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Air Link Wales now flying from Haverfordwest

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AVIATION company Flitestar Private Air have launched their new Air Link Wales Programme connecting Haverfordwest, Caernarfon and Cardiff with other regional airports in the UK and Europe.

The company has opened an office in Menai Bridge on Anglesey – managed by James Blackler – and said it is particularly committed to improving air connectivity from North Wales.

The Air Link Wales network currently offers flight charter services from Caernarfon Airport to destinations such as Isle of Man, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton as well as London for connections to and from Gatwick and Heathrow.

They believe Southampton will be particularly popular for passengers connecting to cruises who wish to avoid the long road or rail trip down south.A flight to the south coast for two passengers from Caernarfon would cost £1,820 per person on a Piper PA34 Seneca plane.

Neil Baines, CEO of the Chester based company, said: “As a resident of Wales myself, I’ve often been frustrated by the lack of air connectivity and we are pleased to start to address this through our new Air Link Wales Charter programme which is ideally suited to both leisure and corporate customers.“Flying private can save hours of travel time which is of particular value to Wales-based organisations.”

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St Clears McDonald’s gets go ahead

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THE REFUSAL of a planning application for a McDonald’s near St Clears could provide very costly for Carmarthenshire County Council after the Planning Inspectorate permitted an appeal and awarded costs to a development company.
The Planning Inspectorate’s ruling also states the developer is no longer bound by an undertaking to improve pedestrian access by improving a pedestrian crossing in St Clears.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Planning Committee voted to deny the application on Thursday, September 19 last year.

Council officers recommended approval of the scheme, which caused an uproar in the community. There were around 270 objections to the planned McDonald’s and Costa Coffee against 28 broadly in favour of it.

Officers told councillors the alterations to the road layout around the restaurant would benefit an un-associated housing development scheduled for land adjacent to the site. The 50-home building scheme is within St Clears’ development limit.

Surprisingly for a business intending to make a profit from users accessing the site solely by car, planning officers accepted the contention that any increase in traffic would be marginal without addressing why – if such were the case – such a large site was needed for the restaurant and coffee house.

At the Planning Committee meeting, councillors expressed concerns about the traffic impact on the town and the impact on local businesses. However, the sole reason for denying the application was that the plans were for land outside – but immediately next to – the Local Development Plan limits for St Clears.

At the time, the Chair of the Council’s Planning Committee, Cllr Alun Lenny, sought advice from the Head of Planning whether the issue raised by councillors was a material planning consideration. Llinos Quelch confirmed the development’s location was not necessarily a determining factor.

She continued to explain economic development land was not always within the LDP boundaries. That did not mean it was a straightforward refusal as the officer had set out his reasons why the development overrode the boundary consideration.

Cllr Alun Lenny expressed concerns about the reasons being advanced for refusal. However, despite the clear advice from the Head of Planning, Committee members voted unanimously to reject the plans.

The only dissenting vote coming from Cllr Lenny, who again expressed concern the reasons advanced for rejection might not stand up to an appeal.

Cllr Lenny’s concerns about his fellow councillors’ actions proved amply justified.

The Planning Inspector noted that the plans were for a location directly opposite an existing Travelodge and that economic development was a material consideration which overrode the Planning Committee’s sole objection regarding the boundary of the development area.

He also said: “Although located outside the development limits identified in the LDP, the prevailing character of the site’s environs is edge-of-settlement rather than open countryside, with visible development close by in most directions.

“The locality does not possess any designation indicating any special landscape sensitivity or value. Moreover, the developed character of the site’s environs is likely to be reinforced as the housing site on its north-east side is delivered. Given the presence of this housing allocation, the appeal proposal would not result in a materially harmful erosion of the gap separating the development limits of St Clears and Pwll Trap. ln summary, the proposal would relate well to the existing built form of the locality and would not harm the area’s character and appearance.”

While dismissing the reason given by the Council for rejecting the proposal, the Inspector also said competition between businesses – to which many local objections related – was not a material planning consideration.

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Young Tenby-based currency trader making £8k a day

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BBC ONE Wales show ‘Young, Welsh and Pretty Minted’ will feature Pembrokeshire-based currency trader Ashley Richards this week.

The successful young entrepreneur, who lives in Tenby, fuels a life of fast cars and expensive watches by making thousands of pounds per-day with just a few simple phone calls.

Ashley, 20, has been trading online for 4 years and discovered that he’d failed his GCSE exams on the same day that he also made £470 trading currency online.

“That’s the day I first found out that I could make money without any GCSEs or qualifications,” says Ashley confidently.

“I’ve always thought that I would want to do business at university and I was thinking to myself, ‘What’s the point of learning how to do business when you can do it and learn on the job?'”

From there, Ashley launched into a risky career that has given him an incredible £200,000 a year since.

Ashley spends his money on cars, he currently owns 4 including a BMW i8 that cost a staggering £115,000, but never forgets the Pembrokeshire council estate he grew up on, returning to visit regularly so he never forgets his roots.

A spokesperson for the show told The Herald “Ashley is living the fantasy life from his seaside home in Tenby.

Armed with only his laptop and a mobile, he has been known to bring home £8,000 in one day by trading currency online. He supports his appetite for fast cars and designer watches working just two hours a day, but with his mates all working full time, it can be a lonely place to be.”

A high risk career like currency trading can involve losing money, something Ashley is more than aware of: “You’ve got to have it in the back of your mind that you can possibly lose money. I’ve lost money before, but how I look at it is that I’ve just profited less than I would’ve.”

Ashley also uses his new found wealth to help his mother out “It’s every son’s or daughter’s dream to be able to really treat their parents. It is really nice.

“My mum has definitely done her bit so it’s only fair that I reward her. That’s one of the main reasons why I work so hard because I just want to make sure my family has an easier life.”

Ashley’s amazing story is on ‘Young, Welsh and Pretty Minted’ which will air on BBC One Wales tonight (Feb 24) at 10:35pm

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WG to exceed apprentice target

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Ken Skates: Apprentices make a significant contribution to economy

THE WELSH GOVERNMENT is on course to exceed its target of providing 100,000 all-age, high-quality apprenticeships across Wales during this Assembly term, Economy Minister Ken Skates has said at the beginning of Apprenticeship Week.
Since the target was introduced, more than 74,000 individuals have embarked on an apprenticeship allowing them to learn whilst earning a wage and boost their career prospects.
Apprenticeship Week 2020 is a week-long celebration of the hard work and dedication of apprentices as well as the support and commitment shown by their employers. Events are taking place across Wales to mark the occasion.
The Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship Skills policy is aimed at aligning apprenticeships to meet the needs for a flourishing Welsh economy so Wales can compete globally with a highly skilled workforce.
The Apprenticeship Programme in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.
Speaking as Apprenticeship Week gets underway, Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “In my role, I have met apprentices in all parts of Wales and it’s fantastic to see how they have grasped the opportunity to learn new skills, develop their knowledge and build confidence.
“It’s clear that apprenticeships make a significant contribution to the Welsh economy and drive our vision for a prosperous Wales.
“As a government, we are committed to seeing our workforce grow and our investment in apprenticeships is a great example of that.
“I want to see Wales lead the way and be a prime example to nations around the globe of how investing in apprenticeships can reap major benefits.
“With unemployment in Wales at a record low and our manifesto target of creating 100,000 apprenticeships in this assembly set to be exceeded, the Welsh Government can be rightly proud of the actions we’re taking to supercharge our economy.
“Apprenticeship Week offers us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the tangible and very real difference apprentices and their employers make.
“Our ‘make a genius decision’ apprenticeship campaign is also playing a key role in encouraging businesses to recruit an apprentice and realise the positive difference they can make to the workplace.”
Mohammad Asghar AM/AC, the Shadow Minister for Further Education said: “Apprenticeships offer a different education and career path for many people, and such opportunities expand and enhance the range of provision available – and across the age range.
“Gone are the days when an apprenticeship was solely for young school leavers. The most recent figures from StatsWales indicate nearly 59,000 apprentices, ranging in age from the under-16s to later-life learners of over 65.”
Mr Asghar added that it is not only the age range that so impresses him, but also the breadth of the courses offered.
He continued: “We see also a very large range – from the agricultural sector to media, and from engineering to business – of industries covered. It is interesting to note, too, is that around 60 percent of all apprentices in Wales are female.
“I, and my Welsh Conservative colleagues, strongly believe that apprenticeships offer in many cases what a degree cannot, and that is the ability to ‘earn as you learn’, and this is one of the reasons why we back apprenticeships, and National Apprenticeship Week 2020.”

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