Showing posts from March 29, 2015

The April Finance column from Mark Jones of Clay Shaw Butler

By Mark Jones, director of Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants, Lammas Street, Carmarthen

The Budget has included important tax simplification measures, a commitment to raise the investment allowance and a vital review of business rates.
The Chancellor’s commitment to raise the Annual Investment Allowance to an appropriate level will provide the certainty needed for businesses to plan and invest - something badly needed if the UK is to raise its productivity.
The abolition of Class 2 National Insurance contributions for the self employed is also a welcome step.
By early 2016, the Chancellor estimates all five million small businesses and the first 10 million individuals will have access to digital tax accounts.
Wisely, many will still want their accountant to advise – on what they can claim, how best to minimise payments, and how to take the business forward.
Tax-payers will now have a running picture of where they stand.
Most businesses simply want a fair s…

The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post

The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post.
Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.


This newspaper recently published a story about a local lady who brought home a nasty surprise with her groceries. For those of you who missed it, here’s a banana-flavoured taste...
A Mum was terrified after opening a bunch of supermarket bananas bought in Pontardawe and finding rare spiders - whose bite can give a man an erection lasting four hours.
Shocked Maria Layton, 43, found the bananas, shipped from Costa Rica, were infested with eggs from the Brazilian wandering spider - the most deadly in the world.
As soon as she discovered the cocoon they started to hatch so she quickly put them in a sealed container in the freezer and called Tesco customer services.
Now, out of several things that caught my attention in the article, there was one that I found particular…

The latest 'On Song' column from the Llanelli Star

The latest 'On Song' column (about the choral scene in and around Llanelli) from the Llanelli Star -

Llanelli-based concert promoter Cerith Owens is continuing to expand his stable of ‘Rising Stars’ – young singers making their mark in the South West wales area with Loud Applause Productions.
A recent addition to the Loud Applause Rising Stars stable is Johnny Mansel Lewis, aged 21, from Stradey Castle, Llanelli.
Johnny grew up in Llandeilo is a third year student at Plymouth University studying psychology.
His singing career began with a classical focus, in his lower and upper 6th form at Shrewsbury school where he sang in the choir, featured in a number of concerts, starred as Zidler in the school musical production of ‘West Side Story’ and sang the part of Aeneas in a showcase of the opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’.
Since being at University he has starred in the musical ‘The Wedding Singer’ playing the role of ‘Robbie Hart’ and more recently took the supporting role of ‘Stride’ in…

Have your say on Llandeilo library services

People in Carmarthenshire are being given the opportunity to have their say on Llandeilo Library services.
The Carmarthenshire Council proposal includes the relocation of the current library to the Municipal Building for improved access as well as the enhancement of ICT and extended opening hours.
The county council is considering introducing self service issue and return points to allow for borrowing, returning, paying and booking which will help free up time for our staff to ensure the right care and time is given to all users. This will also enable the service to provide more community based events and activities within the library.
The consultation is being carried out until April 12 on i-Local by completing a short survey. Carmarthenshire Libraries manager, Mark Jewell said: “We want to consult with the public and their views will help inform our final decision. This survey also provides an opportunity to express any ideas people may have that have not considered as part of this co…

2015 General Election Hustings event at Aberystwyth

A 2015 General Election Hustings event will host the six Ceredigion candidates on Thursday 16th April at Aberystwyth University.
Organised by the Institute of Welsh Politics and the Institute of Welsh Affairs, the event will be held in the Main Hall in the Department of International Politics on the Penglais Campus at 6.30pm.
The evening will be chaired by Sara Gibson, BBC Cymru Wales, and will provide an opportunity to hear the candidates debate policies and answer questions from the audience.
The 6 Ceredigion candidates who will be taking part in the hustings event are: Henrietta Hensher (Conservatives), Gethin James (UKIP), Mike Parker (Plaid Cymru), Huw Thomas (Labour), Daniel Thompson (Green Party), and Mark Williams (Liberal Democrats).
Dr Anwen Elias, Director of the Institute of Welsh Politics said: “The Institute of Welsh Politics looks forward to working with the Ceredigion branch of the Institute of Welsh Affairs to host this event which will provide students, staff and mem…

Pupils see the benefit of new Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth

Pupils are already seeing the benefits of a new £18.4million development at Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth.
The scheme, which is being carried out in two phases, includes a new two storey design and technology and science block, linked to the existing building.
A new sports hall will house four badminton courts, together with an adjoining classroom and changing rooms.
An energy centre is being constructed, and external work includes a new school entrance, hard play areas, car park, bus parking area and games courts.
Phase two will comprise the refurbishment of various areas within the existing buildings together with re-modelling of playing fields.
It is expected that phase one will be completed before the summer holidays which will allow the school to occupy the new buildings from this September.
The investment at Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth is being made through Carmarthenshire County Council’s Modernising Education Programme.
It follows the reorganisation of Maes yr Yrfa and Gwendraeth Secondary sch…

Good progress on £30m Ysgol Bro Dinefwr

Work on the new £30million Ysgol Bro Dinefwr is making good progress.
The project, part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Modernising Education Programme, is due to be completed by early next year.
It will cater for 1,200 pupils and replaces the former Pantycelyn and Tregib secondary schools.
Council Leader Cllr Kevin Madge and education executive board member Cllr Keith Davies recently paid a visit to the site at Ffairfach, Llandeilo.
Cllr Madge said: “It’s good to see such progress being made on this school, it’s going to be a fantastic facility for hundreds of young people, and will provide them with the kind of learning development every pupil deserves.
“I am very proud to be part of the county council delivering this multi-million-pound programme which will eventually benefit every child in Carmarthenshire.”
Ysgol Bro Dinefwr is being delivered in partnership with the Welsh Government through its 21st Century Schools programme.
The category 2B bilingual school will provide first class…

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery

Latest special offers from the Jenkins Bakery -

WEEK COMMENCING March 30, 2015
3 Medium Corned Beef £1.65
2 Large Corned Beef Pasties £1.95 4 Medium Sausage Rolls £1.80 2 Custard Slices £1.60 Sandwich Of The Week, Salmon and Cucumber £2.10 Rustic Baguette Of The Week, Chicken and Bacon £2.40 Filled Softie Of The Week, Turkey and Stuffing £2.20
Website -

Hywel Dda Health Board has six projects shortlisted in NHS Wales Awards

Hywel Dda University Health Board is celebrating after six of its projects made the finals of this year’s NHS Wales Awards. The University Health Board has made the finals of five award categories and is up for the following awards:
· Developing a Flexible and Sustainable Workforce (supported by the Royal College of Nursing Wales) for work to develop the new role of Advanced Nurse Practitioner in mental health.
And work to establish the role of Advanced Paramedic Practitioner in a GP practice.
· Improving Patient Safety (supported by Health Foundation) for work to improve patient safety by reducing the risk of medication error.
· Promoting Better Health And Avoiding Disease (supported by Welsh NHS Confederation) for a project to develop a digital service allowing healthcare professionals to ‘prescribe’ information videos to patients. This was developed in partnership with eHealth Digital Media, Swansea University and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB.
· Promot…

Choose Well this Easter - advice from health board

Hywel Dda University Health Board are reminding people in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to Choose Well when preparing for the long Easter weekend, and to be aware of what community healthcare services are open.
The Choose Well colour coded thermometer helps people to link their symptoms with a NHS service.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the full range of health services available locally so that people know where and when to access services that will best meet their needs.
Elaine Lorton, Assistant Director of Primary Care for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: "We would like to encourage people to think carefully about healthcare service they choose over the holiday period.
"Our highly skilled community pharmacists can help with a range of treatments including some minor injuries and ailments.
"By 'Choosing Well', people will receive the most appropriate treatment for their need, ensuring that our busy emergency services across mid …

Tower Brewery marks more than 500 beers in Parliament

The Tower Brewery in Burton on Trent raised a glass of its popular Tower Bitter at the seat of Government recently after local MP Andrew Griffiths chose its beer as the week’s guest ale in the Strangers’ Bar, sited inside the House of Commons.
Andrew Griffiths, Conservative MP for Burton on Trent and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group said “It has been a pleasure to bring this fine beer to Westminster and introduce my colleagues to a taste of Burton. Burton is the UK’s brewing capital, boasting six breweries and 128 pubs and employing over 4000 people. Beer has been brewed in the town for over a 1000 years. No wonder its beers are so popular!
“The Tower Brewery is a real asset to our constituency, brewing wonderful craft beers, providing jobs for local people and supporting other businesses including the pubs that are at the heart of our local communities.”
The owner and head brewer of the Tower Brewery, John Mills said, “We were delighted that our Tower Bitter…

Aberystwyth University alumnus wins prestigious US award

Mitch Robinson, an alumnus of Aberystwyth University has won the Professional Achievement Award at the US British Council’s Education UK Alumni Awards 2015.
Mitch was selected from three finalists from the United States, who graduated from UK universities in the last 10 years and recognised for their success upon returning to the US.
The Professional Achievement Award recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their profession, and who can demonstrate the highest level of integrity and character in their career.
Mitch graduated with Master of Laws (LLM) from the Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University in 2005, and is an international law expert for the 9/11 death penalty case at Guantanamo Bay.
Mitch’s work was instrumental in obtaining ground breaking reports and precedents from the United Nations regarding due process rights and the rehabilitation of torture victims.
Upon receipt of the award, Mitch paid tribut…

Monro Walters - a tribute

It has taken a full 24 hours for the death of our dear friend Monro Walters to sink in. A man for all seasons - a voice for all occasions. Monro's sudden death leaves a massive hole in the life of the community we call Llanelli. It is hard to comprehend what Maxine and family are feeling. His departure was so swift that there is still a profound sense of disbelief. I was proud and privileged to call Monro a friend. But he was also much more - a committed professional, a wonderful colleague, a truly humble man with a lovely, warm and generous personality. He had a laugh that could kick-start a chorus. He could sing - but he could also inspire, inform and entertain just by being Monro and talking. The voice was class. Our last conversation was on Wednesday night. As speaker's secretary for Llanelli Rotary Club, he was responsible for persuading Llanelli Scarlets rugby coach Wayne Pivac to perform as guest speaker at our weekly meeting. Monro was unwell and unable to attend the …