01392 288555

Dear North Devon Businesses,
 
I am writing to you as Trevor Stanbury, the Tourism representative Director on the Board of North Devon+. For the sake of clarity, I was the founder and Director of the North Devon Marketing Bureau which later became part of North Devon+.

Sadly, I have to inform you that our two District Councils have withdrawn their funding from Tourism marketing.  As you will be well aware it is essential that North Devon is able to compete both nationally and internationally in tourism. The marketing of the region not only helps to fill the beds but the vast secondary spend by people on holiday supports the Attractions, Restaurants and also the high streets of our towns and villages along with the many other ancillary businesses as well.

I have been in discussion with the original directors of the North Devon Marketing Bureau to try and find a way out of the predicament that we now find ourselves in. Firstly, identifying the things which we believe are the most critical to safeguard and maintain our market share in a very competitive market place and have decided to call an emergency conference on the 24th September at 11 am at the Queens Theatre in Barnstaple with one main item on the agenda: ‘Do you want a marketing campaign for North Devon?’ We anticipate being finished before lunch time! I hope that by working together we will be able to find a solution. THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS DEPENDS ON IT - PLEASE COME.
 
You will see from the North Devon Journal that several of our main wholesalers and shopping outlets are already supporting this new initiative.
 
Rudi Lancaster, owner of the Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks is in full support of this initiative and shares my concern about the impact a withdrawal of council funding will have on all businesses in North Devon: ‘As an ex Board member of the North Devon Marketing Bureau I believe it’s imperative that we all pull together at this point in time.’
 
Peter Brend, of The Brend Group is also supporting this plan: ‘The tourism industry is extremely important to the North Devon economy and we must find a way to support it in 2015.’
 
BOOK YOUR SEAT NOW:
Wednesday 24th September at the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple. To register please CLICK HERE.
(Registration from 10.00am, conference start 11.00am)

If you cannot attend the conference but would like to provide comments please CLICK HERE.
It is vitally important that we maintain our presence in the national and international market places.
My mobile phone number is listed below for anyone who would like to speak to me.
 
Yours sincerely
Trevor Stanbury MBE
Partner
The Milky Way Adventure Park
Clovelly, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 5RY
Mob -  07977 509053
Tel - 01237 431255
Web -  www.themilkyway.co.uk


www.northdevonplus.co.uk

North Devon+ is the Destination Management Organisation for North Devon and Exmoor
Our vision is for North Devon and Exmoor to be an attractive and vibrant place to live, learn, work and visit based upon a high quality environment and a prosperous and sustainable economy.

The National Minimum Wage will increase again from 1 October 2014.  Rates will increase from: 

  • £6.31 to £6.50 an hour for workers aged 21 and over.
  • £5.03 to £5.13 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20.
  • £3.72 to £3.79 an hour for workers aged 16 to 17 above school leaving age but under 18.
  • £2.68 to £2.73 an hour for apprentices under 19, or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

The Daily Accommodation Offset

You will be able to offset from the NMW an amount of £5.08 per day for each day that you provide a worker with living accommodation (weekly maximum £35.56).

It is important to note that these new rates only apply to pay reference periods beginning on or after the date they came into law. If you want to discuss how this might affect you or your business or plan for future changes, please contact us.

 

The Autumn Statement will take place on 3 December 2014, George Osborne has announced. The Autumn Statement will provide an update on the government’s plan for the economy based on forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Thomas Westcott will be providing commentary on the key points that are likely to affect our clients after the Statement.

We are pleased to announce that Thomas Westcott has been reaccredited with the Investors in People Award in recognition of the quality and training of its partners and staff.

The firm’s Chairman, Richard Thomas, said “I am delighted that the firm has now achieved this Award since 1996 which is a testament to the strength of its specialist teams and sector groups which are drawn from partners and staff across the firm”.

For the first time the firm’s wealth management division, Thomas Westcott Chartered Financial Planners, have also successfully achieved the ‘Investor in People’ Award.

 

Devon Community Foundation is a local charity that works with individual volunteers and volunteering groups/organisations to help get them the support and funding they need to continue their worthwhile work. 

Each year the foundation manages around £1 million of grant and funding monies, getting the money to where it really matters - to voluntary groups on the front line doing vital and life changing work in our local communities.

Devon Community Foundation also runs an award ceremony for volunteers of the year and this year Thomas Westcott is proud to be sponsoring the Volunteer-Ability Award.

Details of the shortlisted finalists for this award can be found on the following link and you can vote for the one you feel most deserves the award.  Please have a look and cast your vote.

Voting ends 1 September.

http://www.devoncf.com/get-involved/volunteer-of-the-year-2014/

Thomas Westcott and Teresa Turner & Co. are very pleased to announce that the two accounting practices have joined together.

Teresa Turner & Co. has been practising in Barnstaple for many years.  Teresa and her team have all joined Thomas Westcott.

Thomas Westcott is an independent regional practice with thirteen offices in Devon, including North Devon offices in Barnstaple, Bideford, Ilfracombe and Holsworthy.

Teresa has assured all of her clients that “the team will continue to provide them with a friendly and professional service.  With the enhanced facilities of Thomas Westcott, the team will have access to further technical expertise and resources to develop the services offered.”

Steve Cresswell, a partner based in the North Devon Thomas Westcott offices said: “We are really pleased to be working with Teresa and her team.  We have the same interest in providing a full comprehensive and personal service to our clients.  We believe that this will be a positive, successful merger for all involved.

 

 

 

Recently the ICAEW IT faculty launched 'Twenty principles for good spreadsheet practice'

The twenty principles in brief are:


1. Determine what role spreadsheets play in your business, and plan your spreadsheet standards and processes accordingly.
2. Adopt a standard for your organisation and stick to it.
3. Ensure that everyone involved in the creation or use of spreadsheets has an appropriate level of know¬ledge and competence.
4. Work collaboratively, share ownership, peer review.
5. Before starting, satisfy yourself that a spreadsheet is the appropriate tool for the job.
6. Identify the audience. If a spreadsheet is intended to be understood and used by others, the design should facilitate this.
7. Include an ‘About’ or ‘Welcome’ sheet to document the spreadsheet.
8. Design for longevity.
9. Focus on the required outputs.
10. Separate and clearly identify inputs, workings and outputs.
11. Be consistent in structure.
12. Be consistent in the use of formulae.
13. Keep formulae short and simple.
14. Never embed in a formula anything that might change or need to be changed.
15. Perform a calculation once and then refer back to that calculation.
16. Avoid using advanced features where simpler features could achieve the same result.
17. Have a system of backup and version control, which should be applied consistently within an organisation.
18. Rigorously test the workbook.
19. Build in checks, controls and alerts from the outset and during the course of spreadsheet design.
20. Protect parts of the workbook that are not supposed to be changed by users.

 For more information click here

 

Not long now until the Devon agricultural shows, this year Thomas Westcott will be attending four around the county. Please pop in and see us for a friendly chat, some complimentary refreshments and a chance to win a luxury hamper full of delicious Devon goodies.

 

Once again charities are under investigation over business rates relief.

The Charity commission is warning charities to be aware of entering into leases on commercial premises, resulting in the charity becoming liable for the payment of significant business rates. Currently five charities are under investigation in connection with their business rates relief arrangements. Charity trustees need to consider their legal duties carefully when taking on the lease of a property even if it is a currently empty property. For more information go to www.charitycommission.gov.uk or call Steve Cresswell on 01271 374138.

 

The Charity Commission have published at 5pm on 15 July 2014 the 2 new Charity SORPs. These are the new accounting framework for charities following on from the publication of FRS 102 in 2013. The new regulations will apply to accounting years beginning on or after 1 January 2015.We will provide further details in due course. www.charitycommission.gov.uk