THE International Convention Centre (ICC) in Newport is a fantastic resource for Wales.

But I am not here to plug that. I did want to briefly mention the Welsh Conservative Party conference, which took place at the ICC last weekend. 

To be a little bit non-political about it, we had a great line-up of speakers including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Security Tom Tugendhat, Party Chairman Greg Hands and Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt.

Some of them had the chance to visit Monmouthshire and Newport to see how much potential there is for our corner of South East Wales. 

The ICC hosted another conference earlier in the week which I was also privileged to be able to speak at, albeit it in an online capacity from Parliament.

Cardiff Capital Region (CCR), the team dedicated to re-energising and reshaping South East Wales, ran the conference to help SME companies grow, prosper and become more productive in these challenging times.

The CCR City Deal is a programme jointly funded by the UK and Welsh governments to boost the region by building a metro and supporting a range of other start-ups and projects.

With lots of exciting businesses and cutting-edge technology emerging, there is a huge amount of positivity in the area at the moment.

WHAT gift do you give King Charles III to mark his coronation? As someone who is passionate about the environment, a mass clear-up of litter around Gwent is the perfect present.

I will be joining Brigadier Robert Aitken, the King’s representative and Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, on the coronation bank holiday Monday to pick litter.

Despite the efforts of volunteers who already regularly clean up in their local areas, a thoughtless minority of people still don’t seem to know how to use a litter bin.

I intend to do my bit alongside public-spirited communities in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen to make Gwent a bit tidier.

You can collect free equipment in the build-up to the coronation from one of the Keep Wales Tidy litter picking hubs.

Locations can be found here:

Afterwards, the Lord Lieutenant will write to the King to tell him how much litter has been collected – and hopefully send photographs of the litter pickers themselves.

IN 2019, the UK Government promoted to recruit 20,000 additional police officers in England and Wales to make our streets safer and reduce crime.

I am delighted to say we have delivered that promise and fulfilled a key manifesto pledge.

The recruitment drive has seen 239 new police officers join the force in Gwent, bringing the total number up to 1,539.