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Caerphilly Council criticised for acting 'unlawfully'

Caerphilly Council has once again been criticised for acting unlawfully by the Auditor for Wales.

In March, it faced investigation after chief officers were awarded a pay rise worth £270,000.

This time, it's for paying them to buy out their entitlements to annual leave and car user allowances.

The auditor found the council acted without proper authority and clear record keeping. Unions are calling for a speedy investigation into the council's motives. Alexandra Lodge reports.

From Middle Earth to Bargoed: Hollywood actor comes home

Children at a school in Bargoed got the chance to meet a Hollywood filmstar today. In his latest role, Welsh actor Luke Evans plays Bard the Bowman in second instalment of The Hobbit trilogy.

He returned to his hometown to share his experiences on the big screen and inspire around 60 pupils from Lewis School Pengam. Alexandra Lodge went along to meet him.

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Pupils get a taste of Hollywood with Hobbit actor visit

Luke Evans, who grew up in Caerphilly, visited a school to talk about his career Credit: ITV News/Alexandra Lodge

Pupils at a Caerphilly school got the chance to meet a Hollywood actor today, when one of the stars of 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' paid them a visit.

Luke Evans, who grew up in Caerphilly, was at Lewis School Pengam in Bargoed to talk about his work and how to develop a career in the film industry.

The event was part of the charity FILMCLUB's industry interaction programme, which enables young people from all backgrounds to have access to a creative professional while still at school.

Operation Santa to bring christmas cheer to Caerphilly

Caerphilly County Borough Council is hoping to bring the christmas cheer to around 800 children across the county. Volunteers are helping to sort, wrap and distribute over 2,500 parents today and tomorrow.

Operation Santa is being supported by homelessness charities Llamau, Action for Children, Home-Start and Gofal Cymru, who have nominated children to receive gifts.

Hepatitis C patients face 'difficult and distressing time'

The four women in total now known to have had Hepatitis C transmission from the former healthcare worker are being offered care and support by our specialist services.

We understand that this is a very difficult and distressing time for them and we would ask that everyone respects their need for compassion and confidentiality.

We are thankful that we have been able to reassure other women tested and are grateful to all the patients who came forward to take the test.

– Dr Gill Richardson, Director of Public Health for Aneurin Bevan Health Board

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Two further patients infected by Hepatitis C health worker

A former health worker who had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C is now known to have transmitted the virus to two other patients.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board launched an exercise in September after it was revealed that the worker, who was involved in obstetrics and gynaecology, had unknowingly passed on the virus to two people between 1984 and 2003.

They worked predominantly at Caerphilly District Miners' Hospital, but also for a short time at the old East Glamorgan Hospital in ChurchVillage near Pontypridd and Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Read: 5,500 called for Hepatitis C tests

Sapa blames market conditions for Bedwas closure plan

In light of the change to market conditions, our commitment to continue manufacturing in the UK remains strong. We believe that there is a need in the UK for a quality producer that can provide a level of service exceeding current customer expectations. Achievement of this goal is paramount in our future strategy.

We recognise the impact that this announcement will have on our colleagues at Bedwas. We very much hope that we can find alternatives to the proposal to close and will put every effort into doing so.

– Alain Couturier, Sapa Profiles UK

Pedestrian suffers 'life-threatening injuries' in collision

Gwent Police is appealing for information after a pedestrian suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision in Caerphilly county borough in the early hours of this morning.

It happened at around 3.30am on Bryn Road, Cefn Fforest, near Blackwood, and involved a black car.

A male pedestrian has been taken to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

The road has now re-opened.

Police are appealing for witnesses to contact 101.

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