Last month – I discussed the education funding shortfall in the Vale – a subject I hope you’ll forgive me for revisiting.

I recently attended a meeting with Vale Council Leader John Thomas, Cabinet Member for Education Bob Penrose and Dr Vince Browne – chair of the Schools Budget Forum.

All Barry AMs and MPs were invited –and it was great to see my colleagues Alun Cairns MP and David Melding AM take the time to attend.

We discussed the way the Vale’s funding is calculated – with a formula dating back to 1991.

The Welsh Government work out our funding through a number of service based calculations – known as Indicator Based Assessments.

For education – the Vale already spends £548 per pupil more than the Welsh Government’s IBA – so Ministers in Cardiff Bay think local pupils should be given even less!

This creates an annual shortfall of £3m –made up by reallocating monies from other budgets.

The consensus was clear – things need to change.

We get £200 less per pupil than the next lowest funded authority – Newport.

For just one comprehensive school in the Vale to get the Welsh average – it would cost an extra £600,000 – equivalent to a 1% rise in council tax.

We should not be short changed any longer. It’s time the Welsh Government give us the funding we deserve. 

Barry residents who use the train to travel for work or leisure have probably come across Arriva Trains Wales’ “Revenue Protection Team”.

Over the past 18 months – several constituents have contacted me who have been dealt with in an unfair manner.

Those who deliberately fare dodge should of course suffer tough consequences for their actions – but there is a difference between them and people who have a genuine reason for not having a ticket.

One constituent was fined because they had travelled from Birmingham – with a ticket to Cardiff Central.

They then took a Valley Lines service to get home – and were fined for not having a ticket for this part of the journey.

That was despite there not being an opportunity to buy one – since there is no ticket office between platforms at Cardiff Central – and the conductor did not come down the train.

When the constituent appealed – it was Arriva who determined it – and it was rejected.

I’m therefore pleased a new system has now been introduced – where people can challenge such fines through an independent committee.

Once the process starts – the 21-day payment deadline will pause – until the outcome is decided.

I hope this will ensure passengers are treated fairly – and not exploited by an intimidating system.

Easter Sunday was obviously a day of celebration – but one thing you may not have realised was that the RAF celebrated its 100th anniversary.

It was revolutionary on its launch – shaping the forces of the future.

It recruited officers from all backgrounds – based on merit.

I’m sure you’ll all join me in paying tribute to our brave RAF servicemen and women who put themselves at risk to keep our country safe.