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Milford Haven man’s record-breaking 6000th ride on Megafobia at Oakwood

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RYAN HACKETT has been addicted to riding a wooden roller coaster for the past 25 years and has now enjoyed his 6,000th ride on it.

The superfan, 61, has been on Megafobia at Oakwood, up to 21 times a day since the ride, which has a top speed of 55mph opened, in 1996.

Ryan, from Milford Haven, was near achieving his 6,000 milestone before lockdown but the pandemic meant Oakwood, the biggest theme park in Wales, was forced to close between November 2019 and April 2020.

Although being apart from his beloved roller coaster was a bitter pill to swallow, Ryan is delighted he is now able to continue enjoying the twists and turns of the ride and clock up his 6,000th ride.

Ryan at Oakwood a few years ago (Pic M Cavaney)

He said: “25 years ago I clocked up 21 rides that day, and it’s funny I remember it like it was yesterday and ever since then I’ve decided to count every single one.
“I’ve spent so many hours and hours and hours here over the years. It’s taken a long time the last 1,000, a long long time. Covid, you know, it’s got a lot to answer for. It was really difficult, I would’ve given my right arm you know. And I would have reached this milestone a long time ago, you know. I missed the park dreadfully.”

Ryan likes to put his hands up when riding the roller coaster – but it isn’t because he wants to draw attention to himself – he enjoys feeling the force of the ride.

He said: “People say to me why do you put your hands up. It’s not to be a big show-off – it’s because you don’t want to hold on, you don’t want to restrict yourself. You want to get that lift.”

Not at all.

Ryan still gets a huge buzz off riding the roller coaster despite riding it for more than two decades.

He said: “Of course I know exactly everything that’s going to happen on this ride. I know where the airtime is, what to expect. But I still look forward to it, I still get excited. It’s impossible to get off this ride without smiling. It’s an escape from reality. It’s two minutes of forget all your worries, Come here, ride this baby and enjoy.”

Images: BBC and Marin Cavaney

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Public urged to take part in Council budget consultation

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MEMBERS of the public are being urged to participate in Pembrokeshire County Council’s budget consultation 2022-23.

Launched this week, the consultation asks the public where they think the Council needs to spend money, and where it can save it.

As part of the process, the Council has created an online budget simulator, which includes videos from Cabinet members talking about the financial pressure in their portfolio areas.
Cllr Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member for Finance, encouraged all those interested in how the Council spends its funds to take part in the consultation.

“It’s very important that we hear from as many people in Pembrokeshire as possible,” he said.

“Like other Councils, we are once again facing significant budget pressures and understanding community and household priorities is vital in helping us to make the difficult choices necessary in setting the 2023-23 budget.

“We look forward to hearing from you.”

How to take part in the consultation:

Teams Live Stream event
Join a Teams Live Stream event on Wednesday 1st December from 7pm – 8pm. Put your budget questions directly to Cllr Kilmister or the Council’s Director of Resources, Jon Haswell, or listen to the discussion. Questions are welcomed in English and Welsh.

Budget Simulator
Give your views on the budget priorities for 2022–23 by using our Budget Simulator which is available at https://haveyoursay.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/

Download the survey and return to County Hall
Alternatively you can download and complete our hard copy Information and Response Form. Once complete please return to surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or Pembrokeshire County Council, Policy & Partnerships, County Hall, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP.

The consultation will end on Wednesday 5th January 2022.

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Milford Haven Council cancels annual Christmas lights switch-on event

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Council cancels Christmas lights

MILFORD Haven Town Council have announced that they will be cancelling the official switching on the Christmas lights event this year.  

The Christmas lights in Milford Haven will be turned on Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm. However, unlike previous years, this will not be an official event. 

In the past, the event would see Father Christmas switching the lights on while on a balcony at the Town Hall. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the official turning on of the lights is unable to go ahead.

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County Hall to be lit up in orange as part of UN campaign

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COUNTY HALL is being lit up in orange tonight (Thursday, 25 November) to highlight the United Nations campaign against gender violence #OrangeTheWorld: End Violence Against Women Now!

The UN is holding 16 days of activism against gender-based violence from 25th November to 10th December 2021 under the global theme set by the UN Secretary General’s UNiTE campaign.

Among the local groups supporting the worldwide campaign are Soroptimists International Haverfordwest which requested the illumination. “This is a campaign that, as a women’s group, we feel it very important to support,” said member Susie Blacklaw-Jones.

Council Leader Cllr David Simpson supported their request, saying: “This is an incredibly important issue and we are grateful to Soroptimist International Haverfordwest for helping to draw attention to the campaign and raise local awareness.”

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