SINCE my last report as chairman of the Milford Haven Enterprise Zone, I have been privileged to be asked to join the Government as a whip in the Lords. I am delighted, of course.

One very sad consequence of this appointment is that because of potential conflicts of interest I am obliged to resign from chairing the Murco Taskforce (though fortunately the work here is largely and successfully completed) and also from chairing the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone board.

I was very pleased and indeed honoured when the Minister, Edwina Hart asked me to take on these roles.

I believe that we have worked well together and I have immense personal and professional respect for her.

Since that time together with a board made up of excellent representatives and supported by some superb officials from Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire we have set about seeking to create a climate for lasting jobs in the area.

My board colleagues offer great expertise in a variety of areas which has been indispensable to our success.

They have supported me unerringly and without their efforts we would not be where we are today.

We have helped small businesses with rate relief, a new financial package from Finance Wales and with tailored business breakfasts to discuss issues of concern and to provide opportunities for networking.

Superfast broadband is being rolled out and I have had the chance to see what a difference this is making. It is extraordinary and helping our businesses greatly.

On training we have invested much time in putting together an innovative training scheme which will be formally launched in the autumn as well as investigating the opportunities of developing a training academy geared to meeting the requirements of the cruising industry.

Indeed cruising vessels are coming into Pembrokeshire more frequently and present a terrific opportunity to enhance jobs.

I have met with many businesses who are excited at the prospects of setting up in Pembrokeshire and of experiencing the first class quality of life that we have to offer.

More than anything I was delighted that working together we have brought the Murco situation to this juncture where we can look forward to the security of lasting jobs on the site.

Thank you to all involved on this - the union, the management and both governments working together supported by excellent officials.

I know that the future of the zone is in good hands as I pass the baton and once more massive thanks to friends and colleagues.


Former chairman of the Haven Waterway Enterprize Zone