Nick Smith

Working for you in Blaenau Gwent

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What a difference an election campaign can make. In two months we’ve gone from the very real threat of a Tory landslide to a Government barely able to hold itself together. Strong and stable turned out to be weak and wobbly.

For my part, I am honoured and humbled to have been returned as Blaenau Gwent’s MP. From the leadership down, the Labour campaign inspired people and offered an alternative to crushing austerity.

Week by week you could feel the support rise on the doorstep.   During the campaign I argued we need as many Labour MPs as possible to make a difference in Parliament. Just the past two weeks have proven that argument resoundingly.  Theresa May has already dropped flagship commitments made during the election campaign.

From social care to grammar schools, from cuts to Winter Fuel Payments to attacks on pensions, policies have been scrapped because she cannot get them through Parliament.   These changes were only possible because people in places like Blaenau Gwent voted Labour.

Now it is up to myself and my colleagues across Britain to provide the opposition this country needs.

To keep blunting or overturning Tory policies that attack ordinary people, or benefit the few at the expense of the many, in the weeks and months ahead.  As well as being part of the Labour opposition in Parliament, there is also a job of work to be done to make sure Blaenau Gwent’s voice is heard.

This is important as Brexit looms and core questions are asked about how our country works.

In Blaenau Gwent, we have been on the receiving end of EU support for many years.

It has been instrumental in so many of our public developments. Between 2006 and 2016, it has been credited with creating 310 new businesses in Blaenau Gwent.

This is why the question of future funding is fundamental.

It’s not just about the roads, schools and hospitals it has helped build – though that’s a massive part.

It’s the business support and job creation too. We have to make sure that these funding streams aren’t allowed to dry up as part of Brexit.

A vital part of these talks has to involve Britain ensuring places like Blaenau Gwent get the support it needs, and I’ll be shouting the odds to make sure we’re not forgotten.

My latest column for the South Wales Argus

What a difference an election campaign can make. In two months we’ve gone from the very real threat of a Tory landslide to a Government barely able to hold itself...

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Students in Blaenau Gwent got the chance to grill one of the top politicians dealing with Brexit one year on from the EU referendum.

The Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone welcomed Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, on the one anniversary of the EU referendum.

In a spirited session students asked questions on everything from the single market and freedom of movement to the future of funding for Blaenau Gwent.

Nick Smith, the MP for Blaenau Gwent who helped set up the event, said the quality of debate from the young people involved was proof of the talent in the area.

“In all the years I’ve been an MP and been involved in politics, this was one of the most interesting and clued-up debates I’ve ever taken part in”, he said.

“The young people are passionate and care about our area and its future. I was also pleased to hear Keir talk about how Labour would protect EU funding.

“It’s been a lifeline for Blaenau Gwent for so long, driving improvements to our road networks and helping build new schools and a hospital.

“With the Tories in power, I’ll be pressing them on not only securing EU funding in the years ahead but also how we can target it in the best way possible.

“People in places like Blaenau Gwent haven’t always seen the benefit of the money pumped into the borough by Europe. We need to make sure that changes in future.”

Speaking after the visit, Sir Keir was full of praise for the young people involved and said it only added to his resolve to fight for a fair deal for the whole country to unite behind.

“This was a fantastic visit to the college, talking to students and getting into a real debate about Brexit,” he said.

“It’s absolutely reinforced my opinion we need to revisit the issue of votes for 16 and 17 year olds. They were so switched on and well informed. It’s a real testament to the staff here.”

Shadow Brexit Secretary visits Blaenau Gwent

  Students in Blaenau Gwent got the chance to grill one of the top politicians dealing with Brexit one year on from the EU referendum.

Nick Smith MP has led a group of Welsh MPs urging the Welsh Government to support the Circuit of Wales as Ministers decide the future of the project.

In his first act since being returned as the MP for Blaenau Gwent, Mr Smith has written to the First Minister and the Cabinet in Cardiff to ask them to seriously consider the “gamechanging” Ebbw Vale development.

Co-signed by eight other MPs from across South Wales, Mr Smith argues that the Circuit would build on the strong public investment by the Welsh Government in local transport, would boost Wales’s cultural offer on the world stage and most importantly transform the surrounding economy for the better.

Mr Smith said with just a short time until the decision was made on the circuit, it was important to make the case one more time for a good deal for the region.

“It’s been a long journey just to get to this point, and the Welsh Government have helped when several pitfalls threatened to derail the whole thing,” he said.

“I don’t want a bad deal for Blaenau Gwent. I want the developers to deliver on their vision and promises, not take any old proposal.

“But if their business case holds water, I trust the Welsh Government will realise the impact this project could have and take it forward.”

Mr Smith has been supporting the Circuit of Wales development in his time as an MP, including calls for Government backing in Parliament.

He has also hosted the Welsh Minister at the proposed site, defended the project at a public inquiry and held a parliamentary reception to bring MPs and developers together.

The other MPs to co-sign the letter are Chris Bryant (Rhondda), Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley), Wayne David (Caerphilly), Chris Elmore (Ogmore), Carolyn Harris (Swansea East), Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney), Owen Smith (Pontypridd) and Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen). 

Nick Smith writes in support of Circuit of Wales

Nick Smith MP has led a group of Welsh MPs urging the Welsh Government to support the Circuit of Wales as Ministers decide the future of the project.


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