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Protest due over plans to close day centre for elderly

A protest march is being held in Treharris today. It's in opposition to Merthyr Council's plans to close the village's day centre for the elderly.

The day centre is held in Treharris Boys' Club, which is 150 years old. There are concerns that jobs will be lost and the boys' club itself could close if income is lost.

Campaigners say this would then have a knock-on effect on other activities in the village such as the youth club and toddlers' group.

The council have yet to comment.

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Anti-fracking groups to gather at Senedd

Fracking has caused controversy in both here in Wales, and around the rest of the UK Credit: PA

Hundreds of campaigners are expected to gather outside the Senedd today to show their concerns against so-called 'fracking' in Wales.

'Fracking' is the term given to a technique used to release gas and oil from shale rock. It involves drilling down before fracturing layers of rock using a pressurised liquid.

Anti-fracking groups such say 'this is not an alternative energy source' and that "the money which is being in invested in ever more extremes of energy extraction should now go into clean energy'

The Welsh Government say given the challenges of the energy sector they understand there is a need to look at the potential of this type of energy resource. However, there is also a need to fully consider the impacts on communities and the environment.

Lack of A&E service due to 'doctor staffing shortages'

Aneurin Bevan Health Board says that the reason there can't be an accident and emergency department in Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr is because they can't "provide the doctors."

It says that the Caerphilly District Miners' Hospital, which has now closed, did not have the services in place that would support a full A&E service due to doctor staffing issues and so this means the Ystrad Mynach Hospital will also never operate an A&E.

It adds that the opening hours at the new hospital have been extended and there are now 8,000 extra patients being seen every a year. Other activities such as Out of Hours services with GPs and emergency medical admissions are also now supported there.

The model now in place for Ysbyty Ystard Fawr was subject to a long public consultation, prior to starting the construction of the new hospital.

It will be impossible for the hospital to provide doctor-led services for an A&E; there are already doctor vacancies for A&E services locally and significantly across South Wales. We already know that A&E doctors training posts will never be placed at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.

– Aneurin Bevan Health Board

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Calls for A&E department at Ystrad Mynach Hospital

Campaigners will take to the streets of Caerphilly today to campaign for an accident and emergency department at Ystrad Mynach Hospital.

Marching through Caerphilly with banners flying will put the campaign for an A&E on the map.

Everyone we tell about the campaign supports what we're doing. All we need to do is make sure that everyone knows about it.

– Brenda Tibbett, Campaigner

Posters and petitions have been taken around every pub and café in Caerphilly and Bedwas to raise awareness of the campaign, with 1700 joining the Facebook group 'A&E needed at Ystrad Mynach hospital'.

Every minute counts when you need emergency care. Delays waiting for an ambulance or having to travel a far distance yourself puts lives and longterm health at risk.

We've asked people to send in their experiences and we're collecting them as evidence of how important it is that we have a local 24-hour doctor-led A&E. Now, we're asking people to come march. Over 25,000 people marched in Lewisham recently for their hospital. Let's see what we can do.

– Siân Denatale, Campaigner

Proposed changes by Aneurin Bevan Health Board would see the area from Llanelli to Chepstow with just 4-5 Accident and Emergency departments.

Public consultation on the issue was supposed to finish in January but due to the amount of opposition it will finish at some point in Spring instead.

"Things are getting tough"

Stephanie Wilkins has worked as a bio medical scientist for the NHS for over twenty years.

She claims she has been forced to join fellow NHS workers, and others from across the public sector, on the picket line in sending a message to the UK Government.

Like all those taking part in this 24 hour strike Stephanie says she doesn't want to pay more to work longer and get less.

The changes will mean that she will be £30 a month or £1,400 a year worse off.

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