National Highways delivered on its promise of moving the A40 road closure in Monmouth overnight on Thursday (28 March). The single lane closure, which has been in place for nearly two months following a landslip near Ganarew, is now north of Dixton roundabout and further along the road towards the Wales-England border.

It was a welcome boost ahead of the four-day Easter bank holiday, helping to ease tailbacks and congestion on the approach to the roundabout. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for the traffic misery grinding Monmouth to a halt as major roadworks continue. It really would be a lot easier if Monmouthshire County Council suspended work on its active travel route at the bottom end of town until Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has finished replacing the aging Victorian mains water pipe.

An even better show of support for our beleaguered traders would be if the council offered three hours of free parking to encourage shoppers to continue using the high street.

 There has been considerable debate following the Welsh Government’s decision to vote down a proposal to introduce a recall mechanism for Members of the Senedd. The Recall of MPs Act was introduced in Westminster almost a decade ago and sets out the procedure for recalling elected representatives who fall short of the expected standards.

At present, such a mechanism does not exist for Members of the Senedd. I have therefore written in my capacity as Secretary of State for Wales to new First Minister Vaughan Gething, offering UK Government assistance in helping to introduce a similar recall mechanism. I believe the Senedd would have much to learn from the UK parliamentary experience and hope the First Minister is open to meeting with me to discuss taking this idea forward.

 I recently highlighted the hypocrisy of the Welsh Labour Government for ordering farmers to give up 10 per cent of their land for tree planting at the same time it is felling 850,000 tonnes of trees for timber every year in forests it owns.

Since that came out, I have been contacted by a constituent who tells me not only are trees being chopped down – but it is happening during bird nesting season, which started at the beginning of March. I have been in touch with the new Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change to find out more and do not wish to make any accusations until this has been confirmed one way or another. But if correct, there are serious questions to be asked.