It is the Welsh Assembly and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections this Thursday and it has never been more important to vote.
From time to time I hear "what is the point, you are all the same" or "I don't really believe in the Assembly" - two understandable reactions!
So rather than tell you who to vote for (which isn't really what my newsletters are about), I thought I would just list the things that the Assembly is now responsible for and leave the rest to you. These include:
The NHS (including GP's, dentists, ambulances etc.) education, transport, economic development, environment and agriculture in Wales.
So if you have strong views about Withybush or Glangwili Hospitals, local education, housing, tourism, job creation or the state of farming this election is vital.
Over 70% of us voted in the General Election last year, yet only 45% in the last Assembly election. So love it or loathe it, if we want to improve it please make that trip to the polling station this week.
The same goes for Police and Crime Commissioners, also up for election this week. Not everyone understands the role as it is still relatively new, but they have a direct impact on our communities. We are blessed that crime and anti-social behaviour have fallen further and faster here than anywhere else in Wales so please choose the candidate you think will continue that trend.
Recent events in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire include:
'Rolling the silver jack' at Pembroke Dock Bowls Club (pic left) to officially launch their season. Unfortunately it was too wet to get on the green but the welcome in the bar is as warm as anywhere in the county.
Taking part in a litter pick organised by the National Trust at Morfa Bychan near Pendine (pic right). I am now working with the Trust to try to solve problem s with illegal camping and fly tipping at the beauty spot.
I find it hard to grasp why anyone would make the effort to get to the beach only to leave mountains of rubbish including burnt out caravans and a trampoline.
Meeting new Oakwood Managing Director Phil Verbinnen, attending a Pembrokeshire Tourism summit at Withybush and speaking to Year 6 at Pembroke Dock Community School about the upcoming EU Referendum.
Organised a meeting attended by 85 people in Whitland about the roll-out of superfast broadband (pic left). We heard that the programme won't be complete for another 18 months and that 'take up' is worryingly only 12% in Carmarthenshire and 25% in Pembr okeshire.
This is one of the most important issues facing households and businesses in the area and we must keep BT Openreach to their promises.
Visiting mental health advocates Eiriol in Carmarthen to learn more about their crucial work in helping people and families with mental health issues.
Had an update from Argyle Street doctor's surgery in Pembroke about new ways in which patients can make an appointment - including walk-in and on-line booking. This follows pressure from Angela Burns and myself who have been inundated with complaints from patients who were finding it almost impossible to get through on the phone. (pic right)
In Westminster I have:
Held a Parliamentary debate about the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon which attracted cross party support and generated a lot of interest. If this project goes ahead it could bring vital engineering and construction jobs to South Pembrokeshire.
Met England cricket legend Stuart Broad (pic left) at a Sky Sports reception (I am old enough to remember his Dad playing).
Taken part in the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee investigations into the Animal Welfare Act including the trading of domestic animals, air quality and flooding. I also took part in a debate on the UK dairy industry.
Joined Port of Milford Haven's chief executive Alec Don at the British Ports Authority annual meeting to discuss future plans for the Port.
Further afield, my neighbouring MP, Jonathan Edwards, and I (pic right) made a two day visit to Washington DC to discuss trading agreements between the two countries.
We lobbied for US import restrictions to be lifted after they were placed on Welsh lamb 27 years ago because of fears about 'scrapie'. The US is one of the few remaining countries that refuses to import lamb from Wales.
As followers of this newsletter know, our area is world famous for its landscape and wildlife which is why I always have a camera in the car on my travels.
I'm not much of a photographer but I do quite like to capture interesting moments if I am lucky, like this rather grainy picture of a Peregrine falcon taken near to where I live.
What's coming up:
My next advice surgeries will be held in Pembroke Town Hall on 6th May, in Whitland on 20th May and in St Clears on 3rd June. Please call the office on 01994 242002 to make an appointment.
Contact me by emailing email@example.com or call 01994 242002. Up to date information and news can be found on my website simon-hart.com
You can also follow me on Facebook or Twitter @Simonhartmp
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Simon Hart, 15 St John Street, Whitland, Carmarthen, SA34 0AN United Kingdom
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Simon Hart MP
House of Commons
15, St John St
or 0207 219 3000