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What the Child Benefit rate rise means for you



MILLIONS of families who claim Child Benefit will automatically receive increased payments from 6 April 2024, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has confirmed.

Families with one child will now receive up to £1,331 a year – an annual increase of £83.20, and up to £881 a year per additional child – an annual increase of £54.60. There is no limit to how many children families can claim for.

Parents will receive £102.40 every 4 weeks (£25.60 per week) for the first or only child and £67.80 every 4 weeks (£16.95 per week) for each additional child.

Families with ongoing claims do not need to contact HMRC, as the increased benefit payment will continue to be paid directly into their bank accounts. Anyone who needs to update their personal details, such as a change of bank account or address, can do so using the HMRC app or online at GOV.UK.

Parents with a newborn baby are encouraged to make a claim online as soon as possible and could receive their first payment in as little as three days. Child Benefit claims can be backdated by a maximum of three months.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, said:

“The increase in Child Benefit rates for existing claimants is automatic and families do not need to contact us. New claimants should apply online or using HMRC’s app. Search ‘child benefit’ on GOV.UK for more information.”

HMRC is reminding parents yet to benefit from Child Benefit that it is quick and easy to claim on GOV.UK or via the HMRC app, which can be used to:

·         apply online  

·         backdate claims for up to 3 months 

·         add a new baby to a claim 

·         tell HMRC about a change in circumstances  

·         update details i.e. change of address/bank details 

·         view or print proof of entitlement to Child Benefit 

From 6 April 2024, families where the highest earner has a salary of up to £60,000 a year will not be subject to the High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC). Previously, a person who had an annual income of £50,000 or more would be liable to pay the charge if they or their partner were receiving Child Benefit.

Laura Trott, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“We are ending the unfairness in the child benefit system, and as a result 170,000 families will no longer have to pay back child benefit, and nearly half a million families will save an average of around £1,300 next year.

“The legacy of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine has put pressures on everyone’s cost of living. But, by taking difficult decisions, the economy is starting to turn a corner, and we can now provide further support to parents.”

For those earning between £60,000 and £80,000, the amount of Child Benefit they are entitled to receive reduces as income increases within this range. If an individual’s income exceeds £80,000 the HICBC will be equal to the Child Benefit payment. Parents who make a claim and then choose to opt-out of receiving Child Benefit payments can still receive National Insurance credits if one parent is not working.

Parents with an income above £50,000, who reinstate their Child Benefit before 6 April 2024, may be subject to HICBC charges if they choose to start payments in the 2023 to 2024 tax year. For new claimants who claim Child Benefit on or after 6 April 2024, any HICBC liability will be based on the new 2024 to 2025 threshold of £60,000 to £80,000.

More information can be found on GOV.UK. Search ‘High Income Child Benefit Charge.’

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Little and Broad Haven RNLI to feature in Saving Lives at Sea



RNLI/Denys Bassett-Jones

As the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) marks 200 years of lifesaving, the volunteer lifeboat crew of Little and Broad Haven are set to take to the nation’s television screens on Tuesday 30 April as they feature in the ninth series of Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two and iPlayer.

The new series comes in the wake of an incredible milestone for the RNLI, as the charity marked two centuries of lifesaving on 4 March 2024.

After a special first episode which took a closer look at RNLI crews’ involvement in the Second World War, nine further episodes in the series focus on the lifesaving work of today’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards, featuring footage captured on helmet and lifeboat cameras including Little and Broad Haven RNLI.

Viewers will be able to watch dramatic rescues as they unfold through the eyes of RNLI lifesavers, as well as meeting the people behind the pagers and hearing from the rescuees and their families who, thanks to the RNLI, are here to tell the tale.

This forthcoming episode, on Tuesday 30 April sees Little and Broad Haven RNLI tasked alongside St. Davids lifeboat to a mayday call for a capsized dinghy with three people in the water near Newgale Beach. The episode will also show rescue stories from fellow lifeboat crew volunteers at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Andrew Thomas, Helm of the Little and Broad Haven lifeboat crew featured in the forthcoming episode, says: ‘The shout out to Pointz Castle is a great opportunity for the public to witness how our small community lifeboat station in Pembrokeshire operates.

‘It’s unusual to have the opportunity to work alongside so many other rescue services, including a local fishing boat who responded to the mayday call. A successful outcome to any shout is always a positive one. The sea can catch anybody out.’

Michael Bool, one of the volunteer crew on that rescue says: ‘The shout was an opportunity to put many aspects of our training into practice, alongside other RNLI assets. As volunteer crew we put the time and effort into training to be on call to assist others when in difficulty at sea, and this shout was a good example of why we do it.

‘Saving Lives at Sea gives an insight into why the RNLI is such an important service for coastal communities and visitors, both in terms of education and rescue when required. It was great to be invited to show some of what we do in Little and Broad Haven’.

Another volunteer crew member on that day, Gareth Light, says: ‘This was a great example of why the RNLI is such a valuable service and even better that everyone got to go home safely. Filming with Saving Lives at Sea was a great opportunity to give the general public a look at our lives and experiences as volunteer crew for the RNLI.’

Filming took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day lives on the coast. Rescues from the RNLI archives are also revisited, and we get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives at sea.

Saving Lives at Sea
is broadcast at 8pm on Tuesdays on BBC Two and iPlayer.

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Denys Bassett-Jones, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on Denys[email protected].

Alternatively you can contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, Regional Communications Manager on [email protected] or 07977 728315, or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Little and Broad Haven RNLI crew with St.Davids Lifeboat

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI – public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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Roch development would have just four affordable homes



A PEMBROKESHIRE residential development of 52 homes, with just four affordable houses, is expected to get the go-ahead from county planners despite calls for this figure to be 20 per cent.

Wakefield Developments Ltd is seeking permission for the development, which includes four one-bed affordable housing units, on land near Pilgrims Way, Roch, just 100 metres from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, meeting on April 23, are recommended to approve the council’s head of planning be delegated to approve the application, subject to the completion of a Section 106 planning obligation.

That includes the four affordable units being secured in perpetuity, with a local lettings policy, and financial contributions totalling £360,336.

This made up of an education contribution of £207,360 to mitigate the impact of nine unfunded pupil places at secondary level that will be generated by the development, a public open space provision contribution of £92,976, and contributions towards parking provision, public transport access and footpaths, totalling £60,000.

Nolton & Roch Community Council has previously objected to the scheme, based on the number of affordable houses, but, at its most recent meeting of April 15, reconsidered its position “in light of new information available pertaining to the affordable housing provision and Section 106 contribution,” a report for lanners said.

It added: “Nolton and Roch Community Council are supportive to the proposed development in principle. Community councillors feel the development will bring an overall benefit to the wider community, much-needed families to the school and custom to local businesses.”

18 objections to the scheme were also received, raising concerns including an “inadequate” affordable housing level, it being a high density development for a rural area, a loss of green space, the size of some of the homes, and pressures on existing services and facilities, and fears it may lead to an increase in second homes.

Nolton & Roch Community Land Trust (N&RCLT) has raised its concerns about the development, believing it would still include 12 affordable units, as indicated previously.

“The N&RCLT objects very strongly to the developer’s proposal to significantly reduce the affordable housing. Our two Housing Needs Surveys (2020 & 2023), have established a major need for affordable housing in our local area. Furthermore, the primary demand is for two and three-bed properties. Importantly, the surveys demonstrate a high level of community support for the CLT’s aim to help meet that need.

“Therefore, we are confident in speaking for nearly 200 residents who responded to our surveys. We are confident that almost all of them would also want the 20 per cent affordable housing to be built in the proposed development.”

It calls for permission to be granted, subject to a 20 per cent affordable homes element.

An officer report for members, recommending conditional approval, concludes: “It is apparent that the proposed development is not fully policy compliant, insofar as it cannot deliver the indicative 20 per cent affordable housing sought [by policy].

“However, a substantial positive social impact will arise through the provision of housing, including four one-bed affordable housing units, in meeting identified needs for both market and affordable housing.

“Financial obligations identified to mitigate adverse impacts arising from the proposed development cannot be met in full. However, Policy GN.3 acknowledges that in such circumstances contributions may be prioritised on the basis of the individual circumstances of each case.

“Financial obligations have been agreed towards the mitigation of adverse impacts in relation to education and highways which officers consider to be essential to ensuring that the development is acceptable in planning terms.”

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Pembrokeshire embraces future with new e-bike scheme



PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL, under the chairmanship of Thomas Baden Tudor, has announced an exciting new initiative aimed at boosting sustainable transportation across the region. The council has introduced a “pay as you go” electric bike (E-Bike) service, now available in Haverfordwest, Fishguard, Goodwick, and Tenby as part of a 12-month trial that commenced on 8th April 2024.

The scheme, managed by Zeus Mobility, features the Zip bikes—electrically powered bicycles designed to make cycling less strenuous and more accessible to a broader demographic. Each location will start with 10 E-Bikes, with plans to increase the fleet to 50 by summer. The service will include three main charging stations and numerous satellite bays for convenient access and returns.

Priced competitively, the E-Bikes can be hired for £3.00 for the first hour, with subsequent time billed at 5p per minute. Daily and weekly rates are also available, offering users more flexibility for longer trips. The bikes are aimed at reducing reliance on motor vehicles, promoting healthier living, and contributing to national decarbonisation targets.

Councillor Tudor tested the new bikes himself, describing the experience as “brilliant fun for the whole family” and encouraging all residents and visitors to give them a try. The initiative is part of a broader effort by the council to offer eco-friendly travel options that align with environmental objectives.

To use the E-Bikes, riders need to download the Zipp Mobility app, which allows for bike unlocking, ride tracking, and payment. The app also provides information on bike locations, parking bays, and cycling routes within the county.

Funded by a £150,000 grant from the Swansea Bay and South West Wales Metro, the project focuses solely on this E-Bike trial, aiming to make Pembrokeshire a leader in sustainable travel. For further details on hiring and operating the E-Bikes, residents can visit the Cycle Pembrokeshire webpage or contact the team directly via email at [email protected].

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