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Self-employed urged to apply for grant if they’ve lost income due to Covid-19

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APPROXIMATELY 2,400 self-employed people in Pembrokeshire whose business has lost income due to coronavirus have not yet claimed a government grant worth 80% of their trading profits – and they have less than two weeks to submit their application.

The grant is available via the HMRC Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 26 March.

Although the scheme has recently been extended, the claim for the first grant must be made on or before July 13.

All those who are eligible in Pembrokeshire are urged to apply for the grant before the deadline if they haven’t done so already.

Under the scheme, the self-employed can claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months. To be eligible, self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000 and more than half of the person’s income must come from self-employment.

HMRC figures estimate there are 8,100 potentially eligible people in Pembrokeshire and some 5,700 claims have been made giving a take-up rate of 70%. This is below the Welsh average of 73% but in line with the UK average. The total value of claims made is £14.3m.

The Preseli Pembrokeshire parliamentary constituency has an estimated 5,300 people who are potentially eligible. Of these, 3,600 have made claims, a take-up rate of 68%.

The take-up rate in the part of the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituency that lies in Pembrokeshire is 75% (2,100 claims from 2,800 eligible people).

Self-employed people should also be aware that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is now being extended.

Eligible people are able to claim a second and final grant in August 2020. Their eligibility will be worked out in the same way as the first grant.

If they make a claim for the second grant they will have to confirm their business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020.

For more information on the HMRC Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-self-employment-income-support-scheme

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It’s official! Pembrokeshire is best at recycling in Wales

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PEMBROKESHIRE residents are the top recyclers in the country, it’s been announced.

The Welsh Government has named Pembrokeshire as the best-performing local authority area for recycling from April 2019 to April 2020.

A total of 72% of all household waste was recycled during the period – the highest figure Pembrokeshire has ever seen.

Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said he could not thank local residents enough.

“This could not have been achieved without their efforts,” he said. “We are sincerely grateful.

“Pembrokeshire is number 1 for recycling in Wales. And Wales itself has the 2nd highest recycling rate in Europe and the 3rd highest in the world, so this achievement is incredibly impressive.”

But, he said, it was about more than figures.

“This is about providing a better future for our children. As so many people have said, there is no Planet B. All of us must do our bit to protect our environment for future generations.

“I am so encouraged by this progress in Pembrokeshire and hope very much that it will continue.”

One of the major factors behind the boost in figures is Pembrokeshire’s new waste and recycling kerbside collection scheme, launched in November 2019.

“The scheme has enabled people to recycle a wider range of items from home than before,” said Cllr Tomos.

“However, it was a big change. Not only were there new bags and boxes, but in some cases, new collection dates to get our heads around.

“I want to say thank you to everyone who persevered and made it work for them and their household. Their efforts to embrace it have led directly to these fantastic figures.

“And as always, I would also like to thank our collection crews, Waste and Recycling Centre operatives and the staff behind the scenes who have helped to make this all possible. They’ve been working incredibly hard this year and are a credit to the Council.”

Sarah Edwards, Strategic Project Manager for Waste and Recycling, echoed his sentiments and said the Council was also grateful to the Welsh Government’s Collaborative Change Programme, delivered by WRAP Cymru.

“Their support through our Waste Service review and the implementation of the new service was invaluable,” she said.

Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “I would like to congratulate Pembrokeshire on becoming the top recycling authority in Wales in 2019/20.

“This is testament to the hard work of the Council and households across the county in moving over to a new kerbside collection scheme – thank you for your mighty efforts.

“I’m really pleased that the Welsh Government’s collaborative change programme, delivered by WRAP, has helped Pembrokeshire to achieve today’s results – congratulations.

“Wales is already a recycling nation and we can be very proud of our achievements.”

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Family tribute to Jean Evans who died suddenly in a Tenby caravan park

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THE FAMILY of a woman who died suddenly in a Tenby caravan park have paid tribute to a “wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend”.

Jean Evans was found in a caravan in Kiln Park at around 6pm on Friday, 20 November.

Her family has issued the following statement: “We as a family would like to pay tribute to a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. We are all devastated with this big loss.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support at this horrific time. It has meant so much to the whole family.

“We are distraught by our loss. Jean Evans will be missed by us all

“We would now like time to grieve and would ask to be given privacy to do so.”

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Carers Rights day goes online

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CARERS RIGHTS DAY is taking place across the UK on Thursday, November 26 and in Pembrokeshire the event will be celebrated with a programme of activities and information sessions for unpaid carers of all ages.

Across Pembrokeshire, there are about 15,000 people who provide unpaid care and support to family and friends.

Many people don’t recognise themselves as carers, but the role they play in society is invaluable and it is estimated that across Wales carers provide care worth around £8.1 billion to the Welsh economy every year.

Under normal circumstances events for Carers Rights Day are planned around the county for carers to attend.

However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, this cannot happen this year.

So, a group of organisations supporting unpaid carers in Pembrokeshire, including the Pembrokeshire Carers Information and Support Service (PCISS) run by Hafal Crossroads, Action for Children, PAVS, Alzheimer’s Society and Pembrokeshire County Council, with support from Hywel Dda University Health Board, have put together a timetable of events for unpaid carers to access on and around Carers Rights Day.

These activities are free and will provide an opportunity for carers to access advice, support and a chat with other carers too.

Events include wellbeing workshops, quizzes and information sessions and more information can be found on the Connect Pembrokeshire website: https://connectpembrokeshire.org.uk/campaign/carers-rights-day

If you aren’t online or would like some support to build your confidence about using a laptop or tablet, so that you can join carers groups and activities over the winter, then the Community Hub can help.

Call the Community Hub on 01437 776301 for assistance to get connected.

Cllr Mike James, the Elected Member Carers’ Champion said: “Carers Rights Day may look and feel a bit different this year but it remains an important event to celebrate the hard work of carers in Pembrokeshire and provide information and support where required.

“The theme of this year’s event is ‘know your rights’. Whether you are a new carer or have been caring for someone for a while, it’s important that you understand your rights. It is critical that you are able to access the support that is available to you, as soon as you need it.

“Please get involved and have a look at the different events and support information being offered.”

If you look after a family member or friend, there is lots of information and support available in Pembrokeshire to help you look after yourself as well as the person you care for:

Pembrokeshire Carers Information and Support Service is available on 01437 611002 or by emailing: pciss@hafal.org 

Pembrokeshire Young Carers Service can be contacted on 01437 761330.

 

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