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Press releases

Carmarthenshire Council’s annual Toybox appeal is underway

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Carmarthenshire Council’s  annual Toybox appeal is underway and the council will be accepting donations up until Christmas Eve.

The earlier they land will make the work of the team easier.

Warm-hearted Carmarthenshire residents with a little extra to spare are being asked to help put a smile on the faces of families and children in need this Christmas.

Residents county-wide are being urged to help brighten Christmas for those deserving by donating presents, toiletries and food appropriate for ages 0-16.

Those kind enough to go out of their way and donate are being asked to leave gifts unwrapped as they can then be easily sorted by our hardworking team.

The donated gifts will be given to families who, for a number of reasons are unable to give their children the Christmas the rest of us perhaps take for granted.

Schools, family centres, social workers and youth workers identify those who are in greatest need of support.

Council staff are supported by volunteers to sort, wrap and deliver toys and hampers in the run-up to Christmas.

Cllr Mair Stephens said the Toybox and Christmas gift appeal was growing in strength year by year. “The amazing number of donations we receive over the busy festive period yearly is down to our generous residents county wide, with donations ideal for new-borns to teenagers we can’t be thankful enough. 
During a time of giving and receiving I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the businesses involved for their generosity and support, in particular Nolan, which has allowed the appeal to be hosted at their premises in Johnstown.”

Collection Bin Locations:

  • Customer Service Centre, 3 Spilman Street, Carmarthen
  • County Hall, Carmarthen
  • Natwest Bank, Carmarthen
  • Blas Myrddin at Parc Dewi Sant, Building 2, Carmarthen
  • Block 1, Parc Myrddin, Carmarthen
  • Cillefwr depot, Carmarthenshire County Council, Johnstown, Carmarthen
  • Nant y Ci, Carmarthen
  • Llandeilo Community Education Centre
  • Tesco Ammanford
  • Town Hall, Ammanford
  • Pontyberem Hall
  • Town Hall, Llanelli
  • Hub, Llanelli
  • Cathedral Hygiene, Unit 1, Dragon 24, North Dock, Llanelli
  • Burns Pet Nutrition, Kidwelly
  • Jennings Solicitors, Llanelli
  • Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli
  • Yr Atom, King Street, Carmarthen
  • Llanelli Library
  • Ammanford Library
  • Carmarthen Library
  • Leisure Centres: 
    Newcastle Emlyn
    St Clears
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Community launches new flood assistance appeal

Posted By Robert Lloyd

A community is rallying around to help neighbours and businesses who are still counting the cost of the flooding brought by Storm Callum last month.

A Llandysul and Pontweli Flood Assistance Appeal has been launched by volunteers to raise funds and collect donations to support those trying to repair and rebuild.

Carmarthenshire County Council and Ceredigion County Council have agreed to collect the donations and handle the distribution of funds by agreement of the administrators.

Money raised will be distributed to households, community enterprises and businesses in the flood area, between Abercerdin to Llandysul Bridge; Wills Cleaning Services to Llandysul Bridge; Swain Commercials on the Pencader Road to Llandysul Bridge, and a small number of properties upstream on the Carmarthenshire side.

Donations will be collected up until January 15, 2019, when the appeal fund will close and the money distributed.

Every penny raised will be distributed to those in need of assistance, with all parties agreeing that no administrative fees will be deducted.

Eligible recipients will be able to receive or decline the assistance.

Facebook page (Apel Cymorth Llifogydd Llandysul & Pontweli Flood Assistance Appeal) has been set up to raise awareness of the fund.

The fund’s administrators are Cllr Keith Evans, Cllr Linda Evans, Cllr Ken Howells, Meinir Davies, Robert Jenkins and Rev Gareth Reid.


Cheques should be returned to:

  • Carmarthenshire County Council, Cashier Department, 3 Spilman Street, Carmarthen SA31 1LE and should be payable to Carmarthenshire County Council. Please write on the back of the cheque: ‘Llandysul / Pontweli Flood Assistance Appeal’
  • Ceredigion County Council, Canolfan Rheidol, Rhodfa Padarn, Llanbadarn Fawr, Aberystwyth, SY23 3UE and should be payable to Ceredigion County Council. Please write on the back of the cheque: ‘Llandysul / Pontweli Flood Assistance Appeal’

Cash and cheque donations can also be made at the following local businesses:

  • Valley Services
  • Gwesty’r Porth
  • Spar
  • FFAB
  • Milfeddygon Tysul
  • YBT
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Press releases

Ospreys team to play Zebre

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Ospreys team to play Zebre at Liberty Stadium on Friday 30th November 2018, KO 7.35pm, is as follows:

15 Dan Evans 14 George North 13 Scott Williams 12 Owen Watkin 11 Luke Morgan 10 Sam Davies 9 Aled Davies 1 Nicky Smith 2 Scott Baldwin 3 Tom Botha 4 Adam Beard 5 Alun Wyn Jones  6 Olly Cracknell  7 Sam Cross 8 Justin Tipuric (Capt)

REPLACEMENTS – 16 Scott Otten 17 Gareth Thomas 18 Alex Jeffries 19 Lloyd Ashley 20 James King 21 Harri Morgan 22 James Hook 23 Cory Allen

Alun Wyn Jones plays his 233rd Ospreys game to move clear at the top of the Region’s all time appearance list 


The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

Dan Baker – Knee; Bradley Davies – Knee; Ma’afu Fia – Back spasm; Gheorghe Gajion – Hamstring; Paul James – Shoulder; Rhodri Jones – Hamstring; Lesley Klim – Hamstring; Dan Lydiate – Elbow; Sam Parry – HIA; Luke Price- Fractured tibia

Ospreys Head Coach, Allen Clarke, said: 

“It’s been great to have the full squad together following what was a hugely successful Autumn International period for Wales – the energy and buzz has been fantastic. We’re together for the next seven weeks before the Six Nations and we’re conscious it’s a period that defines league positions at the back end of the season.

“Our opponents Zebre are the first in an important series of matches. For us it’s about concentrating on the basics and bringing the energy from training to the eighty minutes that matter.

“It’s a particularly special occasion for Alun Wyn, who will become the most capped Ospreys player of all time. He reflects what we stand for and as a team we want to make it a memorable night.”

Forthcoming Fixtures

Sat 8 Dec – 3.00pm – Ospreys v Stade Francais – Liberty Stadium

Fri 14 Dec – 8.45pm (Local) – Stade Francais v Ospreys – Stade Jean Bouin

Sat 22 Dec – 3.00pm – Ospreys v Scarlets – Liberty Stadium

Sun 30 Dec – 3.00pm – Dragons v Ospreys – Rodney Parade 

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Press releases

Jonathan Davies to lead Scarlets at Scotstoun

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Scarlets take on Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium on Saturday evening looking to build on last week’s impressive performance over Ulster Rugby to further cement their second place position in the Guinness PRO14’s Conference B.

Head Coach Wayne Pivac can call on a number of his returning internationals for the clash against Conference A leaders at their Glasgow base. 

Wales and British & Irish Lion centre Jonathan Davies returns to captain the side with club captain Ken Owens rested following the recent international campaign.

Davies, making his 148thappearance for the region on Saturday, will lead a strong side to the field at Scotstoun with the Scarlets keen to keep the winning momentum following on from last weekend’s bonus point victory over Ulster at Parc y Scarlets.

Scrum half Kieran Hardy retains his starting position with Rhys Patchell returning to outside half following the autumn series. Steff Evans returns to join Tom Prydie and Johnny McNicholl in the back three whilst New Zealander Kieron Fonotia partners captain Davies in midfield. 

An all-international front row in Rob Evans, Ryan Elias and Werner Kruger gives the pack a solid footing wit Jake Ball joining Steve Cummins in the second row. Will Boyde moves across to the blindside in the backrow, Uzair Cassiem remains at number 8 with young Dan Davis coming in to the openside. 

Looking ahead to the clash head coach Wayne Pivac said; “Glasgow have a really impressive record at home. They play an expansive game, they’ve got quality coaching and a lot of Scottish players. 

“It all stacks up for an entertaining game. We’ve got a healthy respect for them and they’re flying in their conference. We’ve got a massive challenge ahead of us.”

Scarlets team to take on Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium, Saturday 1stDecember, kick-off 17:15;

15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Jonathan Davies ©, 12 Kieron Fonotia, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Kieran Hardy, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Werner Kruger, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Steve Cummins, 6 Will Boyde, 7 Dan Davis, 8 Uzair Cassiem

Replacements; 16 Dafydd Hughes, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Simon Gardiner, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Paul Asquith, 23 Clayton Blommetjies

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Super Sam set to star at big Llanelli Christmas concert

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The popular soloist Samuel Wyn-Morris will be the featured guest at one of the highlights of the West Wales concert calendar – Côr Meibion Llanelli Male Voice Choir’s annual festive special.

‘Christmas With The Choir’ will be held at 7pm on Saturday, December 1, at Ffwrnes Theatre, Llanelli.

Samuel is a 22-year-old Llanelli Boy who is a former head boy of Ysgol Y Strade.

In 2017, Samuel graduated from the prestigious Guildford School of Acting with a first class honours degree in musical theatre.

Since then, Samuel has continued to perform and made his professional debut at The Old Vic at the beginning of 2018. 

Samuel is a founder member of Loud Applause Rising Stars, the group set up to mentor and develop young talent in Wales.

Samuel now hopes to continue working professionally in 2019 with the aim of making his West End debut. 

In October 2018, Samuel, along with other members of Loud Applause Rising Stars (LARS), was a representative of Wales at the Liberation Celebratory weekend in S’Hertogenbosch, Holland where he performed at the prestigious Liberation Concert, to great acclaim, and at the 53rdWelsh Division Memorial Service.

Samuel’s accompanist for the concert will be Andrew Pike.

The other special guests at the Côr Meibion Llanelli concert will be the award-winning Burry Port Town Band.

“It promises to be a very special evening,’ said Côr Meibion Llanelli chairman Tony Crossman.

“It’s been another busy year for the choir and the Christmas concert is regarded as our grand finale for 2018.

“The choristers are in fine voice and we are looking forward to being joined on stage by our guests.”

Côr Meibion Llanelli probably need no introduction for followers of the concert scene in West Wales.

It would take a fairly hefty book to summarise the achievements of the choir over a history spanning 54 years.

But there are some keynote events . . .

Côr Meibion Llanelli was formed in the village of Bynea under the baton of the late Denver Phillips BA. in 1964.

The choir’s longest-serving music director is the present holder of the baton, D Eifion Thomas, who has helped the choir grow in stature and strength to become one of the leading male choirs in Britain.

They have been successful at all the major choral competitions that Wales has to offer. The honours list includes five National Eisteddfod first prizes – at Lampeter in 1984, Fishguard in 1986, Llandeilo in 1996, Bridgend in 1998 and Llanelli in 2000.

The roll-call of wins also records seven firsts at the Miners Eisteddfod at Porthcawl, six firsts at Cardigan and three Pontrhydfendigaid Eisteddfodau. The choir was successful in winning the Corwen Choral Competition at its first attempt in 1987.

The Llanelli Male Choir has graced many leading auditoriums and concert halls in the land – London’s Royal Albert Hall and Festival Hall, Birmingham’s Town and Symphony Halls, Oxford Town Hall, Plymouth’s Guild Hall, The MacRoberts Centre at Stirling, as well as Cardiff’s St David’s Hall and Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall.

Cathedrals have also featured high on the choir’s touring list – Coventry, Bury St Edmunds, Wells, Brecon, Gloucester, St David’s and Llandaff cathedrals have been concert venues, as well as Westminster Abbey.

The choir has travelled extensively throughout the world – Germany, Canada, USA. France, Ireland, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. The choristers have raised thousands of pounds for charities such as Cancer and Leukaemia Research, The Red Cross, Heart Foundation and Tenovus as well as local charities and school groups. The choir’s future is secure and their motto of “Ymlaen Llanelli” will surely hold the choristers in good stead for another 50 years! The choir rehearses twice weekly on Monday and Thursday evenings at Furnace Community Hall, 7pm start. Visitors and new members are welcome.

This year, the choir’s musical director, D Eifion Thomas, has celebrated 43 years as Music Director of Côr Meibion Llanelli, having initially served as Accompanist to the Choir from 1965 until 1974 under the direction of founder-conductor Denver Phillips.

Mr Thomas has had the honour also of conducting the North American Welsh Societies National Gymanfa Ganu on five occasions – Vancouver (1980), Victoria, Canada (1990), Seattle (1994), and San Jose (2001).

His expertise in the field of choral performance has been recognised by the National Eisteddfod of Wales by inviting him to be one of three music adjudicators at the 2003 Eisteddfod in Meifod, and the 2011 Eisteddfod in Wrexham.

As a result of his work in the sphere of music in the community, Mr Thomas has been awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International and been inducted into the highest level of Wales’s Bardic Circle in 2007.

In 1998, Mr Thomas was the guest conductor at the London Welsh Festival of 1000 Male Voices, and was guest soloist at the Festival in 1994, 1996, 2000, and 2002.

In 2000, Mr Thomas was the conductor of the National Eisteddfod Choir when that Festival was held in Llanelli, and the Eisteddfod Choir’s singing under his direction at the Gymanfa Ganu of the anthem “Dyn A Aned O Wraig” still remains as one of the most memorable occasions in the Eisteddfod’s history.

Mr Thomas is a fine tenor soloist in his own right, and has appeared as soloist in performances of Handel’s “Messiah”, Haydn’s “Creation”, and “Mass in Time of War”, Stainer’s “Crucifiction”, Maunder’s “Olivet to Calvary”, Coleridge-Taylor’s “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast”, and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” and “Lobegesang”.

The choir will be accompanied on stage by pianist Aled Maddock.

Mr Maddock attended Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera before graduating in Music at Bangor University. He is a former pupil of Madame Eileen Gethin-Jones and the Czech pianist Jana Frenklova.

After graduating in 1990, Mr Maddock was appointed as Musical Director of Craig y Nos Castle where he was responsible for arranging numerous musical events held at the famous Patti Theatre. During this time, he also began his association as accompanist with Neath and District Ladies Choir, Côr Meibion Onllwyn who performed with Côr Meibion Llanelli at the Brit Awards at Alexandra Palace and Bryncoch Male Voice Choir.

He was appointed Musical Director of Tonna Male Voice Choir in 1998 a post he held until 2002 forming his own mixed choir “Côr Al” in the Swansea Valley.

He has conducted the popular S4C religious programme “Dechrau Canu Dechrau Canmol” on several occasions from Ystradgynlais, Resolven, Ystalyfera and the Christmas service broadcast from St David’s Church Neath in 2015.

After obtaining his PGCE in 1994, Mr Maddock was appointed to his current post as Head of Music at his former school Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera. He is particularly proud of the musical achievements of many past pupils, some of which grace our TV screens and concert halls throughout the world. He has toured extensively with the performing arts faculty visiting Canada, South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore and has been Musical Director for two Urdd National Youth Productions, the most memorable being the revival of the Rock Opera “Jiwdas” which was performed in the open air in the ruins of the former Gnoll estate in Neath.

Tickets for Saturday’s Côr Meibion Llanelli concert are available from the Ffwrnes Theatre box office or from the Theatrau Sir Gar website.

See – http://www.theatrausirgar.co.uk/en/shows/christmas-with-the-choir

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Mark Jones

Blog posts

The latest Clay Shaw Butler Money Matters column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants. The Money Matters column appears in the Pembrokeshire Herald, the Carmarthenshire Herald and the Llanelli Herald newspapers.By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants.

If you’re in business, then it pays to keep up-to-date with the latest tax changes.

In Money Matters, we’ve been putting the spotlight on the latest Budget from the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond . . .

At Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants, we have produced a summary on the tax measures which may affect your business.

Here are some key points on business tax changes and updates– 

Capital allowances:

Annual Investment Allowance:

The government has announced an increase in the Annual Investment Allowance for two years to £1 million in relation to qualifying expenditure incurred from 1 January 2019. Complex calculations may apply to accounting periods which straddle this date.

A number of changes are made to other rules relating to capital allowances – 

  • a reduction in the rate of writing down allowance on the special rate pool of plant and machinery, including long-life assets, thermal insulation, integral features and expenditure on cars with CO2 emissions of more than 110g/km, from 8% to 6% from April 2019. Complex calculations may apply to accounting periods which straddle this date
  • clarification as to precisely which costs of altering land for the purposes of installing qualifying plant or machinery qualify for capital allowances, for claims on or after 29 October 2018
  • the end of the 100% first year allowance and first year tax credits for products on the Energy Technology List and Water Technology List from April 2020
  • an extension of the current 100% first year allowance for expenditure incurred on electric charge-point equipment until 2023.

In addition, a new capital allowances regime will be introduced for structures and buildings. It will be known as the Structures and Buildings Allowance and will apply to new non-residential structures and buildings. Relief will be provided on eligible construction costs incurred on or after 29 October 2018, at an annual rate of 2% on a straight-line basis.

Change to the definition of permanent establishment:

A non-resident company is liable to corporation tax only if it has a permanent establishment in the UK. Certain preparatory or auxiliary activities, such as storing the company’s own products, purchasing goods or collecting information for the non-resident company, are classed as not creating a permanent establishment.

From 1 January 2019, the exemption will be denied to these activities if they are part of a ‘fragmented business operation’.

Preventing abuse of the Research and Development tax relief for SMEs:

To help prevent abuse of the Research and Development (R and D) SME tax relief by artificial corporate structures, the amount that a loss-making company can receive in R&D tax credits will be capped at three times its total PAYE and NICs liability from April 2020.

HMRC has identified and prevented £300 million of fraud linked to this relief and this change will help to address similar abuses in future. Almost 95% of companies currently claiming the payable credit will be unaffected.

Protecting taxes in insolvency:

From April 2020, HMRC will have greater priority to recover taxes paid by employees and customers.

The changes appear to be mainly targeted at the distribution of funds to financial institutions as creditors. The rules will remain unchanged for taxes owed by the business and HMRC will remain below other preferential creditors such as the Redundancy Payment Service.

This will ensure that an extra £185 million in taxes already paid each year reaches the government.

You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) – http://www.clayshawbutler.com/news/latest-news-for-business

We have a strong and experienced team with great local knowledge all geared-up to helping you get the very best from your finances – whether that is as an individual or as a business.

We stay ahead of the game by putting great store by continual professional development for our staff.

With Investors In People status at Clay Shaw Butler, we care passionately about making sure our staff have all the tools they need to serve you, our customers.

Weblink – http://www.clayshawbutler.com

The team at Clay Shaw Butler can be contacted on 01267 228500.

The team at Clay Shaw Butler are on Twitter. Look for @clayshawbutler.

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