From Stephen Kinnock MP <[email protected]>
Subject September 2022 Newsletter
Date October 4, 2022 10:06 AM
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** September 2022 Newsletter

** Tribute to HM Queen Elizabeth II

On behalf of the people of Aberavon, I was honoured to pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen.

I spoke of the deep connection she had with the British people, and of her selfless commitment to public service:

"The Queen will always be remembered by our nation and by the world as the epitome of loyalty, humility and grace. She always put service to her country above all else, and we shall never forget her duty-first, no-nonsense approach to everything that she did. Her unique talent lay in her ability to connect with the nation and to reflect our thoughts, our hopes and our fears. She inspired affection and respect, and she was a source of comfort to us all.

"The last seven decades have been times of seismic political, economic and social change, and throughout these turbulent years Her Majesty was a beacon of consistency and stability. She never failed to steady the ship. She was the personification of keeping calm and carrying on. Indeed, her leadership during the pandemic was testament to this."

Following the tribute I travelled to Port Talbot for the proclamation. It was wonderful to see so many at our Civic Centre, for the ceremony to proclaim King Charles III as our sovereign. There were lovely readings in Welsh and English, followed by rousing renditions of the national anthems.

I was also honoured to attend, on behalf of the people of Aberavon, the Presentation of the Addresses in Westminster Hall today. The two Speakers (Lords and Commons) spoke on behalf of Parliament, and King Charles III responded on behalf of the Crown.

** Plaza Visit
It was so great to visit the iconic Plaza, and to be given a tour of the renovated building by YMCA Port Talbot.

The Plaza’s transformation into a community hub with café, gym, office space, hot desking, hall, multi-purpose rooms, conference area and digital recording studio will be a game-changer for our town.

The design is also amazing – I was so impressed by how they’ve restored the iconic façade and entrance and combined it with modern facilities for the whole community to use – subtly blending our proud heritage with our exciting future. Absolutely superb!

Culture, well-being, business and community, all in one place – what an amazing hub the Plaza is going to be.
Hugely looking forward to it opening in a few weeks.

** Behind The Scenes On
Same But Different Set

I really enjoyed seeing behind the scenes of the latest community film from Afan Arts, Same But Different. Some incredibly talented Port Talbot youngsters are working alongside professional actors to bring the story to life. I’m really pleased that my annual funding fair helped Afan Arts secure the funding for this project. I can’t wait to see the finished film!

** JES Group Visit

It was great to visit local engineering business JES Group on Phoenix Wharf. They started out with a small workforce and workshop in Taibach in 1982, since then they’ve grown the business and now employ over 100 people in skilled jobs and provide apprenticeship opportunities. It was impressive to see the engineering and maintenance work they do for Tata Steel and other businesses across the UK. A real Aberavon success story.

** Local Hero Ravi Sanghera

It was great to visit Ravi Sanghera who owns Sandfields Stores to thank him for the support he gave to staff and patients at Rushcliffe Hospital during the pandemic. In the lockdown Ravi delivered essentials to them and made donations of food and drink such as chocolate eggs at Easter, boxes of chocolate at Christmas, and bottles of water and fizzy drinks during the summer months.

It was moving to hear from Sara and David from Rushcliffe Hospital about the impact Ravi’s kindness and generosity had on patients and the staff, and how much it means to them.

Aberavon has a legendary community spirit which shone through during the pandemic, and it’s local heroes like Ravi who are at the heart of it.

** ABP Visit To Port Talbot Harbour

There were some spectacular views of Aberavon from the sea when I went out on a cutter with Associated British Ports (ABP), to hear more about their plans to turn Port Talbot into a Welsh superpower in the generation of renewable energy.

At the heart of this exciting vision for the future of our town is a cutting-edge technology called Floating Off-shore Wind (FLOW). Traditional off-shore wind turbines are fixed to the sea bed, whereas FLOW turbines are built on floating sub-structures that are far more cost effective to build and flexible to deploy.

Port Talbot’s steel works, deep sea harbour, excellent transport connections, existing manufacturing supply chains and skilled workforce mean we’re uniquely placed to be at the forefront of the FLOW project, which will create thousands of skilled local jobs and will place Port Talbot at the forefront of the green industrial revolution.

These plans could be transformative for Port Talbot, but support from the UK government is going to be a crucial pre-condition for drawing in private sector investment, so that the FLOW project can get off the ground.

** Merchant Navy Day 2022

I was privileged to lay a wreath to honour and remember the hard work and sacrifice of Port Talbot’s Merchant Navy seafarers. It was touching to hear the stories of some of those from Port Talbot who paid the ultimate price.

I pay tribute to and thank all those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

** This Month In Parliament
Vulnerable Afghan Groups

Straight after Summer recess I spoke in Home Office questions about the debt of honour and gratitude we owe loyal-to-Britain Afghans.

Yet with 10,000 Afghans still stuck in bridging hotels, Operation Warm Welcome has become Operation Cold Shoulder.

The Minister had nothing to say about broken promises to brave LGBT+ Afghans & women judges.

** Media Highlights

It was great to be on WalesCast and talk about rising energy costs and what Labour would do to help households with those costs. We also discussed strikes and the key priorities for the new Prime Minister.
South Wales Evening Post - British Economy

I wrote in the South Wales Evening Post about how the Tory leadership contest has exposed the party’s deep disdain for hard-working people, and also revealed the deep-seated flaws at the heart of the Tory mind-set.

Fundamentally both Truss and Sunak support the low-investment, low-growth, low-wage, race-to-the-bottom economic model that has held Britain back for the past 12 years.

This downward spiral - combined with over-reliance on illicit finance from Russia and supply chains from China - not only left us ill-prepared for a pandemic or war in Europe but also unable to sustain the level of growth we need to generate the wealth to invest in jobs and public services.

Keir Starmer’s recent speech in Liverpool – promising to put “growth, growth, growth” at the heart of Labour’s agenda – shows that the British Labour Party is now prepared to tackle the big issues that our economy faces.

** Contact Details

You can get in touch with us by calling the office on 01639 897660.

Alternatively please send an email to stephen.kinn[email protected] (mailto:[email protected] )

We are not currently operating a drop-in surgery in the office, but you can book a call-back or Teams appointment with a caseworker, Monday to Friday, by completing this form [link removed]

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All the best,

Stephen Kinnock
MP for Aberavon

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MP for Aberavon
Water Street Business Centre
Water Street
Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot SA12 6LF
United Kingdom

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