The Coronavirus Covid-19 public health emergency touches all businesses in so many ways. Ability to supply, customer demand, customer ability to pay.
People rely on Enviroenergy for heating so the heat station has to be kept going. It has to keep taking the steam to turn into electricity and the hot water to supply the district heating scheme. So that’s where the focus is and the control engineers are being given maximum support.
All the other staff are working from home.
Support is also being offered to people who may be struggling to pay the bills, but whilst emergency credit is being offered (like other suppliers), for heat customers who pay via a prepayment card, they still have to get updates from the point of sale machines (cos that’s how the technology is).
Outturn for end of 2019/20 is likely to be £1/4m better than expected 12 months ago, but there are still a few days to go, and some of our customers (e.g. the shopping centres) are not likely to be drawing the heat they might usually do.
We are also affected by the global changes in energy prices.
Looking to the future, we are hoping to expand in the future, supply heating to the Island site as it is developed and even offer heat station management services to other businesses.
An unpleasant film to watch cos it brings life to horrible atrocities by the Nazis in Eastern Europe during WWII.
The film is well made and well shot, but just horrible cos of what it shows. So it becomes a duty to watch.
A reminder at how the mass executions started through mass shootings.
I think the film didn’t go on general release cos another film on the same events came out just before it. Currently available on BBC i-player.
Walkers by the river and the canal are clearly respecting social distancing.
Play equipment was not being used.
The dentist’s receptionist was working via an intercom.
Traffic on London Road was very very light at 5:15.
Various streets have established their own small networks of neighbouring, using things like WhatsApp.
The Bridgeway shopping centre Chemists has a sign up advising people what to do.
Shopping was “one out, one in” at the Co-op who are also advertising a delivery service. Customers were waiting outside and apart from each other.
No doubt there are people not following the the guidance, and that non-compliance might be most associated with expectation of some groups of workers and some locations more than others.
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But I think it’s pretty clear that the vast majority are trying to follow the rules.
I remain concerned about journalists’ continued use of vox pops, including attacks on politicians (e.g. BBC 6 o’clock news).
Across our neighbourhoods, or (in this 21st Century, I might more accurately say) extended networks, all kinds of people are making all kinds of arrangements to support each other when we are ill, or isolated, or socially distancing.
At times like these, people will be getting on with getting on.
And where they can’t, they will be looking to the NHS or the council or their social landlord or the emergency services to do what is necessary.
Including reporting neighbours who thought it was fun to have a street party yesterday to the Police.
Now as an elected representative, I feel this urge to do something more; and that people might expect it of me.
But the reality is people need a structured, organised and (dare I say it) a properly financed set of services to assist.
So I won’t be putting out any special leaflets to say I can help as an individual. Cos the systems should provide and I expect that of them.
Part of this is cos I don’t want to confuse any organised systems and messages.
And part of this is cos I might be carrying the virus and not know it.
What I can, should and do do is report failings in the systems set up to help.
I am going to expect that people know that I do that already.
Cos this ain’t the time to be trying to fix, or even make, reputations.
Meanwhile, my main political criticisms are –
1. if we are “at war”, all available capacity should be mobilised for a purpose through our public services; people no longer selling holidays, or serving in shops or on public transport, could be commissioned to help the public services; and others could be mobilised to keep their immediate neighbourhood looking neat (not litter or waste, obviously, but grass cutting and weeding);
2. councils should be told publicly that they are to receive finance to provide more capacity;
3. the economic packages should be emphasising funding people and consumer demand rather than financing businesses.
Spring 2020 looks set to be spent at home in a new and different way.
Not exactly a tribute, cos Kenny Rogers’ songs was for me something that was most emphatically belonging to my Dad’s generation, although a sign then of the openness of the record charts to a wide range of music in the seventies. And Country music was so strong.
Yet those songs were irritating. Ruby, Coward, Lucille, Gambler – I mean don’t ever try the tables with your own money with those maxims. (Well, don’t try the tables really.)
Ironic then that in the University period, and that post University, unemployed period, post Salop home games Saturday evenings in the pub were finished by my mates putting his records on the juke box and muttering “weh weh weh” during verses before singing the first lines of the chorus – which anyone could do, but only my mates did. As was said during Shirley Valentine, surely there are better songs than this.
And then that post Notts County – Salop Saturday night at the Lord Roberts (2nd Feb 1985) when they put songs like these on to get people to leave at chucking out time, and yep, the astonishment as my mates knew the songs.
So, let’s mark his passing with an acknowledgment of sorts, and gratitude – that I have not been prompted to sing all those Jim Reeves songs for you.
And there I might have left it, save for this cover version of Islands from five years ago, by David Mellen, now leader of Nottingham City Council. Where he does actually sing the words.