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Merthyr expansion beat 'a number of European sites'

The Economy Minister has described news of an expansion in Merthyr Tydfil as 'an extremely important investment for Wales', adding that the location beat off stiff competition from a number of other sites in Europe.

It will provide a substantial boost to the local economy, creating more than 220 new skilled jobs in one of our priority economic sectors, offering a range of employment opportunities for local people.

The company's decision sends out a strong and clear message that Wales offers a first class environment for industry investment and that the Welsh Government is committed to supporting business growth. This multi-million pound investment will also help secure the firm’s longer term future in Wales and create additional economic benefits for local businesses.

– Edwina Hart AM


Exhaust systems firm set to create 224 Merthyr jobs

More than 200 jobs are set to be created at a new manufacturing facility in Merthyr Tydfil.

Vehicle exhaust systems firm Tenneco-Walker has announced it is expanding to High Point at Dowlais Top, creating 224 jobs and maintaining a further 36.

The company already has a base in Tredegar, employing around 190 people.

The investment, described by Economy Minister Edwina Hart as a 'major project for Wales', has been supported by the Welsh Government.

Police: Thoughts remain with family of Merthyr two

Police have thanked the Troedyrhiw community for their co-operation during an investigation into the deaths of Joanne Thomas and her four-month-old baby Harper.

An open verdict was recorded today at inquest.

This verdict brings what has been an extremely thorough police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of both Joanne and her baby to a conclusion.

I would like to thank the community for their co-operation during what were very tragic circumstances.

Our thoughts, as always remain with the family at this very difficult time.

– Detective Inspector Tudor Thomas, South Wales Police

Mother and baby 'had been dead for at least a week'

Joanne Thomas was found in her bed alongside four-month-old Harper

A mother and her baby daughter who were on Social Services' radar had been dead for at least a week before their bodies were discovered, an inquest has heard.

Joanne Thomas was found in her bed alongside four-month-old Harper at their terraced home in Troedyrhiw, South Wales, last July.

Aberdare Coroner's Court heard concerns had been raised weeks before, after 27-year-old Miss Thomas failed to take Harper for her injections.

The bodies were found in a house at Troedyrhiw last July Credit: ITV Wales

A social worker told acting coroner Andrew Barkley he tried to visit Miss Thomas on three occasions before their bodies were found, as well as sending out letters and attempting to contact her family.

The bodies were eventually formally identified via dental records and DNA testing - with a top pathologist saying it was "impossible" to say who had died first.

Police later ruled out foul play, as well as discounting the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning - after "slightly raised levels" were found in the blood of smoker Miss Thomas' blood and her baby.

A coroner was told Miss Thomas regularly complained of feeling unwell in the weeks leading up to her death and may have been vomiting blood.


'Multi million pound investment' for Merthyr and RTC

The Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty, Vaughan Gething, will highlight more than £20 million of Welsh Government investment over the next two years to support Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff's most deprived communities.

Speaking at a special event looking at efforts to address poverty in south Wales, he will outline the number of initiatives in place to help the most vulnerable and improve their life chances.

The Welsh Government is facing unprecedented cuts. By 2015 -16 our budget will be nearly £1.7 billion less than it was in 2010 - 11.

Despite this, we are determined to invest in our most deprived communities to help improve health, education and life chances.

That is why we have a multi-million pound investment support package in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff. We are committed to helping people have a better chance of finding work and supporting parents facing the reality of managing on tight budget.

We know that the UK Government's welfare reform agenda is hitting hard with less help for hardworking parents as cuts to tax credits, cuts in help with childcare costs and the bedroom tax really bite.

The Welsh Government's approach is based on a different set of values and priorities. We know that to make the biggest possible difference to people's lives all of us across the public and voluntary sector need to work together much more effectively.

– Vaughan Gething, Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty

Welsh Govt investment to help deprived communities

More than £20m is being invested to support Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taff's most deprived communities Credit: PA

The Welsh Government is investing more than £20 million over the next two years to support Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff's most deprived communities, the Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty Vaughan Gething will highlight today.

The minister will outline the number of initiatives in place to help the most vulnerable and improve their life chances.

The investment includes the Welsh Government's flagship programme to help those living in the poorest areas of Wales, Communities First.

It works to improve health, prosperity and encourages access to education and learning. Communities First in Merthyr Tydfil will receive £1.9 million, while Rhondda Cynon Taff will get £5 million.

The policy works alongside 'Families First' which is aimed at improving the way agencies work together and places a clear emphasis on early intervention for families, particularly those living in poverty, to help stop problems from escalating towards crisis.

Merthyr Tydfil is to receive £1,170,000 for Families First, while Rhondda Cynon Taff £3.8 million.

Both areas will also benefit from the expansion of Flying Start that supports children have the right start in life.

It provides eligible parents free quality childcare for children under the age of four, parenting support, an enhanced health visitor service and help with their children's early language development.

Pontsticill forest fire out after seven hours

A forest fire at Pontsticill, Merthyr Tydfil, which has been burning for much of the afternoon is now out.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze involving around 180 hectares of mountainside was deliberately set.

Firefighters tackle 10km blaze at Pontsticill, Merthyr

Fire crews are fighting a forest fire approximately 10km in size at Pontsticill Reservoir, near Merthyr Tydfil.

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