THE Barry and District reported last week that I had been given two Government roles in the Prime Minister's reshuffle: firstly I was appointed as a Wales Office Minister as well as a Government Whip.

Since that time, I have been humbled by the number of calls and emails from constituents, including political friends and opponents, who have wished me well with the appointments.

I hope I can use these roles to make a positive difference to our immediate community - and beyond. I am determined to remain as active in Barry and as committed to local issues as I have always been.

My new role has involved me in the Armed Forces Covenant review. This is where the MoD, forces' charities and ministers come together to confirm that the government is meeting its obligations to our servicemen and women. Barry has a proud tradition of supporting the Armed Forces and this was an opportunity to highlight local and national priorities in housing, training and meeting health needs- particularly after the fall out of conflict.

The NATO summit is also an issue that the Wales Office is involved with. It is to be held at the Celtic Manor and is the largest Conference the UK has ever organised. It will involve 70 heads of state, 70 Foreign Ministers, Defence Ministers, Chiefs of Defence and other dignitaries. Each nation will be bringing hundreds or even thousands of staff. There will be 1500 journalists alone.

To play a part in the planning is a privilege. We need to highlight how local businesses can benefits from this.

Two community surgeries in Barry were also part of my week’s agenda. This is where residents come together as a group to highlight their views and concerns on local and national issues. These are in addition and are an alternative to the one to one format that is more traditional model-where help with a specific, personal problem is sought.

All in all, it is an absolute privilege and delight to have been appointed to these roles. I want to use them to help and serve local communities in a more effective way.