At the end of June, I was honoured to lay a wreath at Caerphilly Council’s armed forces event at Waunfawr Park.
This is an annual event, but one that had particular significance this year, as we marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Many brave soldiers from Caerphilly landed on the beaches of Normandy all those years ago, many never to return.
The D-Day landings ultimately led to the Allied victory and an end to the war. It is important that we remember those who fought and died to secure us the freedom, liberty and tolerance we have today.
Separately, I am pleased to see that the football sessions run by Positive Futures at Lansbury Park are proving to be so successful.
Positive Futures are currently running two sessions a week, funded by my office, and engaging with between 15 – 25 young people at a time.
These sessions give young people the opportunity to channel their energy into positive activities and help to steer them away from antisocial behaviour and crime.
Working closely with Gwent Police and partner agencies we are also piloting a new initiative where young people, who are already involved in antisocial behaviour, are given the chance to attend sessions as an alternative to other interventions, such as Anti-social Behaviour Orders.
This helps to keep them from starting down a route that can lead to a criminal record and harm their future employment opportunities.
There is some fantastic preventative work here that is also an opportunity to engage with vulnerable young people who may not be receiving support elsewhere. I look forward to seeing how it develops and will report back at a later date.
Finally, Caerphilly County Borough Council has been operating parking enforcement in the borough for a number of months and early reports from the council are that improvements are being seen in problem areas.
I was fully supportive of the transfer of parking powers to the local authorities, as dealing with illegal and irresponsible parking was a huge drain on police resources.
Now there is a dedicated resource to tackle this problem and the council, unlike the police, is able to keep any monies raised for road and transport improvements, allowing money to be reinvested in services.