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WPD plans to invest £6bn in ambitious five-year plan: calls on Llanelli customers to have their say

Carli Newell

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WESTERN POWER DISTRIBUTION (WPD) has proposed record investment and a ground-breaking network improvement plan for South Wales, which promises to reduce power cuts, help vulnerable customers and support environmental targets. However, the company is still keen to hear from customers in the region to have their say on its plans.

WPD is responsible for the power lines, poles, transformers and substations that deliver electricity to 7.9 million homes and businesses across the Midlands, South West and South Wales, including those in Llanelli.

With a headline pledge to become a Net Zero company by 2028, twenty-two years ahead of the UK target, WPD’s five-year plan details its roadmap to a smarter network that will grow with the region’s increasing demand for electricity. Through extensive ‘bottom-up’ forecasting, it plans to connect a further 1.5 million electric vehicles and 600,000 heat pumps by 2028. The company also intends to work closely to support local authorities and ensure the electricity network is capable of achieving local Net Zero ambitions as early as 2030. WPD are also committed to protecting areas of outstanding natural beauty by removing 50km of overhead lines across its distribution regions.

Importantly, it is making record levels of investment without increasing its costs to customers – pledging to keep their contribution to energy bills broadly the same throughout the years ahead.

The investment will help 113,000 customers in fuel poverty make savings of £60 million. It will also help WPD support around 252,000 vulnerable customers in the South Wales on its local Priority Services Register, reaching out proactively to customers in known areas of high deprivation and vulnerability.

DANPICS; © Stephen Daniels–08/09/2017—– ——-Replacement Power Tower at Flawborough Farm, Flawborough, Nr Grantham, Lincs/Nots

As one of the biggest local employers in the region, WPD is committing to give back to the community. WPD donated £1million in 2020 through its ‘In this Together – Community Matters Fund’ which funded local charities supporting those impacted by COVID-19. The company plans to establish an annual £1 million ‘Community Matters’ fund to support the most vulnerable in its local community until 2028.

Mark Shaw, RIIO_ED2 Business Plan Manager, comments: “We’re a proud member of the South Wales community and want to hear views on how we should invest to ensure we support regional growth and a move to a lower carbon economy. Creating a smart network for everyone is at the heart of our ambitions. We’re also responding to a significantly changing energy landscape and the need to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. We’ll be supporting more community energy projects and ensuring capacity is available to meet growing demand for electricity.

“Our Business Plan has been designed in collaboration with over 9,500 regional stakeholders across a two-year period. We’re now keen to listen to more customers’ views and ideas on how we can best invest in an innovative energy system while continuing to make a real difference to the communities we serve.”

WPD’s customers can feed back on the Business Plan until 25 th April 2021. It will be further developed over the summer before the final plan is submitted to the industry regulator Ofgem in December 2021. For further information, more detail and to have your say, please visit WPD’s online public consultation: www.westernpower.co.uk/BP2

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Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched

Carli Newell

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INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.

Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.

In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds.  Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales.  We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.

 Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”

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£100,000 of cannabis plants seized in west Wales police raid

Thomas Sinclair

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POLICE seized cannabis plants worth an estimated £100,000 during a warrant near Ammanford.

Dyfed-Powys Police searched a home in Garnant on Wednesday, July 21, where 100 plants were discovered to be growing in the front room and two bedrooms.

Given the number and maturity of some of the plants, officers estimate the quantity of cannabis growing to be worth around £100,000.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “This was a significant seizure of cannabis plants, which were growing in a sophisticated set-up across three rooms.

“Our investigation is ongoing into who is responsible, as there was nobody present at the time of the warrant, and we are carrying out all possible lines of enquiry to identify a suspect.

“I would like to thank all officers involved for showing great teamwork during the warrant and subsequent enquiries.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

Quote reference: DPP/2891/21/07/2021/02/C.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org

(Picture above: File Image)

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Four charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs

Carli Newell

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FOUR people have been arrested and charged as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang supplying class A drugs from London to Aberystwyth, Llanelli and Swansea.

Dyfed-Powys Police, with support from The Met Police, carried out warrants at four addresses on July 21, resulting in four arrests.

Mohammed Osman, aged 23, Yonis Mohammed, aged 20, Salman Mohamoud, aged 23 – all from Islington – and Amy Simmons, aged 21, from Dulwich were charged with a total of 12 offences:

  • Mohammed Osman: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine,
  • Yonis Mohammed: Two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and two counts of conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.
  • Salman Mohamoud: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine
  • Amy Simmons: Conspiring to supply class A drug heroin, and conspiring to supply class A drug crack cocaine.

All four appeared at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday, July 23, where they were remanded in custody. They are due to appear at Swansea Crown Court for their next hearing on August 20.

The investigation is being carried out by the Ceredigion Serious and Organised Crime Team, Aberystwyth CID and the Operation Orochi command of the Met Police.

Detective Sergeant Steve Jones said: “These four arrests and charges are the result of a coordinated approach to target an organised crime gang we believe is running a county lines operation into the Dyfed-Powys Police force area.

“We will continue to work diligently to disrupt gangs of this kind, to prevent the supply of illegal substances into our community.

“I would like to thank all officers involved, as well as the Met Police for their part in the operation.”

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