It was a pleasure to support Penarth Mayor Ken Lloyd’s coffee morning at West House recently.

The event was exceptionally well attended with people from across Penarth and beyond making the effort to pop along.

It was also good to see other towns across the Vale showing their support – with Llantwit Major represented by deputy mayor Peter Ellis.

As well as having an excellent range of coffee and cakes on offer there was also the opportunity to support this year’s Poppy Appeal with some of the ladies selling hand knitted poppies.

I have known Ken for a number of years and I always thought he’d make an excellent mayor.

I’m pleased to say he’s proving me right!

The event raised £152 for Ken’s chosen charities – Cancer Research UK and RNIB.

These are both close to Ken’s heart and it was good to see people giving so generously.

I look forward to supporting more events soon.

The Welsh Government have announced this week that works to upgrade the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road will go at least 23 per cent over budget.

This is deeply concerning because of the impacts I fear it will have on the overall transport budget.

We know how important infrastructure improvements are in the Eastern Vale with the Dinas Powys by-pass being a key example.

I have publicly welcomed and indeed praised the cabinet secretary’s willingness to engage on this project which is vital to solve traffic issues in Barry, Penarth, and Dinas Powys itself.

But I am concerned that if the Heads of the Valleys project goes over the budget – the money may not be there for others.

This is all down to mismanagement from the Welsh Government – which has been a shambles from the start.

I have made several warnings that the repeated delays would add to the project’s cost – and sadly this has turned out to be the case.

We all know how vital the Dinas Powys by-pass is – and be assured I’ll keep pushing for it.

We simply cannot let incompetence put the project under threat.

Small Business Saturday takes place this week and I hope you’ll all join me in shopping local in the run up to Christmas.

The campaign is now in its fifth year and it has been a huge success in getting people to support small businesses both here in Penarth and across the country.

We all know how vital small and medium sized businesses are to our economy.

They provide many jobs for local people and also mean we have a wide range of services and products to choose from.

But the sad reality when it comes to our high streets is quite simple – use it or lose it.

I know Saturday will be a busy one for most of you if you’re anything like me.

But if you plan your day correctly you won’t come unstuck.

Spend the morning supporting local businesses and spend the afternoon watching Wales beat South Africa!

What could possibly go wrong? …