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Switching energy suppliers could save '£200 or more'

More than half a million Welsh households could save £200 or more by switching gas and electricity suppliers, new government figures suggest.

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But a recent poll found that only 6% of people in Wales realised they could save that amount by switching, with around one quarter estimating they would save £50 or less.

"With winter almost upon us, many consumers will be dreading higher energy bills... I'd urge consumers to take control of their energy bills before the cold weather starts to bite."

– Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch


Visitor numbers up at Cardiff Airport

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Cardiff Airport says passenger numbers in September were up by a fifth.It says over 25,000 more customers flew through Wales’ national Airport last month compared to 2014.

The level of growth has not been seen since 2006 and, it says, is set to continue into 2016.

The past four months have seen notable growth which is set to continue. The success of the new Flybe base plus strong load factors for airlines including KLM, Vueling, Aer Lingus and Thomson are also very encouraging.

– Lord Rowe-Beddoe, Chairman, Cardiff Airport

The airport was bought by the Welsh Government in March 2013.

Last month the Welsh Government hit back at concerns raised by UK Government officials about loans to the airport.

Plans to ease bottleneck go on display

Flooding in June 2012. Credit: PA Wire

Plans for an upgrade at one of Wales' most notorious traffic bottlenecks go on display today.

The A487, at Machynlleth, is regularly closed by flooding or damage by vehicles. That leads to long diversions and disruption.

The proposed £24m scheme consists of a new viaduct structure which will cross the River Dyfi upstream of the existing bridge near Machynlleth.

The A487 is an important part of the Welsh north-south and east-west trunk road network. However the current Dyfi Bridge creates a pinch-point on this important road. This new bridge will greatly improve safety, journey times and network resilience, while enabling the historic Grade II* listed original bridge to remain in place.

– Edwina Hart AM, Transport Minister

IT firm promises 100 jobs

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Information technology company Capgemini is planning to expand its operation at Treforest with a £17.1m investment aiming to bring 100 jobs.

The site will become the firm's primary centre for security sensitive projects for the private and public sectors.

The investment is over the next five years and is backed by Welsh Government Business Finance funding.

This is excellent news and I am delightedCapgemini is expanding its operations in Wales. Capgemini is a global IT brand that will bring high quality, well paid, and specialist technical development roles to the region. Capgemini’s decision to base this new operation in Wales sends out a very strong message about the expertise and availability of high level skills in Wales.

– Edwimna Hart AM, Economy Minister


'No ceiling to girls' career success'

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A conference in Wrexham today will hear that women and girls must not be deterred from pursuing careers in male-dominated industries, like science, technology and engineering.

The Girls Make a Difference conference aims to show careers in less traditional roles are accessible to women in Wales.

Over 100 year 12 and 13 girls from across Wales will meet with a range of successful women - from sportspeople, to engineers and Royal Air Force programmers, to get advice and guidance on how to make it to the top in non-traditional job roles and STEM careers.

Women make up 51% of our population in Wales and it is only right we see them fulfilling their potential and helping the Welsh economy to thrive.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Communities Minister

Latest section of Heads of Valleys Road opens

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It is one of South Wales' busiest routes but is also known for its accident blackspots.

A project to upgrade the Heads of the Valleys Road (A465) was given the green light on 1999.

Today the latest stage of the £800million dualling scheme will be officially opened

The Welsh Government says section three of the A465 dualling scheme, Brynmawr to Tredegar, costing £158million, will improve safety and journey times, as well as boost the economy of the region.

It says the 7.8km section of road, joint funded by itself and the EU, has been upgraded from a three lane road to a dual carriageway to alleviate the current issues of poor visibility, congestion, lack of overtaking opportunities and accident hotspots.

The Welsh Government recognises that improving our transport infrastructure is critical to improving Wales’ economic competiveness. The Heads of the Valleys route is vital to our ambitions for the regeneration of the region by reducing journey times and improving access to jobs and services. The A465 is a crucial artery of our transport network and the principal road link between West Wales and the Midlands. The dualling will also improve safety for all road users.

– Edwina Hart AM, Economy Minister

Debt tips for young people from Citizens Advice

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  • Work out a basic budget, including rent, gas, electricity, travel and food
  • Prioritise the most important bills. The consequences for not paying some debts, like rent or council tax, can be much more serious than for others, so paying these first is important. Once you have done that, you can look at your budget and work out how much can go towards other debts
  • Make the most of the offers available to young people. Under 25s can often get discounts on travel and you may not have to pay council tax if you are in full-time education or on an apprenticeship. Check for more information
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