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The Herald Interview – Richie Powell

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wheelchair1FOLLOWING a motorcycle accident on June 30, 1989, at the age of 18, Richard ‘Richie’ Powell became paralysed from the chest down. He took up sports when he spent a year at the in Cardiff, as the TW3 Spinal unit had a sports club. He represented Great Britain at the 1992 Summer Paralympics in the. the men’s 100m and 200m. He has taken part in the 1994 Commonwealth Games and the 1998 IPC World Championships. He is a popular local athlete, musician and fundraiser who now lives in Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire. Richie will be representing the newly formed Llanelli First Party who aim to have a voice for people of the Llanelli area in Carmarthen’s County Hall. We began by asking Richie why he was getting involved in local politics.

He said : “It is because of the amount of work I have done over the past 25 years in disabled and able body sports. I have been to a lot of different countries and experienced a lot of cultures. I believe that I have a lot to bring to the local community. I am an ambassador for disabled sport in Wales and I am an active coach. These are just some of the skills I can bring to my work in the community.” Given that the County Council are on the brink of transferring assets like parks and playgrounds with uncertainty remaining over whether or not they will remain open at all, we asked Richie for his thoughts. He said : “I see so many cases of people trying to start up in sport and I want to help people by sharing my experiences and knowledge. Grass roots sport is where it all starts. I deal with a lot of athletes but without these youngsters coming through we would not have any elite athletes. “ The Olympic Legacy has remained in London. There isn’t much sign of it in Trimsaran. It was a great event and it opened people’s eyes to sport but there is a serious lack of facilities in this area. If you want to train in the winter you have to go to Cardiff.” Richie grew up like most children playing sport wherever he could. He says that that is no longer possible as the streets and roads are not as safe as they once were. We asked Richie what could be done to help children get involved and stay involved in sport.

He said : “ Within a year or so of the torch passing through Wales with all the celebrations and the hope we are now hearing the County Council saying that they are making cuts to sports grounds and to children’s services and services for the disabled. “ You can’t just go and kick the ball on the streets like you used too. The roads are far too dangerous. Parks are such important places for the people of Carmarthenshire. We have had support for disabled people in the U.K. Over the years but since the Conservatives came in they have wielded the axe and there is no empathy from them. “ People need to make a stand and speak out about the lack of access to public buildings, the state of the pavements and the roads even in the town centres. We need to get children back into doing something. Getting them from in front of the TV and off the Xbox and getting fit. “ There is very little representation of disabled people in Carmarthenshire County Council. I work for a company providing for disabled people and I have a wealth of knowledge about the needs of disabled people.” The Herald asked Richie what issues he would be focusing on if he were to be elected as a County Councillor for Trimsaran. He said : “I am not just focusing on disability issues.

“ I want to focus on affordable housing, tackling drug and alcohol related issues and making sure that the people of Trimsaran and Carmarthenshire get a fair share of any pot that is available for community use. “ We can’t keep asking parents to dig deep in their pockets when we see so many people in power taking the cream from the top. We don’t have the representation for the Llanelli side of Carmarthenshire. How can an executive board member who visits Llanelli once a year know anything about the needs of the people East of Carmarthen town. Richie has led a very interesting and varied life having overcome many obstacles and he is upbeat about his future and the future for Carmarthenshire. He told The Herald : “People have given me so much over the years and I just want to give something back. “ I would be a strong voice for the county and a strong voice for Trimsaran. I will be standing for County Councillor at the next election and I am beginning my campaign now. If anyone would like to contact me with any issues I am more than happy to talk with them. “ We can’t just sit around with things staying as they are for the next 5 years. Just because someone has been a County Councillor for so many years, it doesn’t mean that they should take the people for granted. “ I will be launching a very strong challenge in Trimsaran and I hope the people will back me.” Summing up his passion for representing the people of Carmarthenshire he said : “I want to represent the people of Trimsaran and the Llanelli area. I want to air their concerns and needs in County Hall as I believe they are being sold short at the moment. “ I have represented Wales in athletics at the Commonwealth Games and Great Britain in the Paralympics and I have a keen interest in all sports. “ As such I am appalled at Carmarthenshire County Council stating that they can’t afford to maintain the County’s parks, playgrounds and playing fields anymore. Theses areas are crucial for current and future generations, especially in times of austerity and the growing problem of childhood obesity. “ It is vital we keep these areas to enhance the wellbeing of our communities.”

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Llandeilo gas works to begin say Wales & West Utilities

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WALES & West Utilities will shortly begin work to upgrade gas pipes in Llandeilo.

Wales & West Utilities has liaised with Carmarthenshire County Council to plan the work and it has been agreed that work will commence after the town has celebrated the Festival of Senses.

The £123,000 investment scheme, which is essential to keep the gas flowing safely to heat and power local homes and businesses, will begin in New Road on 21 November. This section of work will be complete before Christmas and Wales & West Utilities will return to the town next year to undertake further work in the Crescent Road area. Barring any engineering difficulties, work in the town will be complete by the end of February next year.

Wales & West Utilities Adam Smith is managing this gas pipe upgrade work. He said: “Working with the Council, we have planned this work to accommodate the needs of the town.

“While most of the gas network is underground and out of sight, it plays a central role in the daily lives of people across Llandeilo. Whether it’s heating your home, making the family dinner or having a hot bath, we understand how important it is for your gas supply to be safe and reliable and there when you need it.

“We know that working in areas like this is not ideal, but it really is essential to make sure we keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses in the area, and to make sure the gas network is fit for the future. We’ll have a team of gas engineers on site throughout the project to make sure our work is completed as safely and as quickly as possible while keeping disruption to a minimum.

“This work is essential to keep the gas flowing to local homes and businesses today, and to make sure the gas network is ready to transport hydrogen and biomethane, so we can all play our part in a green future.”

Our Customer Service Team is ready to take your call if you have any questions about our work. You can contact them on freephone 0800 912 2999.

Alternatively, you can contact us on Twitter @WWUtilities or Facebook.com/WWUtilities.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we’ll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We’ll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.

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Police appeal following theft of items from Home Bargains Crosshands

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OFFICERS from Dyfed Powys Police have confirmed that they are investigating the theft of items, including a Christmas Nutcracker Ornament valued at £129.99, from the Home Bargains store in Crosshands, Carmarthenshire.

The theft occurred at about 12:40pm on Tuesday, 27th September 2022.

Officers have carried out all possible lines of enquiry, and are now appealing for help from the public.

They would like to identify the people in the CCTV image, who may have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone who knows who the people are, or if you believe you are pictured, contact Dyfed-Powys Police.

This can also be done either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or phoning 101.

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

Please quote reference DPP/2006/27/09/2022/02/C

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

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Witness appeal after car is stolen and burnt out

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating the theft of a car from a property in Lando Road, Burry Port, which was later found burnt out in Pembrey Country Park.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to the theft of the blue Ssangyong Rexton, which took place sometime between 5pm on Friday, 11th November, and 9am on Saturday, 12th November, and would like to speak to anyone who may have information or CCTV or dashcam footage.

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.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: DP-20221112-109

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

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