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Speaking up in a parliamentary debate on rural issues, Nia Griffith MP has pointed out that far from living the stereotypical rural idyll, many people in rural and semi rural constituencies like Llanelli where villages grew up around former coal mines, now find themselves having to travel out of the area to find work and having to cope with higher costs – for travel, food and heating fuel.

Speaking in the debate Nia said,

“Labour has pledged to freeze energy prices and whilst this will help everyone with electricity bills, we need to do all we can to help those who are off-grid, and are therefore facing rising costs of oil, solid fuel or LPG gas. That’s why Labour’s proposals for a tough new regulator will include powers to tackle off-grid issues. We have also pledged to bring forward the payment of the winter fuel payment from November to the summer, so that pensioners can use it to buy oil when the prices are much cheaper in the summer months. I know people get together in oil clubs, but we need to look at what else can be done.”

The MP summed up by saying,

“Whatever issue we are considering, right across the board, it is important to think about the impact on people in rural areas. We must continue, time and again, to look at how to decentralise our employment opportunities—whether it be through better broadband or investment in small villages and communities— and we must not let everything become centralised. Decentralisation is the key to building more prosperous rural communities.”