Wales

Councillor Paul James dies after Aberystwyth cycling crash

Paul James Image copyright Plaid Cymru
Image caption Tributes have been paid to Paul James, who died after the crash on Thursday

A cyclist who died after a crash involving two cars was a county councillor, it has been confirmed.

Paul James died after the collision on the A487 between Waun Fawr and Bow Street, near Aberystwyth, on Thursday.

Plaid Cymru, presiding officer Elin Jones and fellow Ceredigion councillor Paul Hinge all called him a "larger than life character".

Mr James had been training for a bike ride to raise funds for hospitals where he was treated for a heart condition.

Dyfed-Powys Police said he died from injuries he suffered in the crash.

Ceredigion AM and presiding officer Elin Jones described it as "heartbreaking news to hear of the loss of my great friend".

In a post on Facebook, she said: "Such a loss to so many people and causes, but especially his family.

"There is only one way to describe Paul James: Larger than life."

She described him as "a work of art" who served his community "with passion and diligence" and fought elections like "military operations".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The incident happened on the A487, near Bow Street

Describing his death as "very sad news", Mr Hinge posted on Facebook: "Paul James was a larger than life character who worked tirelessly for the people in his ward and as a long standing member of the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, both of which he was passionate about.

"Both he and I were veterans and we both shared the desire to help where necessary our colleagues both serving and ex-forces.

"We may have been political opponents but comradeship was overarching."

Liberal Democrat Mr Hinge said of his Plaid Cymru colleague: "Sleep tight Paul, your duty is done.

"Until we meet again on that great parade ground above."

Ceredigion council leader Ellen ap Gwynn said flags were flying at half-mast in memory of "a much respected son and loyal servant of the county".

'Big heart'

She said Mr James worked at Aberystwyth University as a security officer and had served as a paratrooper in the British Army and in the French Foreign Legion.

"Paul was born and bred in Aberystwyth and was a well-known character with a big heart," she added.

"We are all extremely saddened by this awful news."

In a statement, his party said: "Plaid Cymru is devastated to hear of the sudden passing of our dearest friend councillor, Paul James.

"He served his community of Llanbadarn with passion, commitment and loyalty. You were larger than life."

Mr James had been in training for a 140 mile (225km) bike ride.

He hoped to raise £10,000 by cycling from the Dyfi ward cardiac monitoring unit at Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth to the cardio-thoracic high dependency unit at Swansea's Morriston Hospital.

The ride was due to take place on 25 and 26 May.

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