HERE'S the latest column by Vale of Glamorgan MS Jane Hutt:

I WANT to send my best wishes to all of the students and pupils returning to school and college this month.

I welcome the £100m announced by the Education Minister Jeremy Miles MS when term started last week to help make schools and colleges more Covid secure and environmentally friendly.

I also welcome the additional £18m he announced to support learners with ALN to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

It is also great to see the joint investment of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Welsh Government in the new Pencoedtre High School which opened its doors recently with the ‘state of the art’ 21st century facilities I saw when I visited last year with Councillor Lis Burnett.

Next month the new members of the Welsh Youth Parliament will meet for the first time. Young people in Wales had the opportunity to elect their youth representatives in November 2021.

By participating in issue based politics, children and young people will get to experience first-hand how politics works and the direct effect it can have on their lives.

I would like to congratulate those elected from the Vale of Glamorgan. Evie Kwan represents the Vale.

Dan Downton was elected as a partner member on behalf of the National Deaf Children’s Society. Seth Burke represents Ty Hafan.

I want to wish Seth who has recently recovered from Covid well and I look forward to meeting with everyone over the next few months.

In this year’s Local Government elections, which will be held in May, 16 & 17 year olds will be able to vote for their local councillors for the first time.

It is so important that young people engage with politics and are given the opportunity to voice what is important to them and influence decisions which effect them.