Seen a few Vlogs on Nottingham now, and a number of its viewers have said this one is worth watching. Of course, I’m sensitive to what is missed – the radical history of Nottingham, its sports history, the night life (tens of thousands at the weekends), the cultural offer – and the repaired building featured is better known as the offices of our best ever architect. If given the chance, might have recommended other restaurants. Not allowed to film in some of our attractions, where the tours are a key part of their business, but photo presentation was a good substitute.
Ran into this 3 part video history series after seeing a travel vlog. Written and presented by Michael, of Nottsflix, and published in 2018 and 2019, this is a pretty impressive effort if, as claimed, this was his first attempt. It tries to be light-hearted. I’m not an historian so can’t know is everything is right, but it seemed pretty compelling to me. A history of the Broadmarsh shopping centre, starting with what Broad Marsh itself was, how it was known to be a monastery, how it was taken over for various trades, how living conditions came to be so intolerable despite the wealth being generated in the city, why the shopping centre came about and why it has the brutalist architecture (albeit, 3rd wave, muted brutalist architecture). Michael has also found letters from the protestors against the shopping centre being built, although seems a little unclear as why the council was so keen (suggesting something dark and underhand). Not sure. One of the losses that at one stage the early and much more ambitious proposals for regeneration wanted to re-instate was the previous city streets plan for that area (although that was also compromised by Maid Marian Way. That optimistic time was first publicly promoted I think in 1997, but the scale of the proposals was huge, and the then owner Westfield, had other projects, e.g. Derby’s shopping centre, that were easier to do and so done first.
The first week of May has prompted Facebook friends to celebrate various anniversaries of local election victories. Today is the 20th anniversary of one I am particular fond of, when a late friend came to help me during the day, and towards the end, predicted a win when we’d thought defending a previously unwinnable ward was finally going to catch up with us. – In. the run-up, I’d gone to a by-election in Derbyshire 3 weeks previously, when my good friend Bill Lythgoe stood but lost. It wasn’t a bad defeat but it reminded me of what extra we’d need to do to win. He promised to join me in return on my election day. – Alongside Emma Dewinton, we always had lots to say in Mapperley ward, so produced 3 attractive A4 folded lengthwise elections addresses – one for each part of the ward. Then on election day, my partner Sue ran the biggest polling district committee rooms with the most workers from the GMB office, the late Paul Watts organised Mapperley Park (delivering our majority was the joke for what was perceived to be staunchly Conservative area) and Bill & I worked the east Sherwood part from someone’s empty front room. We had expected defeat, but time and again, we met supporters who said they’d gone to vote, and even met a woman at 8pm wandering around to find the polling station. a moment for me when I thought, may be this was on. – At the city wide count, I got those knowing glances from colleagues that said they knew I was out. We held the then 2 member Mapperley ward in the Nottingham City council elections, when Labour lost 10 seats in the city that day. – And Labour, under Tony Blair, lost one-third of the seats we were defending that day (see the letter from the then city leader, Graham Chapman). Note, the neighbouring Sherwood ward was also held against the odds by Brian Parbutt and Penny Griggs.
The publication of new data by the government shows that 3 people from The Meadows have died; their deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) between 1 March and 17 April 2020. 76 people for Nottingham in total.
“People living in more deprived areas have experienced COVID-19 mortality rates more than double those living in less deprived areas. General mortality rates are normally higher in more deprived areas, but so far COVID-19 appears to be taking them higher still.” Nick Stripe, Head of Health Analysis, Office for National Statistics.
76 deaths of Nottingham city residents is slightly above the 71 that might be expected for share of population. Whilst above the national trend, not as much as might be suggested given the deprivation in Nottingham. The numbers of lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Nottingham continues to be significantly below what might be suggested by share of population. The reason for this is not known, but has been a trend for 3-4 weeks.
Assuming a UK population of 67.9 million, and a Nottingham population of 331 thousand, Nottingham’s share of 177 thousand cases nationally, by population would be 865, using figures published by PHE on 1st May. If we round Nottingham’s figures down, assuming students are living away, the share would be 784 (within 300,000 people). However, the number of cases are lower than these expectations – 518. I have therefore asked whether Nottingham has been under-testing, and have been advised that Nottingham is not, despite an assertion from an acquaintance. – Assuming a Meadows population of 9 thousand, the share of cases might be 14, or 23, depending on sharing the Nottingham case figure or the national case figure. PHE have published 27,510 deaths in which Covid-19 has been involved, a Nottingham share of which might be 80, or 134, and a Meadows share of which might be 2, or 3. However, PHE have published datasets (showing deaths by Super Output Areas) running up until April 17th, at which time, the national death rate figure was 14,756. This might suggest that the number of deaths in The Meadows might now stand at 5 or 6. At such low numbers, such figures can only be treated as indicative. But it does suggest that whilst The Meadows case rate is below national average, the death rate is above. – The main finding drawn from the SOA datasets that death rates are higher in the more deprived neighbourhoods (see quote). Note, an FT journalist has published a much higher national number of deaths at 48,100 (30th April), suggesting a Nottingham figure of 234 and a Meadows figure of 6 (both by share of population). – The purpose of the additional calculations are to give a sense of local perspective, and to prompt questions of public health officers.e.g. are we testing enough in Nottingham? And how many of us have had the disease? Can you reasonably loosen the lockdown? – One scientist has published calculations of the fatality rate of .75% (+/- .26%). Assuming 60,000 of those who have or have had the disease have died (increases on the FT journalist figure), this suggests only 12% of us (or perhaps 9%, or perhaps 18%) have or had have the disease, well below the often cited 60% required to stop the disease spreading without special measures. But such figures are not being publicly rehearsed; so perhaps such a calculation is not legitimate, or it is still not known how to calculate such a figure.
Had developed the idea that Nottingham’s share of cases was below what might be expected by population share; and then abandoned it as figures changed. Then, as the country’s cases went up by 20,000 in the over a weekend, Nottingham’s went up only 24, and the rate was down again. And now at 352, we are 178 below what might be expected by share of the population. – That 1 in 7 of recorded cases ends in deaths merely tells us how few of those who catch the disease in the UK are recorded (c.f. an actual death rate of 1 in 100?) – Have to be very wary, cos I’m not trained in these things. The Meadows population is also an estimate that might be a bit out of date. – But given how Sheffield (relatively nearby) is way above its pro-rata rate, what is it that has meant Nottingham, has had a lower rate? Possibly Nottingham’s population is lower cos perhaps a net 40,000 of our students are currently not resident.
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.