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Mark Jones

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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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Press releases

Carmarthenshire’s Tenant 2 Tenant awards return

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The prestigious Tenant 2 Tenant awards are returning this year.

The awards are all about shining a light on the many unsung heroes who make estate and neighbourhoods great places to live.

The 2018 awards will be another chance to say a big thank you to people who go the extra mile for the benefit of their neighbours, friends and community, and those that make an extra effort to keep their homes and gardens looking their best.

There are 12 categories up for grabs, ranging from Community project / event of the year, to volunteer of the year; Family project to Good neighbour. There’s also best kept garden, and best room makeover, as well as Housing Legend award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

An awards ceremony will be held in November, but before then, tenants have until June 28 to nominate worthy winners in each award category.

A judging panel, led by Cllr Linda Evans, executive board member for housing, will choose from the nominations submitted.

“These awards are a great way to celebrate tenants and community projects,” said Cllr Evans.

“Nominations have been flooding in for this year’s awards and I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the awards evening in November. It really is a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to the tenants and the efforts they make to go the extra mile to make other people’s lives better.”

Do you know someone who deserves a T2T award? Check out all the categories and find out how to enter below:

•Community Project/event of the year:
Recognising a group of volunteers who have gone the extra mile to bring some community spirit back to your area

•Best older person’s initiative or event award:
Celebrating a project that has involved sheltered scheme tenants working together to benefit others

•Family Project of the year:
Shining a spotlight on a project that has brightened the lives of your children and families.

•Volunteer of the year:
Celebrating the fantastic efforts a fellow tenant has made to bring joy and wellbeing to the lives of people living in your community

•Time Credits Champion:
Recognising the exceptional efforts of someone who has gone above and beyond to promote, earn or spend Time Credits

•Good Neighbour of the year:
Everyone needs good neighbours, and this award is a big Thank You to one special neighbour who goes the extra mile to help you in times of need

•Lifetime achievement award:
Celebrating the achievements of a tenet who has dedicated considerable time to make a difference in their community

•Housing Legend award:
Embracing a household legend who currently, or who has previously lived, in a council home.

•True Grit award:
Recognising an individual tenant who has overcome personal battles to make a difference to their own lives, or many lives.

•Green Fingers award:
A chance to shine a light on the talents of a keen gardener who has made their garden bloom

•Grand Designs award for best room makeover:
Recognising the creativity of an individual tenant who has transformed a room in their home

•Tenants’ Choice Award:
An opportunity for you to reward someone who gives their time to help improve your life – someone who has put a smile on your face, helped you into training or employment, helped at a community group etc. This award could be won by anyone who is not a Carmarthenshire County Council tenant


Simply tell us, in no more than 100 words, why the person you are nominating deserves the award.
The closing date for nominations is Thursday, June 28, 2018.
You can enter the same person/project in as many categories as you like, but please note that you cannot nominate yourself or your own project.

For further information, email MLTucker@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01554 899288.

Enter online here

Send your written entries to: Tenant2Tenant Awards 20168 c/o Carmarthenshire County Council Housing Services, 3 Spilman Street. Carmarthen. SA31 1LE.

Earn Time Credits for helping make the Tenant 2 Tenant Awards 2018 happen!

We are looking for volunteers to help us promote the awards, make arrangements for the awards evening, and even help out on the night. Earn one Time Credit for every one hour volunteered.

Can you help? Contact us at MLTucker@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01554 899288

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Press releases

Likely source of Llanelli fly infestation has been found

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The most likely source of the fly infestation in southern parts of Llanelli has been found.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s environmental health officers, working with independent pest experts, believe they have traced the issue to a recycling plant in the vicinity of the residential area affected.

As a precaution, the area is being spray-treated under the supervision of environmental health officers and advice is being given to the company.

It may take a few days for the treatment to take effect.

It is one of a number of potential sources that officers have investigated in the past week following complaints from residents.

The council has put additional resources in place to help resolve the issue, including extra staff and external pest control experts, which identified them as a common house fly.

Officers have been visiting homes and businesses premises across the area to gather information and offer advice and support.

Support will continue to be made available to vulnerable people, in particular older people and people with disabilities and medical conditions, should they require it.

Cllr Philip Hughes, executive board member for public protection, said: “We are confident, following extensive enquiries, that we have now located the source of the problem.

“We are working with our experts to treat the area with immediate effect and hope that this will resolve the problem for residents.

“We will of course work with the company to ensure that there is no repeat of this situation which has been unpleasant and upsetting for many people.”
He added: “I am grateful to residents for helping us with our enquiries, and our staff who have worked tirelessly to deal with this issue.”

Whilst treatment is underway, residents are being reminded of basic hygiene advice, which is to keep food in containers and in the refrigerator, to clean work surfaces, keep windows closed when possible and to treat areas with household pesticides.

Anyone who needs advice or support should call 01267 234567.

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