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Influential father dies young

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Geraint Fowler (Left): With Ryan Jones, Welsh international rugby player

Geraint Fowler (Left): With Ryan Jones, Welsh international rugby player

FAMILY and friends were left devastated after the sudden and untimely death of a young father from Llanelli.

Geraint Fowler was only 38-years-old when he passed away, leaving his young son, Matthew.

His brother Gareth and father Rhodri were devastated by the unexpected death of their brother and son.

Friends of Geraint described him as ‘a force of nature, ‘a true individual’ and ‘a one off’.

Alex Watson, who knew Geraint for the last 25 years said: “He was generous, thoughtful and mischievous in equal measure, but had sincerity and a good decent upbringing provided by his parents made him truly an individual, a one off, our friend.

“He will be missed sorely by all who knew him, no matter if it was only for a minute, an hour, a day, a year or 25 years.”

Playing in orchestras across Llanelli and in several Craig School musicals, Geraint was a talented musician achieving his grade seven in violin.

He was a qualified solicitor and worked for the Morgan Cole law firm, before setting up his own sports agency in Cardiff and becoming Commercial and Legal Director at QOL LTD who make re-usable waterproof covers for limb injuries and casts.

Colleagues from QOL have stepped in to take his place at a sponsored skydive for which Geraint had raised funds to go towards the George Thomas hospice and the Tenovus Cancer Care.

Chris Jones one of his other close friends said: “Geraint had an infectious character, and was always in the thick of it, be that in playing or watching sport, business dealings or leading the singing at a Llanelli or Wales rugby match. He wasn’t afraid to get stuck in, to get involved.

“His lack of fear included him adding bungee-jumping and sky diving to his long list of ‘firsts’.”

Rhys Walters said that Geraint was: “A force of nature, hard to forget”, Rhys also added: “He didn’t walk into a room, he strode in.”

Friends recalled a particular incident where Geraint did the last leg of the 4 x 100m relay for Craig Comprehensive School in an inter-schools championship.

They told of how a cheering crowd had gathered at the finish line for the last race of the day. He ran with a baseball cap on backwards and as he was really sprinting, the wind blew it off his head around 20m from the finishing line, and he somehow managed to catch it behind his head, while running without taking his eyes off the line, and finally won the race, wielding the baton and cap.

Joanna Winslade and Sarah Pemberton from QOL said: “He was a character in and out of the office. When Geraint was on form he has boundless energy, and always committed to the team. We are deeply saddened by his passing.”

Speaking about the guide dog, Geraint was sponsoring for his son they added: “QOL are continuing his sponsorship of a guide dog for his son.”

A celebration of his life is being planned for Radyr, with the date yet to be confirmed.

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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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THE new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council said he will work tirelessly during his term of office.

Cllr Kevin Madge, member for Garnant, takes the chain of office whilst celebrating 40 years as a councillor.

Taking the chair, Cllr Madge paid tribute to outgoing chairman Cllr Mansel Charles, member for Llanegwad, saying he had fulfilled his duties with passion.

Cllr Madge will chair the council for the next 12 months, with Cllr Ieuan Davies, member for Llanybydder, as his vice chair, and his wife Catrin as his consort.

“I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, I will do my best for everyone. I will work tirelessly,” he said.

Cllr Madge has chosen the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and emergency food provision for people in crisis, as his Chairman’s Charity of the Year.

The Chair is the first citizen of Carmarthenshire County Council, and is elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Duties include chairing full meetings of the council, representing the council at formal and ceremonial occasions, welcoming visitors to the county, and attending and supporting events organised by local people and organisations.

Cllr Madge has been a county councillor since 1996, and a member of Cwmaman Town Council since 1979.

He also serves as chairman of the Royal British Legion Garnant branch, Garnant Family Centre and Cwmaman Meals on Wheels, and is a member of Amman Valley League of Friends.

He represents the county council on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm Community Fund, and is on the governing body of Ysgol Y Bedol.

A former pupil of Amman Valley School, Cllr Madge has worked in the Amman Valley throughout his life, most recently as agent and researcher to Dr Alan Williams MP until 2001.

A keen football supporter, he has served as chair and president of Cwmaman Football Club and spent 25 years as a Welsh League and Neath and District football referee.

He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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LOCAL Assembly Member Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said ““This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said “This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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