I AM very pleased to hear the school estate in Monmouthshire has been given a clean bill of health with confirmation of no reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

It was always felt that the risk of RAAC in our local schools was low, but it is good news to have this officially announced.

However, it still leaves an interesting question.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said RAAC is “not by itself a source of danger” if it is “properly manufactured, properly installed and properly maintained”.

Labour in England, on the other hand, said RAAC is unsafe and the “crumbling concrete crisis” is entirely the fault of the UK Conservative Government.

There is an obvious contradiction between the Welsh Labour Government and Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, although at least we can all agree pupils, teachers and staff are safe here in Monmouthshire. So I will leave it for now.

Many of us, myself included, have a connection to the steel industry.

My first job after leaving school was at British Steel, albeit it as a junior filing clerk.

It is no secret that Tata Steel is losing over £1m a day on the blast furnaces powered by fossil fuels at its Port Talbot plant.

If the UK Government had not stepped in with a grant of £500m to build a new electric arc furnace, Tata were looking to close the plant and pull out of the UK.

I am not going to shy away from the fact there will be thousands of job losses – which is a huge blow.

But the alternative would have seen the steel industry in Wales come to a complete end with devastating consequences.

Not only would Port Talbot have closed but other plants across the UK would have gone too, which would immediately have cost 8,000 jobs plus around 12,500 jobs in the supply chain.

As well as helping to secure a sustainable long-term future for the Port Talbot plant, we are also putting together a fund and a transformation board to support both affected employees and the local economy with funding up to £100m.

It is a far from ideal situation.

But what we have is a commitment from Tata to stay in Wales and a plan which does at least mean there will be jobs going forward to produce steel in a much less carbon intensive method.