CALLS have been made for emergency support to be provided for rural communities who have been left without power for days after Storm Arwen.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats Welsh Party Leader Jane Dodds, MS for Mid and West Wales, warned that rural communities are being taken for granted and “abandoned by the government in their time of need.”

Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs Spokesperson Tim Farron MP, also raised the issue in the UK Parliament, and criticised the government for failing to make an official ministerial statement on the issue.

The letter calls for ministers to step in and provide food, emergency accommodation and other essential supplies to vulnerable people on the ground impacted by the storm.

It also urges the armed forces to be brought in to provide emergency electricity generators to communities until power is restored, and for the government to provide additional support to engineers working to bring back power.

The Party is also calling for new rules requiring electricity companies to prioritise investing some of their profits into local power networks, to help prevent outages in the future.

The plans would require electricity providers to restore electricity to homes as soon as possible when power cuts do occur or face fines from the regulator Ofgem.

“It is frankly unacceptable that people are being left without electricity like this for extended periods of time," said Ms Dodds.

"Communities in rural areas from Montgomeryshire and Ceredigion to Clwyd South are being taken for granted and abandoned in their time of need.

"This is having a particularly serious impact on people in rural communities who cannot easily travel, including those who are elderly or infirm.

“We are demanding the government to come forward with an urgent action plan to ensure that households are not left again without electricity for days - particularly in the cold winter months."

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are also calling for an expansion of renewable energy and electricity is generated closer to homes.

"New developments, for example, should have power generation on-site - making them less susceptible to power cuts," said Ms Dodds.

"This could include small-scale solar, wind or hydro projects, also helping to support the local economy and create local jobs.”