100,000 Welsh Properties Get Superfast Broadband
In the early part of January, this year, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport announced that the Superfast Cymru project had exceeded the number of properties able to use the service had exceeded 100,000.
The aim is to make the service available to 96% of Welsh businesses and homes by the end of next year – resulting in over 690,000 premises having access. However, at present it is mainly properties in North Wales that are benefiting from the service.
The scheme is backed by funding of £57m from the UK Government with a commitment of £220m from BT for various projects.
Maria Miller, Culture Secretary has been quoted as saying that it was excellent that so many Welsh businesses and homes are already gaining real social and commercial advantages as a result of the nationwide rollout.
I get a lot of enquiries about alterations to evening, wedding and bridesmaids dresses bought online. Often the dresses are bought very cheaply from websites which although may seem to be English, actually source their dresses from the Far East either that or the websites are blatantly Oriental.
Some of the cheap dress websites, and there are many, are better than others, but as a rule you need to be very careful about the sizes you order as it can be very difficult to return dresses or get any compensation.
There are a few rules of thumb which it is best to go by when ordering a cheap dress online.
1. always use a site which allows you to input your own measurements.
2. always actually input your measurements, don't just buy the dress in your usual size. Most of the sites use American sizes which are about 2 sizes bigger than ours so if you order a size 16, you'll receive something approaching a UK12!
3. get a friend to take your measurements and don't skimp to make the number seem smaller, it is better to get the dress a little too big than too small as there is much less scope to let a dress out than to take it in.
If you do decide to go down the cheap online dress route don't expect perfection, the dresses can be very good but they won't be as good as something made to measure in this country and just occasionally a dress will arrive and be a big disappointment. In this scenario don't panic just take the dress to a good dressmaker and she will be able to alter it to fit perfectly and to modify any design details you don't like.
The picture shows just such a dress. The dress was a bargain, much cheaper than similar seen in a UK shop but when it arrived it was badly made, being unevenly stitched with asymmetric seaming which should have been symmetric and it didn't fit at all well. The bride was in her words 'distraught' when she brought me her dress, but a lot of work later she had the perfect dress and looked lovely on her big day. And she still saved money on the UK dress price after paying my fees to sort the dress out to her satisfaction.
So buying special clothes online can be a big money saver, but buy the right size according to your measurements and expect to have do some work on it.
Caroline Jones, Fashion Revived, your friendly local dressmaker in the Forest of Dean.
Ladies, Are You Wearing The Right Sized Bra?
Use this Valentines as a reminder why its important to get measured.
64% of women are wearing the wrong bra size! This figure is according to a study by Swiss lingerie company Triumph. They found that globally nearly a third of women had never had a proper bra fitting before, and us Brits were among one of the worst countries!
If you aren't wearing the correct sized bra it could be putting unnecessary strain on the back, affecting your posture and causing joint and muscle pain. In 2008 the British Chiropractic Association first looked at this issue. A survey was carried out among women who had claimed to have suffered back pain at some point in their life, 47% of the women said that they believed that their breast size was a factor.
“Bras are like suspension bridges, you need a well engineered bra so your shoulders don’t take all of the strain and end up doing all of the work; spreading the load is important. Bras that don’t fit will affect the shoulders and chest and may cause back pain as you get older. It is so important to make sure a bra gives you enough support as possible. The message must be to get properly fitted for a bra and replace old ones when they start to lose their supportive properties ”.Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association
In the 2008 survey, 77% of those women who got professionally measured discovered that they had been wearing the wrong sized bra!
Use this Valentines date as a reminder to get fitted, it usually costs nothing but could save you a lot!
For more help or advice please contact me on 01600 890 282 or visit my website www.shireschiropracticclinic.co.uk
As a business owner you have access to a world of tax planning opportunities
As a business owner you have more flexibility on how you decide to manage your finances. This means you can take advantage of a number of tax saving opportunities. Exactly what opportunities are available to you depends on your individual situation. It is imperative that you take good quality financial advice to ensure that your affairs are organised correctly. Examples of some opportunities that may be available to you are:
Let HMRC help pay for your life insurance
Are you a company director? Do you have life insurance in place to protect your family?
If so, you could be paying an unnecessary tax penalty. If you pay for this cover from your own bank account you will be paying from post-tax income, and if you are paying from the business account you will most likely be taxed on the payment as if it were income.
Recent changes in legislation have allowed smaller companies to benefit from arrangements known as ‘relevant life plans’. These can be written on an individual basis so are available to all companies no matter how small.
Relevant life plans are particularly suitable for businesses that do not have enough eligible employees to warrant a group life scheme and for high earning employees and directors who have substantial pension funds and do not want their death-in-service benefits to form part of their Lifetime Allowance. They can also be used by existing members of group life schemes who want to top-up their benefits but are limited to the amount that can be provided by their current scheme.
The tax benefits are:
If you own or are considering purchasing a commercial property to run your business from you may be able to hold this in a SIPP (self invested personal pension) benefitting from all the tax advantages of a pension.
The rules qualifying commercial property and how it is managed are very specific. If your commercial property meets the necessary criteria, the tax benefits are:
The levels and basis of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances. The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.
Charlotte Poole-Graham represents only St. James's Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group's wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group's website www.sjp.co.uk/products.
Where Will We Be In 10 Years’ Time?
I first got interested in computers when I was very young, I was given a ZX80 for a birthday present by a friend who had recently upgraded their computer to a ZX81 the year was 1982 an I was hooked.
As I had no games or any other software for it I had no option but to make my own and as such I spent all my pocket-money buying books that listed the code that would create a new game. This normally meant spending hours typing in the code only to find that it didn't work!! this was a great way to learn, as it meant I learnt through trial and error I was also lucky in that two of my friends eventually got one so we would discuss programming at school or whenever we could.
My school had just started a computer club where we would not only play games (on the Vic 20) but also learn Basic, throughout my childhood I had just about every 8Bit PC you could get but the one I found the best ( at least the easiest to program ) was the BBC model B.
It was great and had a brilliant keyboard to type on, the syntax of their version of Basic was stunning.
When 16Bit PC's became the Norm, being able to turn the computer on and program started to get harder, you had to install a programming language, I found Atari's environment very unintuitive to use, and as such I started to lose interest in programming also (discovering women) didn't help either I suppose!
Everything changed for me in 1994 when the Internet first became accessible, and I fell in love with HTML, I read everything I could about it, this involved into Java and Java script and of course PHP, Perl and Python, the thought of being able to program a web page that was dynamic, showing the visitor information based on the content of a databases provided massive potential, so this then brought the need for learning database table structures and query languages.
It amazes me how many kids today use computers but have no understanding of how they work, my son for example takes IT at school, but he is not taught how to resolve software or technical issues but instead is only instructed on using software applications (based toward Microsoft Technology).
There are some great languages to get your children interested in programming a great one is Simple, and is based very roughly on AppleSoft, the Basic language found on Apple-II computers, and is aimed at younger children with no prior knowledge of programming, and another great one is Microsoft Visual Basic Express
This leads me to think, where will we be in the next 10 years? Languages will evolve and technology advances will be massive how is the next generation of programmers / technical support guys supposed to cut their teeth?
Perhaps things will get to a point where the syntax of languages evolves to such a point that you will code programs and web pages by describing them in perfect English.
Where will we be in 10 year’s time? I'm not sure where the futures heading but who knows HTML 5 looks great but HTML 12 may well be the holy grail of programming for the Web, but I doubt it.
Forest PC Repairs, 07541 573117
Floods – don’t get caught out.
Checks before a flood
Be prepared to evacuate your property and think about where you can go for safety -will the route be passable?
Make sure that you know how to turn off your gas, electricity and water mains supplies
Have a prepared flood kit of essential items such as a broom, spade, mop and bucket; domestic detergent and disinfectant; rubber boots, gloves and protective clothing; waterproof torch and radio; bottled water for drinking
Agree where you will go in the event of a flood and how to contact friends and family
Think about what items you can move to a safe place for later and what are essential items for you to have now
Create a list of important numbers including Floodline 0845 988 1188
You can sign up for Floodline Warnings Direct by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or by visiting the Environment Agency website.
What to do during a flood.
Safety comes first! Think about evacuation before it is too late to move. Make sure you follow any advice or instructions provided by the emergency services.
If floodwater is about to enter your building, turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies if it is safe to do so. DO NOT touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water
Gas and electricity supplies should remain switched off until a qualified professional has checked the system thoroughly. Wiring, appliances and pipe-work should also be inspected for safety and efficiency
Keep listening to local radio for updates or call Floodline on 0845 988 1188
Move irreplaceable personal or sentimental items, such as photographs – as well as portable items - to an upper storey or higher location in your property to prevent loss or damage
Also check any outbuildings to see if any items can be moved
If possible, raise ground floor furniture on blocks or bricks to minimise the risk of damage
Call your insurance company / broker to notify them of a potential claim.
What to do after a flood
If your electricity is switched off following an incident, make sure that a qualified electrician checks the electrical installation before it is switched back on
If your gas has to be turned off, make sure that a GasSafe registered tradesperson checks the gas supply before the gas is switched back on
Do not throw away any items until we or our loss adjuster tell you it is OK to do so
Make a list of any damaged items that you need to throw away before you dispose of them. Take a note of make and model numbers, and take photographs of any damage if you have a camera to hand
Wear appropriate clothing and gloves when handling anything that has been contaminated by flood waters. Remember floodwater often contains sewage, so take sensible hygiene precautions
Carry out any emergency repairs to protect your property from further losses. If you’re unsure whether the cost of repair is covered under your insurance, contact your Insurance Adviser..
Inbound 4G Roaming – EE
In a statement EE’s Chief Executive, Olaf Swantee, said that when tourists travel abroad they are “increasingly looking for fast and reliable mobile experiences. Technology is not just shaping how people book and research holidays but what they look for when they are choosing a country to visit”.
So as from 17 December 2013 US visitors to the UK will be able to utilise EE’s (Everything Everywhere) superfast 4G network. The company is the first company in the UK to offer this facility. This is due to an agreement with the US network company AT&T.
The intention is to extend this to visitors from other countries during this year by launching further partnerships during the year.
EE was the first company to launch 4G in the UK and so far has managed to make this available to 60% of the population with 160 cities and towns being covered by Christmas last year. A report of 9 December 2013 published by 4GEE Mobile Living Index showed that there was more than 1.2 million subscribers.
Why does aloe matter?
So many products we see today promote the fact that they contain aloe vera. From moisturisers to toilet paper and everything in between; many products boast that they contain this miracle plant, but why does aloe matter?
Although aloe vera has been popularised in the UK over the last few years, it has actually been around for several thousand years and has some wonderful nicknames that derive from various cultures, such as 'the burn plant', 'the medicine plant', 'the silent healer' and a great one from Japan is 'isha irazu' which literally means 'no need for a doctor'.
Although it looks like a cactus, it is in fact a succulent of the lily family, related to onions, garlic and asparagus. About five aloes have medicinal qualities, but Barbadensis Miller is the most powerful. All aloes originated from Africa and have subsequently spread around the world and thrive in warm countries where they will not be threatened by their main enemy, frost. This is the reason that you don't see them growing here in the UK, except in indoor pots.
There are many legends about aloe. It is said that Aristotle advised Alexander the Great to conquer the island of Socotra to secure its aloe harvest for his troops'. Another legend tells us queen Cleopatra used aloe to keep her skin soft and beautiful.
While many still consider aloe vera to be a folk remedy, it is important to consider that two-thirds of the world's population is treated with herbs and plant products that are not only effective, but offer benefits that are equal to chemically derived remedies of the western world. In Africa today, people still pack whole aloe leaves around their wounds, and in South America, mothers coat the arms and legs of children to keep the biting insects away.
There are many varieties of aloe vera that can be used in products, and they greatly vary. There is a significant difference between aloe vera 'juice' and aloe vera 'gel'. Aloe vera juices are made from the bitter part of the leaf known as aloe latex. There is very little to suggest that this part of the leaf carries any health benefits, but it can be highly laxative. Aloe vera gels, which we produce, are made from the inner leaf, which seems to be the most beneficial part of the plant. This potent inner leaf gel contains over 200 different beneficial compounds, as well as being naturally high in vitamin C.
For more information contact me on 07789549566 or email@example.com.
Is your website optimized for mobile viewing?
There's not really any surprises regarding visitor numbers to websites from mobile phones, it’s been on the increase for a few years now and is set to increase for the foreseeable future.
Yet I still come across websites that are not geared up for this and that simply amazes me.
I run three websites and track their progress using google analytics. An average of one in four visitors are from mobile phone users.....thats 25% of your potential customers!
Another thing I have noticed, visitor duration to websites from mobile users is down on average by 66% compared to PC’s and page views down by an average of 45%, so this suggests the importance of ensuring the message, product or information you are promoting is clear and your link is direct to it.
I must stress, I’m no expert in this field but you can’t argue with the facts. I would advise ANY business who has not addressed mobile friendly websites to take professional advice.
CAP BUSINESS CLUBS BLOG
Visit us on Facebook - We always appreciate any "Likes"
T: 01594 723120
M: 07811 981929
The Main Place
Old Station Way