Complying with the new rules

People walking along the watersides were following the new rules; Meadows play equipment was not being used; and London Road on a Tuesday at 5:15pm was near empty.

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.

One Stop Shop, the chemists, the hairdressers and the Post Office share information on using notices on their shutters (as of 24th March, 5p.m.

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).

Working through the crisis in systematic way

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.

Buying for 14 days will trigger temporary shortages

Queues at the chemists in Bridgeway Shopping Centre; needing prescriptions in case of going into isolation will also trigger high demand.

I think my experiences of food shopping in Nottingham city centre have not been typical of elsewhere in the UK.
Yes, toilet paper seems very scarce. I’ve had to buy nan bread rather than fresh bread. Eggs were short 2 days ago but there was plenty where I went today. 
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I’m a tad reluctant to be critical of other shoppers, partly cos I have not witnessed a problem (obviously I have not seen the worst of it), and because in part people are working to be ready for going into isolation for 14 days, in case, just as the Gov’t req’d, and possibly buying for other families.
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Now OK, I did buy a pack of 18 toilet rolls, but that was 3 weeks ago, and the offer was a tempting one. (I wish now that I’d kept the receipt; I didn’t panic buy, honest; and if they sell in packs of 9s, 12s, 18s and more, product sales are gonna soon clear a shelf).
(I do wonder why arrangements haven’t been made for health workers to get certain products at their workplace, but I don’t know enough.)

Mid-month progress report – March 2020 (2)

The public health emergency has taken over much of the work of the council and public services. I am following the Government’s advice on social distancing.

Many of you are making arrangements for family, friends and neighbours. The council is burdened through both extra work and fewer staff being available to do them. The council is unlikely to be in a position to evaluate or approve wider schemes organised by volunteers to serve strangers, so please work in a safe way in terms of helping people who don’t yet know you.

The council is sustaining its bin collections and street cleaning but not doing weeding, grass cutting and bulky waste collections. Libraries are open only 2 days a weeks.

My advice surgeries are cancelled, as are all public meetings of the council.

Trent Bridge is being re-painted; the Bandstand was re-painted last year.

Area 5 committee was cancelled, but we are acting on 2 priorities with Area Capital funds –
1. to consult on parking permits for “home zones” within New Meadows, Mundella Road neighbourhood and the Mundella Court streets.
2. to re-surface the stretches of roads with the potholes that most disturb cyclists, bus passengers and residents.

Two redundant traffic signs poles on the entrance to the Old Meadows on Wilford Grove have been removed; a pothole at the entrance to Wilford Crescent East has been patched; the pile of leaves on Embankment park has been removed.


The Council has been awarded £130,000 by the Lottery for a £170,000 package to renew and improve The Embankment and Memorial Gardens. This is a significant step on the way to achieving a total package of £1.7m.

The bid for the Climate Action Fund remains top priority.  

The City Council has won money to improve public transport and wants to develop a business case for expanding the tram, including through Meadow Lane.

Pleased that the Police announced yesterday, further progress against drug dealing in The Meadows (the previous announcement was that the Police have charged 2 people from the New Meadows for drug dealing
The previous mid-March progress report and the end of February progress report is available – probably 120 matters raised since 3 May.  

Public Health Emergency

The Coronoavirus Covid-19 pandemic is the worst since the 1918 influenza pandemic and is happening in a global age.
A worrying time for everyone, cos none of us know of the like.
How do we do the best for our family members and friends, some of whom will be very dependent on others for help?

Follow the government advice.

The advice on what to do is – follow the government advice.
Nottingham City Council’s response and actions are available. You can phone the council on 01159155555.

I am following government advice on social distancing.
Councillors’ Advice Surgeries have been cancelled.
But you can still reach me.
My contact details are available and you can phone or text me on 07876203352.
You can write to me at michael.edwards@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Lilian Greenwood MP continues to reach out to her constituents.
My trade union, TSSA, continues to represent its members.
Responses of other service providers –
Nottingham City Transport
Nottingham Express Transit
Nottingham City Homes

If you want to help on COVID-19

Nottingham City Council’s focus is on help the most vulnerable who need access to food and medication and we are awaiting a list from the NHS of people who need our support the most. We will be prioritising support for these people before moving on to identifying and responding to other needs.

How can individuals help?
By Monday there will be a single phone line operated by Nottinghamshire County Council with the support of Nottingham City Council where you can register your interest to be a volunteer.

If you would like to donate to help those who are vulnerable please donate to the Robin Hood Fund

How can organisations and community groups help?
A spreadsheet has been set up on SharePoint to allow organisations to log their offers of help. Please visit this spreadsheet and fill out the details required or contact NCVS or Nottingham Citizens and ask them to add your organisation to the list:

What should I do if any concerns are raised to me or if I become aware of community tensions?
Please report any community tensions to cpintelligence@Nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk so that these can be monitored and responded to.

Whilst there is plenty to rehearse and discuss about the Government’s policies and actions, how it has differed from the responses of other countries, and indeed may well be rehearsed elsewhere on this web-site or in my Facebook account,

I will not seek to re-state the Government’s advice.
My advice on what to do is – follow the government advice.