Usk Show, held near the town since 1844, has been named in The Guardian newspaper’s top 10 best country shows across the UK. 

Rightly so. It is one of the highlights of the Welsh agricultural calendar and on Saturday, the annual late-summer rural fair returned in glorious sunshine. Crowds flocked to Usk Showground for a spectacular celebration of countryside life. The 100-acre site was full to the brim with families and visitors, which was fantastic to see. My congratulations go to the show committee, but also to the volunteers who work extremely hard all year to make sure this wonderful event enjoys continued success. It is a real gem in Monmouthshire’s crown.

Indeed, one of the great joys of being a Member of Parliament is meeting various groups and organisations. I have travelled the length and breadth of the constituency over the years, speaking to people from all different backgrounds and walks of life. From school classrooms to Women’s Institutes, I am always happy to come and talk about UK democracy and my government role. I was delighted to accept a recent invitation from Chepstow Probus Club to do just that and would like to thank members for their candid questions. I offer a ‘A Day in the Life’ presentation, which gives a behind the scenes look at the workings of Westminster and details what MPs get up to – both in their constituencies and in London. Afterwards, I open the floor for a Q&A session and it is usually a lively affair! I am often told more could be done by politicians to engage people with the democratic process and I relish the opportunity to give these talks throughout Monmouthshire. If you are interested and would like to book me in (!), please email [email protected]

Project Gigabit is the UK government’s mission to provide reliable, lightning-fast broadband to homes and businesses across the UK. Over 61 per cent of premises in the constituency already have access to gigabit-capable broadband and now a cross-regional procurement covering South East Wales has been launched, inviting suppliers to bid for funding to extend their networks further and connect hard-to-reach areas. I am pleased to be told a number of Monmouthshire premises are in scope to benefit. Building Digital UK (BDUK) is currently aiming to award a contract by June 2024. Once more details have been announced, I will provide an update via this column.