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Press releases

Llanelli fly infestation update . . . Natural Resources Wales called in

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Carmarthenshire County Council’s environmental health team has now handed over responsibility over the source of Llanelli’s fly infestation to Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

NRW is the enforcing authority over the recycling plant in Seaside which was identified last week as the most likely source of the infestation.

However, the council continues to work in the local community to support and reassure residents, and will also address any new areas in the community where flies may have settled to breed and lay.

Since June 5 the council’s environmental health team has undertaken 256 visits and responded to 28 urgent referrals regarding pest control.

They worked with independent pest control experts to trace the source to the recycling plant.

Over the weekend, before handing over to NRW, the team supervised the first insecticide treatments of the site and removal of some waste.

The council’s waste team have carried out daily bin collections and have increased patrols of the area as a precaution and will continue for the foreseeable future.

This week, skips will be provided in the two residential communities affected, allowing residents to get rid of waste they have at their homes – they will be available on Tuesday, June 12, from 9am-4pm at the lay-by next to Crown Park, Seaside, and grassland at the top end of New Dock Road.

As well as visiting individual properties, environmental health officers will also be at these locations for drop-in advice, in Seaside from 10am-12pm, and on the grassed area in New Dock Road from 2pm-4pm.

Cllr Philip Hughes, executive board member for public protection, said: “Whilst Natural Resources Wales have now taken over at the source of the infestation, we are continuing to support the communities affected. Although treatment is underway, it may take some time until conditions improve, as such we will continue to monitor the area, carry out daily rubbish collections and cleansing and offer our support to residents.”

Paul Gibson, Industry Regulation Team Leader, Natural Resources Wales said: “We recognise the fly infestation has caused significant problems for people living in the area and our priority is to help tackle the issue following Carmarthenshire County Council’s investigation.

“The waste that was causing the issues is currently being removed from site and our officers will be checking the company takes the steps required to minimise the risk of future problems occurring.

“We are assessing the company’s compliance in relation to their environmental permit and will take further action required to address the problem.”

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Press releases

Spotlight on Carers Weeks in Carmarthenshire

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK.

This year carer’s week takes place from Monday, June 11 to Sunday, June 17.

The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is.

This Carers Week, we’re coming together to build communities that support the health and wellbeing of carers. Around 6.5million people in the UK are carers, looking after a parent, partner, child or friend. A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health problem or who needs extra help as they grow older. Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but sometimes carers find it challenging to take care of their own well-being whilst caring.

The impact of caring on health and well-being should not be underestimated, and this Carers week we will be looking to share examples of good practice from supporters of which have helped carers to stay Healthy and Connected.

Carmarthenshire county council in conjunction with Carmarthenshire carer’s information service have organised the following events with information stands during the week to help raise awareness of carers, their rights and the support services available to them.

At the information stands, things that we will be discussing are:

  • Carer’s Emergency Card
  • Carers Outreach Service
  • Section 24 – SSWBA (Social services and wellbeing act), Duty to assess the needs of a carer for support
  • Exceptional Circumstance Direct Payment – formally Carers Grant
  • Lyons Emergency Box


Monday, June 11 to Thursday 14, 9am-5pm
Friday, June 15, 9am-4.30pm
Venue: Customer Service Centre, Carmarthenshire County Council, Yr Hwb, 36 Stepney Street, Llanelli
Event: Information stand relating to carers rights and accessing support and advice

Monday, June 11
Time: 10am-3pm
Venue: Prince Philip Hospital (Canteen area), Llanelli
Event: Information stand relating to carers rights and accessing support and advice

Wednesday, June 13
Time: 10am-1pm
Venue: Carers Trust Sir Gar (Crossroads), The Palms, Llanelli
Event: Coffee and Cake morning. Information stand relating to carers rights and accessing support and advice

Wednesday, June 13
Venue: Coleshill Resource Centre, Llanelli
Event: Information stand relating to carers rights and accessing support and advice

Thursday, June 14
Time: 10am-3pm
Venue: St Elli Shopping Centre, Llanelli
Event: Information stand relating to carers rights and accessing support and advice


Tuesday, June 12
Time: 10am-1pm
Venue: St. Peters Bowling Club, Carmarthen
Event: Coffee and Cake morning. Information stand relating to carers rights and accessing support and advice

Friday, June 15
Time: 10am-3pm
Venue: Glangwili Hospital (Outpatients reception), Carmarthen
Event: Information stand relating to carers rights and accessing support and advice

Further information:

Find out how you can get involved in Carers Week to help carers to stay Healthy and Connected by visiting www.carmarthenshirecarers.org.uk, call 0300 0200 002 or email info@carmarthenshirecarers.org.uk

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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 taxman at HMRC has issued a warning to taxpayers regarding the latest tax refund scams.

These scams are targeting individuals via email and SMS messages.

HMRC is currently processing genuine tax refunds for the 2017/18 tax year and the fraudsters are sending scam messages which claim that taxpayers are entitled to a rebate.

These messages go on to request that they provide their personal and account details in order to make their claim.

HMRC is keen to stress that it will only ever inform individuals of a tax refund by post or through their employer, and never via email, text messaging or voicemail.

Commenting on the issue, Treasury Minister Mel Stride said:

“We know that criminals will try and use events like the end of the financial year, the self assessment deadline, and the issuing of tax refunds to target the public and attempt to get them to reveal their personal data.”

HMRC is advising taxpayers not to click on any links, download any attachments or provide any personal information, and to forward any suspect messages to HMRC.

Internet link for more information on the Government website –


The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has joined forces with HMRC to urge underpaid workers to complain about National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) underpayments.

Recent figures show that the number of workers receiving the money they are owed has doubled.

During 2017/18, HMRC investigators identified £15.6 million in pay owed to more than a record 200,000 of the UK’s lowest paid workers.

This is an increase on the previous year’s figures of £10.9 million for more than 98,000 workers.

HMRC launched its online complaints service in January 2017 and believes this has contributed to the 132% increase in the number of complaints received over the last year and the amount of money HMRC has been able to recoup for those unfairly underpaid.

The figures are published as the government launches its annual advertising campaign which encourages workers to take action if they are not receiving the NMW or NLW.

The online campaign urges underpaid workers to proactively complain by completing an HMRC online form.

HMRC state that the types of business receiving most complaints include restaurants, bars, hotels and hairdressing.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:

“Employers abusing the system and paying under the legal minimum are breaking the law.

“Short changing workers is a red line for this government and employers who cross the line will be identified by HMRC and forced to pay back every penny, and could be hit with fines of up to 200% of wages owed.

“I would urge all workers, if you think you might be being underpaid then you should check your pay and call Acas on 0300 123 1100 for free and confidential advice.”

Please contact the team at Clay Shaw Butler for help with payroll matters.

Internet link to the Government website for more information –



You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) –


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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Press releases

Aberystwyth PhD student secures prestigious publishing deal

Posted By Robert Lloyd

An English and Creative writing student at Aberystwyth University has secured a prestigious deal with Picador, one of the world’s most leading publishers of fiction.

Picador has acquired the world rights in all languages to Kiare Ladner’s “funny, urban, literary” debut novel Nightshift, which is set to be published by the Pan Macmillan imprint in autumn 2019.

South African-born Kiare is currently finishing a PhD in Creative Writing at the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University.

Her first novel evolves from a novella of the same name, “Nightshift”, which has been submitted as part of her doctoral thesis “Shifting Territories”.

Kiare’s PhD at Aberystwyth was funded by the University’s Doctoral Career Development Scholarship, now known as AberDoc.

As part of her scholarship Kiare also taught undergraduate students in the Department, inspiring the next generation of Creative Writers to follow her shining example of creative practice.

Dr Louise Marshall, Head of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth said: ““We are absolutely delighted to hear of Kiare’s wonderful success in securing a publishing deal with Picador. This is an incredible breakthrough for a new novelist and one that Kiare undoubtedly deserves. Her PhD supervisor, Prof Matthew Francis, has always been fulsome in his praise of Kiare’s incredible talent and it is very gratifying to see public recognition of her writing on such a grand scale.”

On publication, Kiare will join a pantheon of acclaimed Aberystwyth alumni who have gone on to be award-winning successful novelists.

They include Sarah Hall (The Carhullan Army, The Wolf Border), Katherine Stansfield (The Visitor, Falling Creatures, The Magpie Tree), Tyler Keevil (Burrard Inlet, No Good Brother, Hometown Tales: Wales), and Eliza Granville (Gretel and the Dark).

The rights to Nightshifthave been acquired by associate publisherRavi Mirchandanifrom Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.

Mirchandani described the novel, which he bought at pre-empt, as “an immensely exciting debut, a novel of nights and shifts, between gay and straight, sober and carried away; of how it is possible both to find oneself in the city or to become lost entirely; of obsession and the sheer mysteriousness of ourselves and others”.

“As the capital becomes ever more different from the rest of the country, it is not simply a wonderfully-observed novel of London, but a journey through the seductions and dangers of any great world city,” he said.

Summerhayes added: “I have been seeking a dark, wry and funny urban literary novel for quite some time.  And I found one at last. Kiare is an amazing new talent and she, Ravi and Team Picador really is the dream team for Nightshift.”

Prior to joining the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University, Kiare studied for an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia, for which she won the David Higham Literary Agency Bursary Award.

Her short stories have appeared in Wasafiri, Lightship Anthology 1, New Contrastand Eclectica.

Kiare said: “All I keep thinking is that being published by Picador would be a dream come true except I’d never even dared dream it. I am so excited to be working with Picador’s team on my book.”

Photo: Kiare Ladneris currently finishing a PhD in Creative Writing at the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University


Department of English and Creative Writing

AberDoc PhD Scholarship Competition

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Press releases

Wine-savvy geologist from Aberystwyth University publishes volume on vineyards

Posted By Robert Lloyd

As wine producers increasingly proclaim the importance and the uniqueness of the soils in which their vines grow, a new book by an Aberystwyth University geologist looks at how geology can shape a vineyard and its produce.

In Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils: The Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology, Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences Alex Maltman introduces the basic principles of geology in the context of wine.

“The geology of vineyards is a hot topic in the wine world”, said Professor Maltman.

“Wineries are busy proclaiming the unique soils in which their vines grow; journalists assert the special qualities this or that bedrock brings to wine; plenty of enthusiasts are now convinced that the vineyard geology can actually be tasted in their wine glass. Unfortunately, people tend to get the geology wrong.”

In his book, Professor Maltman sets out to clarify matters, and provides a readable explanation of geology as it applies to vineyards and wine.

“The emphasis throughout is on the kinds of processes that make the vineyards, and the minerals, rocks and soils that host the vines,” said Professor Maltman.

“I began questioning why things were done certain ways in wine-making over forty years ago, when I started making my own wine. I first started by using fruit from the hedgerows around my home in Penrhyncoch, near Aberystwyth, and then from grapevines in my garden. All this taught me much: I have often said that the principles of making wine from twenty vines are just the same as from twenty thousand.

“The book also explores how the geology-wine connection manifests in the finished product and evaluates its importance, particularly in the contexts of minerality, terroir, and taste.

“The fact is that geology is increasingly being promoted in the world of wine; the aim of the book is to help it be properly understood.”

Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils: The Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology by Alex Maltman is published by Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780190863289.

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences

Professor Alex Maltman

Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils: The Wine Lover’s Guide to Geology

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Press releases

Carmarthenshire businesses to benefit from a £170,000 rate relief package

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Around 600 businesses are set to benefit from a £170,000 rate relief package following a decision by Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board.

The council will be supporting a Welsh Government non-domestic rates relief scheme which could see eligible businesses save up to £750 a year.

Welsh Government recently confirmed that its High Street Rate Relief scheme will be extended to 2018/19, albeit with reduced overall funding and therefore lower levels of relief for individual ratepayers.

The scheme is aimed specifically at high street retailers, such as shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes that have seen their rates increase as a result of the 2017 revaluation undertaken by the Valuation Office Agency.

Local authorities, like Carmarthenshire County Council, collect business rates on behalf of the Welsh Government.

The recommendation put to executive board by Cllr David Jenkins, executive board member for resources, was unanimously supported.

He said: “Those who qualify for the rate relief will be contacted over the coming weeks with new bills issued.”

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