Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

Marshall-Tufflex’s magnificent seven long distance runners have raised more than £3,200 for a children’s charity after completing the Hastings Half Marathon.

The Marshall Tuff Legs squad – Hannah Hayler, Josh Hayler, Rachael White, Annette Fry, Helen Munday, Lawrence Glaze and Joe Johnson – raced home in highly respectable times ranging from 1hr 54 minutes to 2hrs 23 minutes, delighting their friends and colleagues waiting on the finish line.

Their efforts have raised more than £3,216 for Demelza Hospice Care for Children, a charity that supports life-limited children in East Sussex. Julie Brett, Demelza community fundraiser said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with how well the team did. Raising over £3,000 is a fantastic achievement that will go a long way in helping us provide hospice care for children and families in desperate need of our support. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Marshall Tuff Legs team and to everyone who supported them.”

Marshall-Tufflex management accountant Hannah Hayler, who is running the London Marathon in April for Demelza, trained the squad, some from scratch, over five months and was delighted with their performances: “I am lost for words, I’m so proud of everything they have achieved. Seeing them cheer each other on was amazing and very emotional; words cannot explain how proud I am of each one of them.”

The event was particularly poignant for Hannah and her son Josh (17), an apprentice energy management technician at Marshall-Tufflex. At the age of three years Josh was diagnosed with Perthes Disease, a childhood disorder affecting the hip joint. Hannah said: “I was told by doctors that he would be disabled by his Perthes Disease and would never excel in sports. So for him to even run that distance is a miracle but to do it in 1hr 54 minutes is totally awesome. My overall highlight of the day was running the whole way with him. He is a miracle.”

To support Hannah’s London Marathon run visit:

http://www.justgiving.com/Marshall-tufflegs

When Hastings Independent Press held its first Annual General Meeting, it made sure that the event tapped into the experience and knowledge of its volunteers to allow them to have that voice.

independent

“The newspaper is produced and distributed using only volunteers.” Andrew Ward of Get On With Business said “These volunteers come in all ages and from all different backgrounds. They also have, collectively, a wide range of knowledge and experience which they use for the benefit of the paper”.

Harnessing these ideas and knowledge was the remit of the Open Forum which followed Hastings Indpendent Press first Annual General Meeting.”

The event was facilitated by Andrew Ward of Get On With Business and run around Five key topics identified with a champion appointed for each. People could wander to those they felt they could contribute to, either staying at one only or moving around as they felt appropriate. After the allocated time, each champion gave a brief feedback as to the findings. Analysis was left to later and a small team to co-ordinate so as not to prolong the evening.

The organisation of the event tapped into the fact that all the volunteers have a drive for the paper to be successful but that for some the “controlled, workshop environment” is unfamiliar and therefore uncomfortable. Hence by structuring the introduction to set the scene along with allowing people the freedom to contribute as they wished removed many of the concerns and allowed a positive feedback.

The Paper is  now beginning to implement the ideas raised and giving feedback to the team at the weekly meetings or in their e-communication. This is also raising more ideas that are being collected and analysed for possible action.

Organisations which use mainly volunteers to run their businesses, face a whole range of different challenges to those companies who employ staff. Ensuring that these volunteers have an active voice is one way of achieving success.

 

A new hub opens in St.leonards on Friday 27th March.  The new hub St.leonards Works will be a  marketplace for people to access employment and gain skills.

office-workers

St.Leonards Work will officially open at 5pm on Friday at 65 London Road. Employers and local organisations are invited to attend the formal opening and launch event.

The two year project which is funded by Hastings Borough Council, Amicus Horizon and the Department for Work and Pensions means that residents will be able to access employment, training and volunteering opportunities at the hub.

The St.leonards hub will offer the same as Hastings Works which is based in Robertson Street.

Both centres will open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm  providing skills and support for local people.

 

Work begins on a  £1.3 million repair and refurbishment in Hastings at the White Rock Baths, where it will finally be turned into a BMX and Skateboard park.BMX

The plans for the skatepark include a main skatepark, a small beginners skatepark plaza, a retail store, a cafe, a reception, and outdoor ramps. Last April The Source BMX retailer was given the go-ahead to develop the site.

The project is being funded between the Foreshore Trust and the Borough Council which received grants from the Regional Growth Fund and the government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

With the opening of the pier this will be an important part of the regeneration of the White Rock area and will be a welcome site to residents and visitors to Hastings seafront

This Sunday is the Hastings half marathon so whether you will putting on your running shoes and taking part or cheering on the thousands of runners.  We have put together this list to let you know of the road closures during Sunday’s race:

  • Grosvenor Crescent
  • West Hill Road
  • St Vincents Road
  • Filsham Road
  • Bexhill Road
  • Harley Shute Road
  • Crowhurst Road
  • Queensway
  • The Ridge West
  • The Ridge
  • Winchelsea Road
  • Rye Road
  • Old Top Road
  • Middle Road
  • Fairlight Road
  • Old London Road
  • Saxon Road
  • Canute Road
  • Harold Road
  • Dudley Road
  • Ashburnham Road
  • All Saints Street
  • Rock-a-nore Road
  • East Beach Street
  • East Parade.

Road closures will be between 10am and 1.30pm.

On Friday 20th March Britain will experience a partial Solar Eclipse. The last solar eclipse of such significance took place in August 1999, when a total eclipse occurred in some parts of the UK.

Solar Eclipse

The proportion of the Sun covered by the moon will increase the further north you are so in Hastings it will be around 82% coverage.The specatacle begins around 8.30am in Britain when the moon will start to slowly pass across the  sun casting darkness across parts of the Earth’s surface this will continue over the course of an hour with the zenith peaking at 9.30am.

In most parts of the country Friday’s solar eclipse is expected to be a dramatic event with most of the country plunged into twilight during the morning rush-hour and the temperature will also drop noticeably. It goes without saying that you should not look directly at the eclipse without specialist eyewear (sunglasses won’t do).

It will be hard to miss it, however if you do, the next solar eclipse of similar magnitude to Friday’s event will take place on August 12, 2026, with up to 95 per cent obscured.

If you want to know when the next full solar eclipse in the UK is you will have a while to wait as this is not going to happen until September 23, 2090.

 

 

Every month the Directors at McPhersons share some useful financial tips especially for Business in Hastings readers. This month, Ainsley Gill looks at a summary of the 2015 Budget

Overview

Fifty days before the General Election, Chancellor George Osborne delivered his sixth and final Budget of this Parliament on 18th March.

Introducing the package of tax and spending plans to the Commons, Mr Osborne said: “Today I report on a Britain that is growing, creating jobs, paying its way. We took difficult decisions in the teeth of opposition and it worked. Britain is walking tall again.”

He said that difficult decisions had been taken and insisted the country had to stay the course, with forecasts that Britain will be running a Budget Surplus in 2018/19.

Although to eliminate the remainder of the deficit, he conceded that significant cuts would still be needed, including a £13billion reduction in the budget of government departments and £12billion from welfare spending.

Key proposals

Mr Osborne said that this Budget came against the backdrop of rising employment, improving growth forecasts and falling debt.

Headline announcements included an increase in the personal tax-free allowance, the introduction of a Help to Buy ISA and pensioners being given the freedom to sell their annuities for a cash lump sum.

Following recent controversy over tax avoidance and evasion, there was a commitment to close loopholes, while the rate of the bank levy was also increased (which will benefit the Treasury by £900million a year).

Fuel duty

A fuel duty increase scheduled for September has been cancelled, meaning the longest duty freeze in 20 years. The Chancellor said that the measure saved families £10 each time they had to fill up their car.

Personal tax

27 million people will benefit from an increase in the personal tax-free allowance. This will increase to £10,800 next year and then rise again to £11,000 in 2017. This will lift four million of the lowest paid workers out of income tax altogether.

The Chancellor also confirmed an increase in the threshold at which people pay the higher tax rate. This will increase from £42,385 to £43,300 by 2017-18, above the rate of inflation.

Mr Osborne said he would cut 1p from duty on a pint of beer and two per cent from cider and scotch whisky.

Business, enterprise and employment

Mr Osborne confirmed that in a fortnight’s time, the Government would slash corporation tax to 20 per cent – one of the lowest rates of any major economy in the world.

There was also good news for High Street businesses, with an admission from the Chancellor that the existing system needed far-reaching reform. Although precise details of what changes lie in store are not expected until the Autumn Statement.

Aside from a commitment to abolish the Class 2 National Insurance contributions for the self-employed during the course of the next Parliament, there was a further promise to abolish the annual tax return altogether. 12 million people and small businesses will benefit from the “simplified system”.

The Chancellor also gave assurances there would be support for all regions of the UK. He spoke of the need to build a “Northern powerhouse”, the creation of ten new Enterprise Zones nationwide and help for industries including the motor trade, film and local newspapers.

And changes were announced for Enterprise Investment Schemes and Venture Capital Trusts, ensuring they comply with the latest state aid rules.

Pensions and savings

The Chancellor announced four key reforms which he said would mean massive benefits for those with savings and investments. As was widely predicted, five million pensioners will be given access to their annuities, while plans to introduce a radically more flexible ISA were also announced.

Third is the creation of the Help to Buy ISA, this will mean that for every £200 a first-time buyer saves towards their deposit, the Government will top it up with £50 more.

Mr Osborne confirmed a new Personal Savings Allowance, that will take 95 per cent of taxpayers out of savings tax altogether. The measures, which take effect in April next year, create a tax-free allowance of £1,000 or £500 for higher rate payers. He hailed the move as the end of an entire system of tax collection.

There was also news that the lifetime pensions allowance would decrease from £1.25million to £1million.

Health

The Budget promised funding for a major expansion of mental health services for children (thanks to a £1.25billion investment) and more help for those suffering from maternal mental illness. These areas have previously been seen as under-resourced and Mr Osborne admitted that those suffering with mental illness had been “forgotten for too long.”

Charities

In a move that will be welcomed by many, a scheme that allows charities to automatically claim gift-aid on their donations is set to be extended –  from the first £5,000 they raise, to the first £8,000. Mr Osborne said that this would benefit over 6,500 smaller charities.

Elsewhere £75million in LIBOR fines was put aside for various good causes, including regimental charities, air ambulance services and the Church Roof Fund.

Tax evasion, avoidance and aggressive tax planning

A raft of measures was announced to tackle tax evasion and avoidance and Mr Osborne vowed that individuals and businesses who flouted the laws would be made to pay their “fair share.”

A new Diverted Profits Tax would tackle multinationals who attempted to artificially shift their profits offshore.  There will also be efforts made to close loopholes in Entrepreneurs Relief, changes to corporation tax rules to prevent contrived loss arrangements and confirmation that more Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs) would be issued in the year ahead.

Summary

With so many announcements leaked in the days prior, there weren’t many surprises in this Budget. But Chancellor George Osborne will be banking on his message of financial responsibility and increasing economic optimism striking a chord with the public. Summing up, he said: “Today I present the Budget of an economy stronger in every way from the one we inherited. The Budget of an economy taking another big step from austerity to prosperity.”

Need more help?

This feature aims to give some informal hints and tips.  McPhersons Chartered Accountants and McPhersons Financial Solutions are offering business free advice so get in touch now to arrange your meeting.  Simply email info@mcphersons.co.uk or call our Head Office on 01424 730000 for a free consultation at McPhersons Hastings, Bexhill or London offices. www.mcphersons.co.uk

 

 

 

Will you be joining in with people all over the world today celebrating St Patrick’s Day?

st-patricks-day

The theme of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival Parade is ‘Celebrate Now’ in recognition of Ireland’s achievements in contemporary arts and culture.

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

So if you will be celebrating in style by raising your pint of Guinness or doing the Irish Jig today have an amazing St Patrick’s Day.

 

 

The minimum wage is set to increase in October by 20p  bringing it up to £6.70. It’s the largest real-terms increase to the rate since 2008 and is set to benefit 1.4 million workers.

Younger workers aged 18-20 will see a 17p rise, from £5.13 to £5.30 an hour, while those aged 16 to 17 will get an 8p boost, from £3.79 to £3.87 an hour.

money-up

The Low pay commission has recommended that the rate for apprentices should also increase in 2.6 per cent to £2.80 an hour. however the government has suggested that this should be increased by 20 per cent to £3.30.  The rate applies to apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.

The government is also launching a consultation with businesses on the future minimum wage for apprentices.

The increase, yet to be accepted by the government, would apply from October.

travelchoice

The TravelChoice Challange is back beginning on the 1st  May running up until the 31st May. The TravelChoice Challenge is a great way to try to encourage as many [staff/members/volunteers] as possible to travel to and for work on foot, by bike, by public transport and by car-sharing.

The aim of the Challenge is to try a new way of travelling and to log your journeys on the TravelChoice Challenge website. The more people that take part, the higher our overall participation rate will be, and the higher up the workplace leader board they’ll go!

By taking part and logging your own journeys you’ll also get great feedback on how far you’ve travelled, how much you’ve saved and how many calories you’ve burned. There are loads of rewards such as discounts for local stores, and various weekly prizes to be won simply by taking part. Don’t miss out!!!

You can register for the TravelChoice Challenge by going to:
http://travelchoice.getmeactive.org.uk/users/register

Please sign up today and help us to beat the competition!