I hope everyone has enjoyed the lovely spell of weather over the Easter period. It reminds us what a beautiful area we all live in. There have been a number of useful events and activities in the upper Rhymney valley in recent weeks.
First of all thanks to those businesses and organisations who supported the “Jobs Fair” that Gerald Jones MP and I organised in Ael-y-Bryn community centre. It was a successful event and well over 100 people came through the doors to learn about local job, training and volunteering opportunities.
We also paid a visit to the Victoria House cafe and wish Lisa Price every success with her new venture. This project is one of several to receive support via UK Steel Enterprise which is a fund established to support the economy in communities affected by changes in the steel industry.
Jobs and investment
Soon after the Jobs Fair we had the welcome news that new jobs will be created at Dragon Recycling Solutions in Rhymney. It is good to see this investment by a local company, with support from UK Steel Enterprise, and I am pleased the Welsh Government were also able to assist in bringing more jobs to the Rhymney valley.
Local schools were busy in the lead up to Easter and it was great to have an opportunity to attend several school fayres and offer my support.
Gerald Jones and I were also pleased to meet with Simon Ellington the Chief Executive of Caerphilly Citizens Advice Bureau. We know that the CAB provide advice in the upper Rhymney valley and their services are often vital in helping individuals and families with a range of support. You can read more about their outreach services here: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/caerphilly-blaenau-gwent/contact-us/
Beating the money lenders
I was also pleased to offer support to the Wales Illegal Money Lending Event in Phillipstown primary school. Too many people face a huge pressure on their family budget and are tempted to turn to money lenders for help. There are alternatives and Trading Standards are working hard to help people who may face difficulties. Read more here: www.tradingstandardswales.org.uk/moneylending/
Land and development
Along with Councillor Carl Cuss I have received a number of representations about the development of land. In one specific case the local authority has met the landowner and advice has been issued about the correct procedures for development. Everyone is subject to the same planning regulations and the need for appropriate consents when seeking to develop land.
Gelligaer and Merthyr common
I also had the chance to visit the common land and be updated about the management plans and the very welcome and ongoing efforts to manage access and tackle fly tipping in this beautiful area.