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Caerphilly community is most deprived in Wales

A community in Caerphilly has been ranked as the most deprived in Wales.

The area labelled as St. James 3, which includes the Lansbury Park estate, has taken the top position in the new Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.

This is part of the St. James 3 area, which official figures say is the most deprived in Wales. Credit: Google Street View

The index for 2014 - released today - measures factors like income, housing, health, education and access to services.

2011's most deprived community, in Rhyl West, is now in second place.

Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil have the highest concentration of deprived communities across Wales.

South Africa name team to face Wales on Saturday

South Africa have named a strong side to face Wales in the final autumn international on Saturday.

There are eight changes to the team that beat Italy 22-6 last weekend. The Springboks have also lost to Ireland and beaten England in November.

The Springboks won both Tests during Wales' summer tour of South Africa in June, but Warren Gatland's side pushed them very close in the second, before losing 31-30.

South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer predicted his team will face a "tough end to our season" at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales are due to name their line-up tomorrow.

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First Minister urged to ‘set record straight’ on waiting times

A Welsh Conservative AM says NHS waiting times in Wales can be compared to those in England, despite Welsh Government claims that they’re calculated differently.

Darren Millar has written to the First Minister urging him to ‘set the record straight’ on remarks he’s made about different starting times used to work out when a waiting time begins.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Carwyn,

I write to you following my oral question on NHS improvement in the Senedd on Tuesday November 25th. At that point, I raised the serious issue of overlong waiting times in Wales and your own comments on comparison with England.

When confronted with hugely alarming statistics on waiting times here, as opposed to better performance in England, you have consistently claimed that comparison is not possible as a ‘chunk of time is missing’ in England’s statistics. Speaking during recent broadcast media appearances you have repeatedly claimed that the clock in England starts ticking ‘when a patient sees a consultant’; but this is not the case.

Regrettably, there is no time missing; there is no difference in when the clock begins to tick. I am afraid that the comparison really is as bad as it seems.

In September – with reference to incomplete pathways – 14.3% of Welsh patients had been waiting more than 26 weeks from GP referral to the start of treatment whilst in England just 2% had waited that long and some 93.5% had been seen within 18 weeks.

In the same period – with reference to complete pathways – just 78.3% of patients had been seen in less than 26 weeks in Wales whilst in England, that figure stood at 95.9 per cent (admitted adjusted).

I am confident that you did not wish to purposely mislead viewer and listeners, and I am equally confident that you will set the record straight on this issue and properly clarify your remarks.

Yours,

Darren

– Darren Millar AM, Conservative

Lines open: The People’s Millions ITV Cymru Wales: Wednesday vote

Lines are now open for Day 3 of voting in The People’s Millions competition.

Today on ITV Cymru Wales, Bala Castle Street Playground goes head to head with Heronsbridge Re-Cycles.

A grant of up to £50,000 is up for grabs for the winner.

The other project is still in with a chance of winning National Lottery cash if it gets the highest number of runner-up votes.

Details of how to vote are here.

The People's Millions Credit: People's Millions

The People’s Millions is a long-running collaboration between ITV and the Big Lottery Fund.

We want to help projects that capture the public’s imagination, inspire local people to get involved and to make a lasting difference to those in their area through improvements to the neighbourhood.

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South African team to play Wales announced later

The South African team to play Wales in their final Autumn International is due to be announced later.

Warren Gatland will be looking for a more positive performance against South Africa. Credit: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport

Wales will be looking to end the series on a high following defeats to Australia and New Zealand, as well as an unconvincing win over Fiji.

There's been pressure building on head coach Warren Gatland recently, with the New Zealander losing 27 of 28 matches to southern hemisphere sides.

Yesterday defence coach Shaun Edwards reacted angrily to questions regarding Gatland's record.

The match kicks off this Saturday at the Millennium Stadium at 2:30pm.

'Rare' crab found off coast of Barmouth

Credit: Blue Planet Aquarium

A 'rare' sponge crab has been found three miles off the coast of Barmouth.

The bizarre-looking crustacean was hauled up in the pots of lobster fisherman Richard Workman and has been donated to an aquarium.

The Blue Planet Aquarium says the crabs get their name because they hold living sponges, which they also cut to fit, on top of their shells as a way of camouflaging themselves from would-be predators.

Staff say they're more commonly seen off the West coast of Africa or in the Mediterranean.

But in recent years their numbers have been increasing in British waters and they may now be permanent residents around our coasts.

“We’re very grateful to the fisherman for donating it to us. They really are amazing creatures and this one is a particular fine specimen, measuring around 10cms long.

Sponge crabs have two pairs of modified legs tipped with needle-like pincers which they use to secure sponges which sit on their backs. They are quite adept at moving sponges over the whole of their body to enable them to hide.

However, this means that they only have two pairs of legs to walk on so they tend to also use their front claws to assist them with walking.

Their bodies, claws and legs are completely covered in a thick furry 'felt' except for the tips of their claws which are a vivid 'rose pink'!

– Stacy Adams, Blue Plant Aquarium
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