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Human remains discovered at marshland near Gorseinon identified as missing Loughor pensioner

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South Wales Police have said that they have identified the human remains discovered on Tuesday (19 October) at an area of marshland near Llannant Road, Gorseinon

A forensic investigation has confirmed the deceased as 78 year-old Alun Price, who was reported missing from his home in Loughor over two years ago on 6 February 2019.

In an online statement, South Wales Police said: “There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances around Mr Price’s death and his family is being kept updated with developments.

“A file of evidence is being prepared for HM Coroner.

“The local community is thanked for its initial and ongoing efforts in trying to locate Mr Price.”

(Lead image: South Wales Police)

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Business

Barclays confirms closure of bank branches in Gorseinon and Port Talbot

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Barclays has confirmed the permanent closure of its Gorseinon and Port Talbot bank branches as part of its swath of almost 50 branch closures across the UK.

The bank has said the closures are largely due to changes in customer banking habits, and more use of online banking.

The Gorseinon branch is due to close on Friday 11 February 2022.

Barclays say the number of counter transactions at the Gorseinon branch has gone down in the two years to March 2020, with 83% of branch customers also using other ways to do their banking such as online and by telephone – something which has increased by 12% since 2015.

The bank also says that in the past 12 months 38% of Gorseinon branch customers have been using other nearby branches, with only 83 customers use this branch exclusively for their banking.

Barclays Bank, Port Talbot (Image: Geograph / Jaggery)

The last day of trading for the Port Talbot branch of Barclays will be on Friday 25 February 2022.

Once it closes, the nearest Barclays branch for people living in Port Talbot will be five miles away on The Parade in Neath, or eight miles away at the Enterprise Park in Llansamlet. Customers can also do some banking services at the nearest post office on Station Road in Port Talbot.

Barclays says the Port Talbot branch is closing as, similarly to to Gorseinon, counter transactions have gone down in the two years to March 2020 and 85% of branch customers also use other ways to do their banking such as online and by telephone.

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In the past 12 months 22% of this branch’s customers have been using other nearby branches, with only 153 customers use this branch exclusively for their banking.

Lead image: Barclays Gorseinon (Image: Geograph / Jaggery)

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Briton Ferry

£30 million ultrafast broadband boost for south Wales

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More than 87,000 additional homes and businesses across south Wales are a step closer to a major broadband boost thanks to a £30million investment by Openreach.

People living and working in communities across south Wales are due to be upgraded following the company’s latest build announcement, with a new, ultrafast, ultra-reliable ‘full fibre’ broadband network being built to most premises in Bridgend, Port Talbot, Neath, Gorseinon, Skewen, Briton Ferry and Seven Sisters.

More than 87,000 additional homes and businesses across south Wales are a step closer to a major broadband boost thanks to a £30million investment by Openreach – the UK’s largest digital network provider, used by more than 660 service providers including the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen.

The news comes as the digital network provider announces it has already reached more than 6 million homes and businesses across the UK with Ultrafast Full Fibre, including around 400,000 properties in Wales.

The latest plans are a further boost for Wales as they follow news earlier this year that hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses would be getting access to Openreach’s new network, including tens of thousands in rural and harder to serve areas of the country including Abersoch, Bethesda, Borth, Cardigan, Nefyn, Nelson, Narberth, Llantwit Major & Kidwelly.

Welcoming the announcement Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said: “The importance of fast reliable broadband has become even more apparent utility and we welcome this investment as a key part of the market effort to boost connections across South Wales”.

Connie DixonOpenreach’s regional director for Wales, said: “Good connectivity is vital – whether it’s to work from home, access education and care services, or for gaming and streaming entertainment – and that’s why we’re investing across the UK to upgrade our network to 25 million premises.”

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“Nobody’s building faster, further or to a higher standard across Wales and the rest of the UK than Openreach, and we’ve already reached six million homes and businesses with ultrafast full fibre technology, including around 400,000. It’s proving popular as well, with around 23% already choosing to start using it.

Our engineers and build partners are reaching more communities every week and we’re not just building in cities and urban areas. Many rural and hard to reach communities are already benefitting and we plan to reach many more in the coming months and years.”

Across the UK, more than one 1.3 million homes and businesses have already ordered a full fibre service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network. But this means millions are yet to start benefiting from some of the fastest, most reliable broadband connections in the world and have yet to upgrade.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in Wales to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £2 billion boost to the local economy.

Openreach engineers have been working hard to make the technology available to as many people as possible throughout the UK – at times reaching 47,000 premises a week – and work will continue between now and 2026

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The company’s plans are fundamental to the UK Government achieving its target of delivering ‘gigabit capable’ broadband to 85 per cent of UK by 2025. The company plans to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the country defined by industry regulator Ofcom.

(Lead image: Openreach)

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