5 Characteristics Of The Modern Marketing Leader

Marketing is one of the most demanding careers today. It is the only profession where hard work and action don’t always translate to better results. Nevertheless, marketing professionals possess another set of skills and mindset that help them bring out the best in every marketing campaign, hence higher chances of success. Discussed below are 5 of the traits of a seasoned and successful marketing leader.

1. Creative Thoughts and Imaginative Ideas
Marketing is all about being creative and looking for ways to woo your target audiences. That said, you need to approach marketing differently and even bring in unique ways to introduce and market your product without following in any other marketer’s shoes. This is where creative imagination comes in. In addition to possessing original thoughts and ideas, a good marketer will notice /recognise a creative idea/opportunity from far. He/she can cultivate on his/her team’s creative ideas to help them come up with better solutions.

2. A Strategic Mind
Proper planning is mandatory for any project to be successful. Some of the best marketers on the market today can plan a project from execution to results without missing a bit. Although successful marketers have juniors and assistants helping with planning a project, they play the sole role of outlining the project details to ensure the overall goals are realised. It also means making corrections to plans that seem off, and also steer the team in the right direction. Without a strategic mind, even the team wouldn’t know what direction they are headed to. The team leader can, however, envision the results even during the planning stage. It is also worth noting that, a good marketing leader can delegate tasks based on each person’s strengths, thus bringing out the best out of them.

3. Ability to See Beyond Results
The key to a successful marketing career is being able to see way beyond project results. Luckily though, data mining today is considerably easier than it was a few decades ago. You can monitor how a marketing campaign is performing from the comfort of your desk. Analysing the data captured helps one plan ahead and make adjustments where needed according to the current market trends. A good marketer will also be able to interpret market trends and even see what the future holds even after the marketing campaigns are over. He/she can use the insight to make decisive moves towards achieving the company/organisation’s goal.

4. Has Contacts Everywhere
As a marketer, you need more than your team to make an impact on the market. The modern marketer today uses all channels to create/drive new connections and opportunities whenever presented with the chance. To a marketer, everyone is a potential client, one of the reasons they mingle with virtually everyone in all industries. This leaves him with a contact list full of potential clients and fellow marketers. It is also worth knowing that marketers will classify their contacts book according to importance and connections. A rich contact book means you are influential everywhere you go – this is a quality all employers look for in marketers.

5. He/she Knows When to Delegate
As hardworking as you can be, there are times when you’ll need someone to run an errand or check with a client somewhere. Every successful marketer knows this, one of the reasons he/she will delegate some of his/her responsibilities to team members. This not only ensures more work is done but also enables the team to be able to work efficiently even in your absence. Delegating tasks also gives you time to follow up on things you aren’t conversant well. This lets you learn something new to make your marketing career prosperous. As long as you can delegate tasks to your team members, every member will learn how to handle various tasks, making the team invincible. As the saying goes, you are as good as the people around you. A good team leader and marketer will also allow the team members to handle tasks on their own, and only come in when someone seems stuck or needs advice on something.

It Is High Time You Developed Video Brand Guidelines For Your Business

Creating video content for your brand is not that easy as you may think. With more and more people taking an interest in videos when researching companies and their products, businesses are now keen on creating their promotion content in-house. The material does address both internal and external communications.

With the videos, companies can engage diverse demographics from websites to social media feeds and even email marketing. As such, they can influence the interests and behaviours of the online users to elicit positive actions or responses.

Some companies opt to develop their video content using an organic approach, even those that they commission from others. Such material then becomes a crucial part of their internal communications and marketing strategy. However, most of the animated videos and short clips made for social media and various online channels are produced spontaneously. As such, they often lack significant substance due to the lack of adequate planning that ensures adherence to brand guidelines.

How To Stay On Brand And Be Spontaneous

Spontaneous generation of content is fine, more so when you consider the time factor. Nevertheless, you must put some thought into the material you want to create before you start. You can create engaging content in a matter of minutes, whether you are using free online video tools or your in-house video production software. For instance, it can be an animated gif that responds to a client’s review, a birthday celebration clip for a workmate, or a how-to video answering a customer’s query.

Branding the video is one of the things that will be overlooked. If the video gains traction and people share it, then that means it will have missed an opportunity to promote the company. With the branding, people will know where the video comes from. And aside from branding, there has to be consistency in the messaged being passed. If there is any conflicting information, then it can confuse your target audience. Such a thing can also compromise the company’s brand.

Video Brand Guidelines For Content Creators

You can overcome the issues mentioned above by having some basic video brand guidelines that you will adhere to when creating different video content. Some of the primary areas to include in the video brand guidelines include:

• The right video content creators
You should have a list of video content curators that you can rely on for the production of the visual materials you need. They should be creators that have a deep understanding of your brand so that they do not misrepresent it in the video content they produce.

• The general tone for video content
You should have a particular tone that you can the visual material you create to have when talking about your brand. You can dial the tone up or down, depending on the content you want to produce. For instance, if you are going for something upbeat, then you opt for an explainer video narrated by an employee. It should not have a monotone nor sound like a rushed narration.

• The right voice
In this instance, you need to check the voice you use in your content, both in spoken words and the text. The voice you use reflects your brand’s personality. It also is how your target audience will interact with your brand. The type of video content you want to produce will govern the voice and tone to use. As such, you should be particular when sharing the guidelines that the video content curators will follow.

• Brand colours, fonts, and logo
Ensure that every content creator has access to the brand’s stylebook that contains the brand’s logo, colour palette, as well as the preferred fonts and elements to use. You may have to create several video templates for some kinds of visual materials that you need. It will make it easy for the content curators to know the guidelines they need to follow.

• The right imagery
It is a matter that touches on animation, graphics, and picture quality. Moreover, it will help the creators you have to know the type of imagery to use for your brand. Let them understand what is acceptable and what is not.

• The audio aspect of the video content
A video without any sound is boring and is unlikely to captivate viewers. But then again, the sound should be unique, and it should reflect the brand. You can use online video tools that give you access to free online music libraries where you can pick tracks that enhance instead of detracting from your brand.

• Crucial messaging
You should take the time to think of what you want to communicate in your video. That means you should have a core brand message. It should stand out, be unique from the other content, such as the internal communication, marketing, or even customer support content. It also should be specific to a particular audience, be it your employees, investors, or customers. Therefore, you should have different video content samples for your brand and ensure each has a core brand message.

If you have such basic video brand guidelines, then the team you have creating the video content that will promote your business will not stray from its brand even when they produce spontaneous content. As a result, the visual materials generated will help your company reach new and potential customers or hires.

The Importance Of Video Brand Guidelines For Your Business

Creating video brand material has never been simpler. Many firms opt to utilise a combination of different videos in their internal communication materials and external marketing material, including videos created in-house, content from professional video production firms and customer-generated video content. There is no doubt that video content can be an effective marketing tool for engaging audiences from different demographics and promoting positive actions. You will see companies using video content in email marketing material, social media feeds, internal newsletters, websites and more.

For a lot of businesses, their increased use of video content happened organically. Commissioned videos have of course be a core part of many big brand’s marketing materials for decades, but the use of animated gifs for social media platforms, short YouTube videos and other types of spontaneous video content found on many online channels are relatively new. Spontaneously content is that which arises without any prior planning or effort to adhere to brand guidelines.

Staying On Brand While Remaining Spontaneous

Spontaneous video content can be very beneficial for businesses as it helps to keep target audiences engaged. It doesn’t matter if you using free online video editing tools or professional in-house video production software suites, it’s now easier than ever to create video content in record time. You can generate animated gifs to respond to company reviews and social media posts; you can share footage of a staff member’s birthday celebrations; you can answer queries from customers with easy-to-follow video ‘how-to’ guides shot on a smartphone.

The downside of many types of spontaneous video content is that is often left unbranded. An unbranded video can result in missed marketing opportunities, or, in the worst-case-scenario, damaging brand messages. Imagine one of your happy customers shares one of your company’s videos with thousands of their followers on a social media platform, but the video contains nothing linking it to your brand – your company will have missed out on reaching thousands of potential new customers. Inconsistencies and conflicting messages featured in different videos from your company can confuse customers, investors, and employees.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to avoid those problems by providing your content creators with some simple video brand guidelines. The guidelines can, of course, be easily modified for certain types of video content. Here are some tips for writing the best video brand guidelines for your company’s video content creators, so that they no longer produce content that misrepresents your brand:

1. Articulate the general overall tone.
The overall tone of brand video content is very important. The tone can, of course, be adapted to suit different types of videos. For example, if your business’s brand tone is “positive, motivational and upbeat”, you want to make sure that step-by-step instructional videos are not narrated in an uninspiring monotone voice. That said, the narration shouldn’t sound like the sports commentary for a penalty shootout in a word cup final either!

2. Get the tone of voice right.
Tone of voice refers to all written and spoken words. It is responsible for communicating the personality of your business’s brand with potential customers. Again, the video format will have some influence on the tone of voice, so you might need to write different specific guidance for different video content creators.

3. Provide access to your brand’s fonts, logo, colour schemes, etc.
It’s vital that you make sure all video content creators can access your brand’s stylebook. The book should contain colour palettes, fonts, logos, etc. and detailed guidance as to how to use different design element to adhere to a general theme. It can be worth creating some basic video templates, which content creators can use to ensure they adhere to brand guidelines.

4. Think about animations, graphics, clipart, photos, film footage, etc.
Draw up some basic guidelines that content creators can reference to ensure they select imagery that reflects your brand. Include examples of acceptable and unacceptable imagery.

5. Think about how music and sound effects will represent your brand.
Guidance for the use of sound effects and music tracks is important. You want video creators to use sounds that enhance your brand rather than detract from it.

6. What’s is your core brand message?
Knowing what core brand message you want to communicate with all video content is important. Of course, the brand message might be different for videos targeted towards different audiences including employees, potential buyers, customers, investors, job seekers, etc.

By taking the time to create some simple video brand guidelines for your business’s video content creators, you can increase the chances that they produce engaging content that remains on brand. There will then be no more missed marketing opportunities if any of your company’s videos go viral.

Why You Should Become A Community Support Worker

There are a lot of reasons why you should become a community support worker. It is not only a starting career in social care, but a prospect that comes with a lot of opportunities. The problem is that taking the first step to becoming a community support worker.

The Sense Of Job Satisfaction

One of the reasons why you should become a community support worker is the sense of job satisfaction that you get. For a lot of people, the relationships they form with those they work with gives them a reason to go to work. The sense of personal achievement that you get from helping others live their life can also add to the satisfaction you get each day.

You Can Make A Difference

If you want to make a difference in your community or the lives of others, you should become a community support worker. When you work in this field, you will make a difference in the lives of the people you care for and the overall community. When you make a difference, you will have a more compassionate and fuller life.

What You Do Really Counts

When you work as a community support worker, you will be doing much more than an average job. You will get a sense of purpose because your work is important. The people you help and their families will also value what you provide them.

No Day Is The Same

When you work as a community support worker, your job takes you into the home of the person you are supporting, but not into a care home. What you have to do during the day will depend greatly on the person you are going to support because everything you do is personalised.

In a single day, you will have to support that person’s daily needs. You will also have the opportunity to support them in achieving their ambitions and goals. In most community support roles, you will be matched with someone who has similar interests which makes your day more fun.

You Will Have Fun

A lot of people do not realise that this job can be very fun. As you work with a wide variety of people, you will hear a lot of interesting stories. Of course, you will also hear a lot of heart-wrenching stories which can help you understand your impact.

There Is Flexibility In The Work

This job allows you to work the hours that suit your needs the best. There are part-time as well as full-time roles available in this career. If you have certain commitments, you can often work around them with the employer or agency that you work through.

You Have Job Security

The job market is uncertain for many people, but this is not the case with community support workers. The demand for care workers is going to increase as the British population continues to age. This is why social care jobs offer some of the best job security in the current employment market.

You Will Better Yourself

There is a lot to learn when you are a care worker. This learning will not only come from the training you need to complete, but from the people you are going to work with. Being a care worker will also open your eyes to many experiences and provide you with the chance to work with people from all walks of life.

The Career Progression

Social care is a fast-growing sector and the career progression opportunities are varied. You will have the chance to build a career from this job. During this job, you will learn a lot of transferrable skills and training which will help you get to the top.

Tips On How To Throw An Excellent Party

At my old age, I was hoping by now, I would know how to host the best parties. I am really not the type that is able to throw together one of those Gatsby-esques parties with ease, without tears, a couple of meltdowns, and then total relief once the party is over.

So I spoke to Vanessa, a short-term fixer from Cambridge from the company known as Rocks and Frocks to offer a few of her top-rated tips on how to throw a fantastic party. Here are a few of her best-kept secrets:

Rocks And Frocks: Party Secrets

1. Plan A Realistic Budget Well In Advance

It is possible to plan a party on just about any budget, yet it is still important to be realistic on what you are able to spend and then the rest can follow. It will be difficult to plan your party for 150 guests when you only have a budget for 25 hotdogs. Yet once you have worked through the numbers and how much you will need, you can then start focusing on the more exciting parts. The sky is the limit when it comes to prioritisation and imagination. If you are working with a limited budget, first decide what is most important. Will this include the food, the venue, or how many people you are able to invite? Guest always remember when they were thirsty, hungry, or bored, which means you need to prioritise the most important parts of throwing a successful party.

2. Send Your Invitations Out Early

It is not only important to send out your invitations as soon as you can, but they should also look amazing. This is your first introduction to the party, and you will want to focus on getting them excited. If your invitation looks great you improve your chances of your guests showing up on the day. A great invitation will also encourage your guests to keep a spot in their diary for the event and cancel anything else they had planned for that day.

3. The Importance Of Details

Planning is vital when it comes to how successful the party will be and to maintain your own sanity. Spending time on working out the correct quantities of crockery, cutlery, drinks, food and more, will save you from making those mad dashes to the store just before the party is about to start.

The greatest parties are usually themed, so give some thought to what you really enjoy. This could include a specific genre of music, your favourite movie, or a place or country that you have always wanted to visit. You could be as vague as asking everyone to dress in their favourite color, or something more dramatic such as a dressing up as characters from your favourite horror movie. It is important to weave this theme throughout the elements of your event, which will start with your invite and then continue into the food and décor. If you are not too worried about what you will be spending, think about hiring lighting, props or entertainers that work perfectly with your theme.

4. Lights, Camera, Action

A great party should be viewed as a journey. This involves a sequence of reveals which will begin when your guests first receive your invitation, onto what greets them as they arrive, the food, snacks, and drinks. Yet it doesn’t just stop there.

If you have decided to hire a DJ, do not just assume that he or she will know what type of music you want or that they will be willing to just play whatever you and your guests request. Provide the DJ with a sample-playlist so that they know what type of music you prefer for the event.

Lighting also plays a significant role when it comes to creating just the right ambience and atmosphere. Lighting outdoors provides a number of different options so make sure you make it interesting or different. Think about crystal chandeliers hanging from trees or trails of fairy lights throughout your garden. Inside the venue think about using light props which will add an element of fun and glamour to your party.

5. Setting Up And Clearing Down

If you have a few holidays already banked with your work, now is the time to use it. Take a day or two off, before the party and after the event as there are lots of things that you will need to do. If you are planning this party on your own, never underestimate the time you will need to meet up with marquee people, dressing your venue, and waiting for deliveries.

The clean up is never fun and in most cases, you will probably be nursing a hangover the next day. However, you will need to throw away a lot of rubbish, return hired glasses, and clear away the carnage that has resulted from your fantastic party. It is always a good idea to ask some of your best friends to assist you with this task. Pop open a few bottles of bubbly and you can turn a boring and taxing task into an extension of your party.

Packing 101: Long Term Vs Short Term Storage

From the kind of boxes used to the packing materials, to the tape used to secure the boxes, it’s all-important. Even how the boxes are stacked is vital to the move. If you’re moving, you want to make sure to cover all of the important details. Believe it or not, there are different ways to pack different items and you want to pack them in order so that you can remain organized and protect your belongings not to mention saving on time and money and avoiding any damages to your belongings.

Short Term Storage

When considering short term storage, the time frame is typically a few days to as long as three months. Short term storage is a stop-gap measure that is done to allow for more space when required. Perhaps you’re renovating or while you have company for the holidays. All of those times that you need just a little bit more space. when considering short term storage, there are some things that you won’t require such as:

Dust Covers For Large Furniture

Dirt and dust won’t have a lot of time to form and settle on the furnishings so you won’t need such intensive protection.

Leave Space

Leave some space in the center of the unit so that you can move and sort items. It will also help you to get in and out more quickly if you have a bit of space. Remember, when you’re stacking, you want to be able to move things around so that you don’t need to shuffle things too much.

Fragile Items

Most of your items aren’t going to need a lot of packing however, you’ll still want to protect them from breakage. Remember that fragile items may be moved around more when they’re in short term storage so you’ll want to pack them more securely.

Long Term Storage

Long term storage is for a longer period of time. Just as the name states. This is usually over 3 months. There are some things that you’ll want to consider:

Don’t Use Plastic Bags

While it may appear that they will help to protect things, they can actually trap moisture and cause mold and mildew to grow. Use sturdy boxes. You can recycle boxes, however, you’ll want to be cautious of damaged boxes. You want boxes that will withstand storage for your belongings. Corrugated cardboard boxes of similar size and shape will work well for stacking. You may also wish to consider plastic boxes.

Fragile Items

Wrap all of your fragile items carefully in newsprint, bubble wrap or some other form of protection. Mark them well so that you know that they’re fragile.

Seal Clothes

Seal Fabric and clothing well so that nothing can get in. Vacuum sealed bags are ideal for storing fabrics and clothing and protecting them from mold and mildew. It will also help to protect them from insect damage.

Appliances

Clean all appliances well before you put them into storage. Wipe things down carefully inside and out so that no mold will take over. If you put appliances away dirty, they’re going to be even dirtier when you go to retrieve them. It’s also important to store them clean in case you decide to sell them at a later date.

Stack things on pallets if you have access to them so that you don’t have to worry about them gathering molds or mildews off of damp flooring in the storage unit. You’ll have less chance of damage to your belongings when you store them properly. Elevating things is a great start to proper storage and will go far to ensure that you don’t have to worry about them being damaged.

If at all possible, layer the floor with pallets. This will elevate the items and help with the air circulation. This can help to retain the integrity of your items.

When considering long term vs short term storage, you’ll want to make sure that you know how long you’ll be storing things and why. Always make sure to clearly label your items, even if they will only be in storage for a week. Keep an inventory list of what you have in the storage unit so that you know where things are located when you do need them. You can use a clipboard, or put this list on your mobile device. When you keep a list you’ll never have to wonder where you have put things and you can always find what you’re looking for.

What Is The DVLA Doing In Order To Fight Tax Evasion?

No one likes vehicle tax. Yet, everyone is required to do it. Even HGVs have to deal with this. Purely electric vehicles and cars are the only ones that can get around the cumbersome DVLA tax net right now, and the roadways don’t have many of those so far, given their high price tags. The calendar year of 2018 was especially bad for a lot of vehicle tax evasion happening, which means the DVLA is cracking down even harder on things in 2019. However, what are they specifically doing? Why is it happening? And, perhaps most importantly, is it even working?

Why Take The Current Actions?

The DVLA keeps up with vehicle tax evasion with meticulous care. During the entirety of 2018, they figured out that rates of evasion were on the rise. Based on the known and recorded enforcement actions that were taken, 11 different UK locations seemed to have the highest evasion rates. They included:

-Birmingham

-Bristol

-Cardiff

-Coventry

-Glasgow

-Leicester

-London

-Manchester

-Northern Ireland

-Nottingham

-Sheffield

In order to give this all some context, the city of London saw nearly half a million enforcement actions in 2018 alone on untaxed vehicles. These ranged from simple fines to physical clamping. Assuming that all these vehicles owed tax on a middle band of approximately £150 each year, then this would have been nearly £70,000,000 of lost revenue that the DVLA collects in order to improve and maintain national roadways. This should help you understand why the DVLA is so focused on catching anyone not contributing their fair share.

Just What Are They Specifically Doing?

Most of their efforts are focused on a central campaign slogan known as ‘tax it or lose it’. DVLA enforcement agents are crawling the country in the hunt for untaxed vehicles, as well as spreading the word. Numerous advertising campaigns crossing ‘hot-spot’ regions include social media, websites, poster sites, printed publications, and radio. All of these are intended to prompt motorists to reconsider their decision not to tax their vehicles. The DVLA even has a car featuring a giant clamp on it, saying ‘tax it or we’ll clamp it’. This particular clamp is taller than the actual car it’s attached to. The whole idea is generating awareness of issues related to untaxed vehicles, hopefully, to prod more motorists to make sure their HG, van, or car is taxed properly.

It’s also working. At the time of writing, the DVLA has clamped more than 9,000 different vehicles during their campaign. They’re also just warming up. Keep in mind their motto and warning, if you don’t tax it, you might lose it.

What Penalties Are There?

Are you aware of the punishment that you might face if you go out driving your untaxed vehicle? It largely depends on just how long you let it be, with the following possibilities:

-The DVLA can impose a fine of £80 if you drive a car without the road tax. You can halve this if you pay it within 28 days.

-If you fail to pay this fine, then it goes up to either £1,000 or just five times the amount of your yearly road tax.

-If you get physically caught out driving without having paid the road tax, you might face a fixed penalty notice as high as £1,000, which is both issued and also payable right on the spot.

-Knowingly letting someone drive sans road tax might mean fines of as much as £1,000 for the driver and you, both, or £2,500 if the particular vehicle is carrying eight or more passengers.

-If you drive a vehicle which is due for a higher road tax rate that hasn’t been paid, you can face either a penalty of £1,000 or five times that vehicle’s annual road tax.

-Driving sans tax also entails the possibility of your vehicle getting impounded or clamped, which carries with it a release fee. When a vehicle is clamped, you have to pay the car tax inside 24 hours. You’re also responsible for a release fee equal to £100, as well as a ‘surety deposit’ ranging from £160 to £700, based on the particular vehicle. The vehicle itself is returned to you within two weeks of any behind tax getting paid.

In high-evasion areas like the ones listed above, the DVLA is getting quite busy. It’s issuing many fines, while also clamping the offending vehicles it finds. Don’t have any doubts about it. You might think that your car tax is expensive, but then again, not paying it can also be quite expensive too.

What Actions Has The DVLA Taken To Curb Tax Evasion?

Few people like vehicle tax, but it is a compulsory tax for everyone including HGVs. Only purely electric vehicles or cars can be able to escape the stringent DVLA tax, but their numbers on the roads are minimal due to their expensive price tags. The year 2018 was a rough patch in the area of vehicle tax evasion, to mend this the DVLA has increased its efforts to clamp down on the issue this year. But what measures have they taken, what are the reasons, and are they effective?

Reasons For Action?

The DVLA diligently keeps track of evasion numbers and in 2018 they realised that vehicle tax evasion was trending upwards. Specifically, in the following 11 locations within the UK, evasion was prevalent (drawn from the enforcement measures implemented):

• London

• Birmingham

• Manchester

• Sheffield

• Cardiff

• Glasgow

• Northern Ireland

• Coventry

• Nottingham

• Bristol

• Leicester

To highlight the magnitude of this issue, London experienced 464,000 enforcement actions placed on vehicles that evaded tax in the year 2018, varying from clamping to fines. Estimating that each of the non-compliant vehicles should have paid tax around the medium band (approximately £150 annually), then this translates to a revenue loss of £69,600,000 to the DVLA, all of which could have been ploughed back into servicing and improving road networks in the nation. Now you can understand why the DVLA is determined to seal these revenue loss loopholes!

What Actions Are They Taking?

The foundation of their drive is based on ‘tax it or lose it’ their singular campaign slogan. DVLA enforcement officers are on patrol nationwide searching for untaxed vehicles and passing along the message. There are several publicity drives in each of the highly affected trouble spots, including print media, radio, social platforms, websites and poster sites – all which are aimed at cautioning drivers against evading their vehicle tax. To emphasise the seriousness, a DVLA vehicle with a giant clamp – taller than the car – attached with the message ‘tax it or we’ll clamp it’ is doing rounds. The objective is to improve people’s awareness on the effects of untaxed vehicles hence encouraging them to properly pay taxes for their HGV, car or van.

And it’s bearing fruits. Since starting their campaign, the DVLA has clamped more than 9,000 vehicles, yet the campaign is still young. Kind in mind their slogan: tax it, or lose it!

What’s The Penalty?

Are you aware of the repercussions if you are driving an untaxed vehicle? Well, based on how long you take to comply, the penalty can be:

• A penalty from the DVLA of £80 for driving an untaxed vehicle (if you pay within 28 days it can be halved).

• If you fail to remit this amount your fine will rise to £1,000 or the equivalent of 5 times your yearly road tax.

• If you are caught in-person driving an untaxed vehicle, you incur a fixed fine notice limited to a maximum of £1,000 which is levied and payable immediately.

• Intentionally letting anyone drive without paying road tax attracts a penalty of up to £1,000 for both parties – the driver and yourself, or if the vehicle has at least 8 or more passengers a £2,500 fine.

• Being at the wheel of a non-paying vehicle that is supposed to pay road tax at a higher rate could land you a fine of £1000 or fivefold the applicable yearly road tax for the vehicle.

• Driving without paying tax can lead to your car getting impounded or clamped, meaning you will have to part with a release fee. If your vehicle gets clamped, you must submit your car tax within 24 hours accompanied by a £100 release fee and a £160-£700 ‘surety deposit’ based on the car. Once the tax arrears are cleared the car is returned within a fortnight.

In high-evasion regions, enforcement agents are escalating their efforts, meting out fines and impounding vehicles that have not paid road tax. For sure there is no way around this, your car tax might be costly, but evading paying vehicle tax will cost you more!

DVLA Actions Against Vehicle Tax Evasion

Vehicle tax. It is nobody’s cup of tea, but it’s something that must be done, even for heavy goods vehicles. The only cars that have the ability to slip through are the electric kind, and currently, there aren’t too many of them. Last year was especially a bad year in regard to tax evasion, and that’s why the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has gotten way active in 2019. But just what is the agency doing, why are they doing it, and is it showing results? These are the things that we will discuss in this post.

Why The Clamp Down Action?

Well, the DVLA tracks vehicle tax evasion pretty closely, and after close analysis, they realised that rates had been on the rise. There were 11 places in particular, across the United Kingdom where vehicle tax evasion cases were high including; Northern Ireland, London, Cardiff, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham, Leicester, Bristol, and Coventry.

To put it into perspective; there were over 460,000 law enforcement actions against untaxed vehicles in London alone over the course of 2018. If we assume that each of those vehicles was supposed to pay about £150 per year (which is a middle band), then we are looking at over £69M lost in revenue, money which all goes back to maintaining and improving the road systems countrywide. With all that in mind, it’s pretty easy to see why the DVLA is taking action to clamp tax evasion.

What is The DVLA Doing?

Well, the agency’s actions are centred around the ‘tax it or lose it’ campaign slogan. DVLA enforcement agents are now on the prowl across the nation, hunting for untaxed vehicles while spreading the message. There are several advertising campaigns in each location mentioned above, including printed publications, radio, social media, websites and poster sites. All these efforts are geared towards making drivers reconsider when planning to evade vehicle tax.

You will even come across a DVLA car with a huge clamp that reads, ”tax it or we’ll clamp it”. The goal is to raise more awareness surrounding untaxed cars and prompt vehicle owners to make sure that their cars are properly taxed. Currently, the agency has clamped about 9,000 vehicles, and that’s just the beginning. So would you rather risk losing your vehicle? Let us dive into the repercussions.

What is the Penalty?

Depending on how long you leave your vehicle untaxed, you may face the following:

-An £80 DVLA imposed fine for driving an untaxed car. This fine, however, can be halved if you pay it within 28 days.

-If you fail to pay the fine mentioned above, it will rise to £1000 or 5 times your annual vehicle tax.

-If you’re caught driving without road tax, then you’re exposed to a fixed penalty notice of up to £1000, which is payable on the spot.

-Allowing another party to drive, knowing you haven’t paid road tax will lead to a fine of up to £1000 for the both of you, or £2500 if the car carries eight passengers or more.

-Driving a car that is due a higher rate of tax without paying will expose you to a tax of five times the annual road tax or £1000.

-Driving without road tax ideally means that your vehicle is at the risk of being impounded or clamped. This ideally means you will have to pay a release fee. If your vehicle is clamped, you have to pay the tax within a day, along with a £100 release fee, as well as a ‘surety deposit’ of between £160 and £700. The latter depends on the vehicle and will be returned within two weeks after clearing the road tax.

As you can see, there is a lot to deal with when you have an untaxed vehicle. Also, keep in mind that the DVLA Is doubling down on giving fines and clamping in the high tax evasion regions mentioned earlier. As such, even if road tax may be expensive, evading it will be far more so. The best thing is to be a smart vehicle owner and ensure that you always keep up with your taxes.

Sensory Gardens Lift The Spirits Of Disabled People

A disabled person may feel that they are a bother to other people. They feel that someone always has to help them with the things that they should be able to do themselves. Since this can make a person feel isolated, they will want to know that a sensory garden can put them at ease.’

What Is A Sensory Garden And Why Is It So Good?

A sensory garden has plants everywhere that are designed to help people with disabilities. The exhibits are very nice and it offers a very pleasant atmosphere. People with physical injuries benefit highly from the gardens, as well as people that have brain problems that affect their judgment and knowledge.

Using A Sensory Garden

People with disabilities will want to make use of sensory gardens whenever they can. Here is how they will benefit from going to a sensory garden:

1. Peaceful – Just being in a sensory garden allows someone to be in touch with nature. They can use the sensory garden as a place that they can practice meditating. It becomes a way for them to feel at their best without the pressures of the outside world.

2. Beautiful – Their senses are all in tune when they are in a sensory garden. They will love how it is so beautiful to see all the plant life and pretty flowers. It is appealing to them.

3. Calming – There is a calming nature about a sensory garden. They are made that way so a person can be relieved of the stresses that they feel. Disabled people often feel under pressure and in a sensory garden, they will not have to worry about this.

4. Enjoyable _ Disabled people can take their time in a sensory garden so that they can enjoy everything about it. They will be able to get around easily so that they can experience it in their own way.

5. Pretty – The sights that they will be able to see in the sensory garden are pretty. There are many gorgeous displays that they will enjoy being around. They will love being around this type of beauty whenever they are able to go.

6. Safe – Feeling safe is another reason why disabled people benefit from sensory gardens. They will not have to worry about other people trying to harm them in the gardens. This way, they are able to be themselves without others always trying to make them feel inferior. When they are out in the public, they often feel scared. Being a place where they know that they are protected is a plus for them.

7. Comfortable – Temperatures are always comfortable at sensory gardens. That way, a disabled person will never be too hot or too cold. They will feel just right when they are there. This can make all the difference in the world for a person to be able to function correctly.

8. Healthy – When a disabled person visits the sensory gardens, they are outside. They are getting the effects of the fresh air. This can lead to improved health. It is also good for their morale. They will feel better about themselves when they spend a lot of time at the sensory gardens.

When people discuss the use of sensory gardens with their doctor, the disabled person will hear how much they recommend that their patients use them. The doctors know the benefits of a disabled person using them. This is because of the clear indications that the sensory gardens help improve their patient’s overall health. This is such a reward for a disabled so they should go to the sensory gardens as often as they can.