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Campaigners warn communities will 'die' if rural schools close

Campaigners have taken to the steps of the Senedd today, to hand over a petition calling for more money for education across Wales, particularly in rural schools, as they fear potential closures:

It's not just the school that close, the whole community dies when the school goes. Now what we're saying is the Welsh Government in their formula need to take this into account. I know they already do, but clearly not enough because otherwise so many schools wouldn't be being closed.

– Mary Compton, Organiser

Mary Compton, who has organised today's protest to save Powys' schools, believes this is a critical moment for education in rural areas.

She thinks the Welsh Government need to fight for more money from the UK Government, to fund schools.

Campaigners took to the Senedd steps today Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

But the Welsh Government say they're aware of the challenges rural schools face, and funding takes those additional costs into account:

It is important to note that despite UK Government budget cuts, the latest Treasury figures show that education spending per head in Wales is higher than it is in England.

“We have also delivered on our commitment to protect school budgets by 1% above changes to the Welsh block overall, providing an additional £106million for schools over the current Assembly term.

– A Welsh Government spokesperson

Next week, the Government will set out their spending plans for 2016-17, in their Draft Budget. Campaigners hope education spending will be a priority.

Flooding closes roads in Powys and Carmarthenshire

Roads have been closed in Powys and Carmarthenshire.

The A 483 is closed at Llandovery, Four Crosses and Builth Wells. The A485 is closed at Castle Caereinion as is the A470 at Llangurig.

The A487 Dyfi Bridge is closed at Machynlleth along with the A495 at Meifod.

The A4069 is also closed at Llangadog.

Woman dies following Powys crash

A woman has died following a crash on the A44 near the village of Walton in Powys, involving two vehicles.

Emergency services were called to the scene at 5:25pm on Wednesday.

Two men were also conveyed to hospital following the collision, with one being described as in a critical condition.

Next of kin and HM Coroner have been informed, and Dyfed Powys police are appealing for any witnesses.

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Man arrested on suspicion of murder in Mid Wales

An incident room has been set up in Llandrindod Wells police station Credit: PA

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder, after the death of a 31-year-old man in Mid Wales.

The man died in Temple Street, Llandrindod Wells in the early hours of Sunday 5th July.

His family have been informed.

Temple Street and Grosvenor Road are currently closed, and diversions are in place.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident, and have set up an incident room in Llandrindod Wells police station. They are asking anyone with information to contact them.

Disused tank caused Crickhowell oil spill

Officers from Natural Resources Wales have identified the cause of an oil spill, which let 3,500 litres of oil into a river near Crickhowell on Thursday.

Absorbent pads are being used to mop up the polluted water Credit: Natural Resources Wales

The cause of the spill has been traced to a disused oil tank.

The incident has already had a significant impact on the stream, killing many fish and affecting people's gardens.

We have traced the cause of the spill to a disused oil tank and have managed to stop the pollution at source. However, the oil that has already escaped into the ground may continue to seep into the stream via the culvert.We will be using more absorbent pads and booms over the weekend to try and contain and clean up as much of the oil as we can. It has already had a significant impact on the stream with around 150 fish already dead, including trout, bullhead and eels, but is so far not affecting the River Usk.We are continuing to investigate this incident and urge anyone who may have information to contact us.

– Rhys Hughes, Natural Resources Wales

Investigation as 3,500 litres of oil pollutes river

Officers say they're making efforts to prevent more oil reaching the river Credit: Natural Resources Wales

An investigation is taking place after an oil spill which has polluted approximately 850 metres of river in Crickhowell.

An estimated 3,500 litres of oil has escaped into the river, and the surrounding area, also affecting nearby gardens.

Officers at Natural Resources Wales say they're making efforts to prevent more oil reaching the river, but the impacts are already evident.

Many people called to report the incident earlier today, which is causing an oily sheen on top of the water and a strong odour.

The source of the pollution has been identified, but the oil has now worked its way downstream, affecting the main River Usk.

We are doing all we can to stop the pollution and to reduce its impact on fish and other wildlife which depend on it, as well as the local community who are being affected.Our officers have already spotted a few dead fish in the river, but we’re expecting to see more as the pollution moves through the system. Our team have put booms in place in the Cwm Beth to soak up as much of the pollution as possible.Our fisheries specialists are also currently conducting a full assessment of the river to help us determine the impact on the wildlife in the river.

– Rhys Hughes, Natural Resources Wales
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