already renowned for its sheer performance excellence and international reputation. This cannot be put at risk.

I have tabled a statement of opinion that has been supported by 23 fellow Members of the Senedd across the political spectrum. The statement reads: This Senedd: 1: Believes that the Welsh National Opera is world-renowned for its excellence, performance and outreach. 2. Recognises the challenges posed by financial austerity and the funding cuts which have been made as part of the bi-national funding agreement. 3. Is concerned about the impact of a diminished, part-time WNO on skills and talent across the organisation. 4. Calls on the Welsh Government to urgently work with partners, including the UK Government, to seek bi-national funding arrangements which will help the WNO maintain a full-time organisation in the short and medium term, until longer-term, sustainable plans can be put in place.