It’s often revealing how little connection there is between national news and local concerns....
Here in the constituency the most frequent inquiries to our office remain housing and health. Ambulance waiting times, access to GP’s and dentists crops up time and time again and we continue to press the relevant people in Welsh Government in Cardiff to acknowledge the challenge and tell us what their plans are.
I am hoping for good news any day soon on the question of Freeport status for West Wales.
Housing is one of the council’s bigger headaches. There are simply too many people applying for a very limited supply. Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire's Councils are trying to acquire new properties either by way of new builds or from existing private stock but there is no silver bullet.
In other news, increased training pressure down at Castlemartin Range has caused some local anxiety which we are trying to resolve by way of swifter communication with the Ministry of Defence. As a former Reservist I am hugely sympathetic to the needs of our armed forces so we will endeavour to find a “sweet spot” which will facilitate training needs and local interests.
I am hoping for good news any day soon on the question of Freeport status for West Wales. The final decision is yet to be taken but if we strike lucky it will be a credit to the work of the local authority and will unquestionably increase our ability to attract new business and jobs to our area, especially in the renewables sector. Watch this space….
On the national stage, yesterday was Budget Day. Our commitment to see inflation halve is on course, as is our determination to return to a lower tax regime. But these things take time and we only have to think of last year to realise how the economy can easily catch fire.
The Chancellor is determined to avoid spooking the markets, and certainty and calm are two vital buzzwords. Thousands of jobs depend on us avoiding the temptation to be populist.
I hope that the PM’s reputation for resilience and determination have also been evident in the way he landed a deal with the EU on Northern Ireland which nobody thought was possible, as well as a deal with the French which will help us resolve the long standing problem of small boats arriving on our shores.
Let's not forget that the absolute priority is to safeguard people who may be dragged into this awful situation by criminal gangs across the world.
There is nothing remotely compassionate about turning a blind eye to that danger.