Supporting Local Groups
The Welsh Assembly is in recess, but that doesn’t mean an AM’s work stops. Working life continues for residents and the summer recess provides me with more of an opportunity to get out and about in the constituency to meet with the many local organisations that work hard to make a difference.
One of the local organisations I’ve been supporting recently is the Side by Side Community Choir.
Side by Side support those with hidden disabilities and illnesses through the medium of music and song. It’s a supportive network for anybody who’s been touched by autism.
The group rehearse at the Caerphilly Miners’ Centre for the Community and both perform and give talks in the local area about autism.
Recently the choir performed at the Millions Missing event in Cardiff for M.E Awareness Week. They’re now concentrating on becoming a charitable organisation and if successful, the charitable status will hopefully open doors for future funding.
I know from personal experience, funding can provide the security that voluntary groups need to flourish.
I was delighted to have recently been asked to become a patron and Trustee of Side by Side and look forward to supporting the efforts of the group to raise awareness of autism, which is a subject close to my heart.
Gwern Y Domen Planning Application
I’ve submitted my third objection against the large-scale planning application at Gwern Y Domen in Caerphilly.
This planning application does not have the support of the local community and has generated a huge number of objections since originally being proposed.
Residents have contacted my office asking for my support and I’ve been happy to send my full objection to them. My submission to the Council focused on a number of key arguments.
The application does not assist the Local Planning Authority in meeting Welsh Government policy to see greenfield development ‘avoided wherever possible’.
The proposals (if granted) are likely to result in a direct loss of very extensive areas of mature trees and hedgerows. This could result in significant losses of habitat for a number of protected and / or priority species.
It should not be underestimated how much residents want to protect their natural environment. I do hope the planning committee support local opinion and vote to reject the application.