The UK Conservative Government is focused on taking the long-term decisions to strengthen Wales. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has delivered a Budget that puts more money in the pockets of millions of people and signals this government’s continued ambition to deliver for the whole of Wales. A further 2p cut in the rate of National Insurance means Welsh workers will be around £642 better off each year, while families will gain an extra £1,260 in child benefits – plus freezes to fuel duty and alcohol duty. The acquisition of Wylfa as a site for new nuclear development is fantastic news for the Welsh economy, with £5m announced for cultural facilities in Newport. Around £170m of new funding is making its way to Wales on top of the biggest block grant - £18bn – in the history of devolution. I hope Labour will use this money wisely. In fact, there would be even more in the coffers if the Welsh Government stopped wasting money on creating extra politicians and other vanity projects.


Since officially opening in May last year, The Village Café at Caerwent Baptist Chapel has gone from strength to strength. This wonderful community project provides a warm and friendly atmosphere for everyone. There is a tasty breakfast selection, as well as delicious homemade cakes, and prices are extremely affordable. It was a pleasure to visit alongside local Councillor Phil Murphy on Friday morning. The café seats 60 people and gets very busy - in a good way! It is open every Friday from 9:30am until 12 midday. Pastor Gwydion Emlyn and the team of volunteers will serve up a very warm welcome indeed.


Over in Mitchel Troy, the Whittall family are flying the flag for traditional farming methods. Square Farm proudly boasts a flourishing farm shop packed full of homegrown organically produced beef, lamb, pork, eggs and seasonal fruit and vegetables - as well as an expanding range of selected local produce from the Wye Valley and surrounding areas. There is everything from a Ecover refill station to cupboard staples. What started off as selling boxes of lamb has become bigger and bigger, with plans now submitted for a new farm shop building and car park. Father and son duo Rob and Ryan Whittall showed me around their gem of a shop, which is one of Monmouthshire’s best kept secrets, before I stocked up on some goodies to take home. For more information, visit