ON the weekend it was great to join the Mayor of Penarth, Cllr Jon Luxton, and so many friends from our fantastic community who are all backing ‘Access Penarth’.

The new campaign, which was officially launched by Cllr Luxton at West House on Saturday, aims to make Penarth’s shops and services more accessible to all – and centres on a pledge that local businesses and service providers will be invited to sign and display in their window.

For people with a disability, illness or additional needs, barriers to access can come in many forms – whether it is limited physical access to buildings, or perhaps staff being unsure of how to respond to someone with a learning difficulty or dementia.

Creating a more accessible Penarth has the potential to really change lives, enabling more people to have greater choices and opportunities for participation – and thereby increasing people’s independence.

It will also benefit those businesses who adapt and make themselves welcoming to new customers.

It’s fantastic to see Penarth leading the way with this inspiring campaign, which has my full support.

Following the launch of Access Penarth, I headed out and about in town to speak with residents on the doorsteps about the forthcoming European elections, and to let them know about Welsh Labour’s excellent lead list candidates.

All four are pro-European and pro People’s Vote, and it was really good to meet so many Penarth residents who are also supportive of a public vote to have the final say on any Brexit deal.

It was also a pleasure on Friday to attend a special event for armed forces veterans, run by Cardiff and Vale Action for Mental Health, at Maindy Barracks in Cardiff.

The event aimed to introduce veterans to some of the wide range of organisations and public services that offer support to the armed forces family in Cardiff and the Vale.

As well as well-known national charities like the Royal British Legion and SSAFA, and representatives of the MoD and local authorities, a number of local specialist groups were also there including Woody’s Lodge and the Welsh Veterans Partnership, and other organisations that run special projects for veterans including the Cardiff City FC Foundation.

It was an incredibly useful event, and a pleasure to catch up with so many friends from the armed forces community who do so much to support our local veterans.