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Council switches off street lights in Monmouthshire

Monmouthshire County Council is to switch off its street lights between midnight and 5am as part of a money-saving exercise.

The lights will be turned off from midnight tonight, affecting residential areas in Chepstow.

It is part of a wider initiative for the council to save £9m from its budget this financial year.

It has led to criticism from many locals, who fear turning off the lights will lead to a rise in road accidents.

But the council has defended its decision, claiming the cuts are unavoidable.

The scale of cuts for this year was such that we can't avoid making savings that could impact on the communities we serve. I understand entirely that many people won't like the idea of streetlights being turned off. But we have limited the hours when this will happen and I'm confident that we have done what we can to minimise the impact.

– Cllr Bryan Jones, Monmouthshire County Council

Latest unemployment figures for Wales due out

Unemployment figures are due out later this morning Credit: PA

The latest unemployment figures for Wales will be released later.

Last month youth unemployment numbers showed a reduction of nearly 10 per cent over the past year in the level of 16-17 year olds out of work.

In July, the inactivity rate in Great Britain was highest in Wales (25.7 per cent) and lowest in the East of England (19.3 per cent.)

Firefighters announce new strikes for August

Firefighters in Wales and England will stage a fresh series of strikes over eight days next month in their long-running dispute over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union said.

The union has been holding series of strikes over the past year in protest against government changes which it maintains will lead to firefighters working longer and having their pensions cut.

The latest strikes, from August 9, will be held for a few hours each day coinciding with the school holidays.