Meadows ward monthly report 13

Another full month of a high degree of lockdown. Everything else continues to be reduced in significance by the public health emergency.  The UK has been the worst in Europe in managing the crisis.
Data published on 1st May has announced the death of 3 people in The Meadows by April 17th.

Mantra still is follow the revised government advice, which local people have been pretty good about.
But the advice changes again tomorrow, and some groups of people have been working to the forthcoming standards.

Following the guidance has been a tad compromised by the Prime Minister excusing the actions of some – they were following their paternal instincts. I might have pleaded for mercy, but in the end, we’d have been better off if the biggest culprit had been fined.
Disappointed for Nottinghamshire teachers, who came for unwarranted criticism – when really we just have to talk things through to work it out.

Still the Covid-19 disease has hit Nottingham less hard than might be expected given we are a compact and dense city, with higher rates of BAME and higher rates of people earning in the 7th, 8th and 9th deciles. The rate of positive tests is low by national standards, but it’s not obvious why.  

Cases picked up via the Golden Number (01159155555) are still coming through, but people have been coping, or not, without seeking much extra help.
Nottingham City Council is working in very different ways, including full council, which appointed a new Chief Executive (who starts in September).
The council is not receiving the money it should for the extra services being provided.  We are going to be betrayed by the Gov’t on the promises they made.

A conservation area has been agreed for the Old Meadows.

An assault in The Meadows, although understanding of how it come to happen is not yet known. The Police have been making progress on drugs; although our unformed officers did suffer a very unfortunate experience.

Can say –
– Police have been patrolling Victoria Embankment and talking to people to encourage social distancing;
– extra patrol issued 3 tickets for speeding on Saturday;
– noise from quads and motor bikes is annoying and is looked for, but it’s easier if info is supplied on where the machines are kept; since no-one in The Meadows has said anything, it is not clear that the offenders are local; and they have been witnessed elsewhere;
– the report of a stabbing was in fact bleeding from an assault and did not involve the use of a blade; the victim has declined to prosecute;
– 2 people arrested on 27th Feb on drugs charged were sentenced on May 7th to 3 years and to 32 months;
– Our Lady & St.Patrick’s church are exploring extra measures to protect their grounds against being used for abuse;
– it is understood that 20mph speed limits can be enforced;

– council have re-instated bulky waste collection, but weeding is beyond us at the moment; might be helpful if people could hoe nearby roadsides;
– some Old Meadows streets were sent letters on Saturday about looking after alleyways and taking advantage of bulky waste collections.

127 cases logged since 3rd May, 2019, from around 53 new clients, collected from phone calls, e-mails, Facebook posts etc.  An e-mail to Meadows residents was issued on behalf of co-Cllr. Nicola Heaton and myself.

Practically no rain in May, and this on top of the country’s driest ever recorded Spring, means new problems are on their way, a short 4 months after all the problems with floods and broken dams elsewhere.

There is one almighty reckoning to come when we do strive to recover our economy and society.

But a huge reckoning is now taking place in the USA, following the murder of George Floyd, by a Policeman who constrained him by sticking a knee on his throat for 8 minutes, despite the victim’s pleads of “I can’t breathe”. The Police fired the officer, who already had 17 complaints filed against him, but needed to arrest him and charge him with murder sooner than they did.

Culture and events – 
Films on TV: check out BBC’s I-player!
TV: Charlie Brooker’s anti-viral wipe – just hilarious.
Theatre on internet: Frankenstein.
Documentaries on internet: UK travel vlog of Nottingham by Renata Pereira; History of Broad Marsh by NottsFlix.
And the new pastime – following the fortunes of wildfowl families as they are hatched and grow up.

Plenty of anniversaries, given it’s the elections month of May – Victory 20 years ago and Ten Years since end of ME4SD campaign – and for other reasons – Victory in Europe Day – 75 years on, and Clement Attlee came to power 80 years ago.

And farewells: locally Ken Fleet; and elsewhere, Michael Angelis (Liver Birds, Boys from the Blackstuff, and G.B.H.).

Public Health Emergency – revised government advice

Superseded on 1st June, 2020.

The government has issued new advice on how to behave and you should refer to it if seeking advice on what to do. The advice is –
“You must:  Stay at home as much as possible; Work from home if you can; Limit contact with other people; Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible); Wash your hands regularly; Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.”

A previous web-page I published is now marked as superseded.

You will always use your own judgement on all advice issued.
There may be issues about whether it is safe to return to work. The Government has now said you should talk to your employer first. The law will support you if you believe the workplace to be unsafe: discuss such issues first with managers, and then staff reps (or your trade union), and then with perhaps health & safety agencies, or public health agencies, including the function run by Nottingham City Council – phone 01159155555.
Same applies if your own health, and/or the welfare of friends and family, would be affected by a return to work.
There is advice on how you should travel to work.
There was some unclarity about the new guidance, so I have updated this part of the advice.

My contact details are available and you can phone or text me on 07876203352.  
You can write to me at 

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

Meadows ward monthly report 12

A full month of a high degree of lockdown. Everything else continues to be reduced to insignificance by the public health emergency.  
Mantra still is follow government advice.
However, it’s become clear, as the UK is on its way to the highest level of deaths per capita in Europe, that something has gone very wrong in the government handling of the spread of the disease, and the protection of hospital and care workers and other key workers. As for the testing, the UK have struggled to meet daily 100,000 target set for today; and there’s been a bizarre emphasis on talking about the capacity to deliver rather than the actual delivery.
The failings have been shown by commentators like Alistair Campbell and now by the new Labour Leader, Keir Starmer, who’s approach emphasises working on best data and evidence.
Calls to follow the science have kinda missed how scientists don’t offer one answer, and have their own political views. The politicians who’ve made the bad decisions are now trying to make out they only followed the science.
No consolation that the statement and advice from Donald Trump has been much worse.

There is a suggestion that the disease has hit Nottingham less hard than might be expected given we are a compact and dense city. The rate of positive tests is low by national standards, but it’s not obvious why.

Cases picked up via the Golden Number (01159155555) are still coming through. The Meadows numbers reflect what you might expect a pro-rata share of the Nottingham cases would suggest. 
Police focus has remained on checking public order in public spaces and they had further success on charging people for drug dealing last week. 
The donation from a developer to help people with no money for food is very welcome. Meadows Advice Group continue to offer a telephone service (01159860197). 
Further progress has been made since the submission to the Climate Action (National Lottery) Fund to do extra green things in The Meadows in the next few years.

Nottingham City Council is working in very different ways, the latest of which was to hold video conferences to consider the business of the April planning committee.
New flats for Queens Road were supported with a range of conditions.
The council is not receiving the money it should for the extra services being provided.

119 cases logged since 3rd May, 2019, from around 50 new clients, collected from phone calls, e-mails, Facebook posts etc. 

There is one almighty reckoning to come as we assess whether firms and projects and jobs that have been lost, needn’t have been. Our understanding of who are important and what’s important is changing and there will come a time when we will resolve to win the new peace. 

Culture and events – 
Films on TV: check out BBC’s I-player!
TV: Quiz.
Theatre on internet: Jane Eyre.
Documentary on internet: Planet of the Humans.

And farewells: Alf Wood.

Meadows ward monthly report 11

Everything has been reduced to insignificance by the public health emergency.
Another coronavirus has made the leap to human to human transmission (the disease Covid-19 following on from Mers and Sars) and its ability to spread, to reduce people to needing intensive care and to kill people puts such a burden on our health and social care services that a form of lock down on many people working, studying, playing to meeting up has been introduced. Many of our public services and entertainments are no longer available.

Beyond follow government advice, I’ve posted a number of mid-month progress reports and blog entries related to the public health emergency –
Covid-19 (9th), Mid-month progress report – March 2020 (10th), Mid-month progress report – March 2020 (2) (20th), Buying for 14 days will trigger temporary shortages (21st), Working through the crisis in systematic way (23rd), Complying with the new rules (24th), Advice from Nottingham City Council on Covid-19 (26th), Local Police priorities (31st).
People like Tony Blair have offered helpful advice and questions are growing about whether Government acted early enough on personal protection equipment for doctors, nurses and carers; on sufficient testing; on procuring enough respirators and who from. Meanwhile, the tv media continues to demonstrate vapidity and occasional misdirection.

Casework in The Meadows has much reduced because whilst there is much more going on and much more to be sorted, people are getting on with sorting it. So instead, daily exercising walks have acted as way of assessing roads and pavements, checking for graffiti and tipping, taking celebratory photos of works done and checking out how the shopping centre is doing.

There were public meetings at the beginning of the month (e.g. NeMTRA AGM), but everything is now cancelled, including meetings of the council (full council set the budget; planning committee was the last meeting for some time). Enviroenergy met using a telecommunications conference. Robin Hood Energy reported a big annual loss.

Some satisfaction with how well people are responding to the calls to stay home; yes, it’s fear of catching the disease, but it’s also looking out for family and friends, avoiding having to fully isolate and doing what’s right for everyone. Friendships and acquaintances have become something stronger as people set up social media networks for neighbourly mutual support and supplies for those who cannot get out.

Nevertheless, other problems come through – including new triggers for long-standing disputes between neighbours and higher levels of domestic abuse – so often unseen. People selling and buying drugs also carry a higher profile and the Police have had recent successes on arresting people for dealing and know to keep patrolling the hotspots.
Some satisfaction, but only some, at the conviction of an 18 year old who used a half Samurai sword to kill a son of The Meadows last year, being convicted for murder.

There was good news for renewing the Memorial Gardens and the bid for a Greener Meadows via the Climate Action Fund is ongoing.

A near empty tram carrying people into The Meadows and the city centre from Wilford.

Transport looked set to be the story of the month – Clifton Bridge failure, defending bus lanes, road re-surfacing and parking permits and exploring a 3rd tram route through The Meadows looking east.

115 cases logged since 3rd May, 2020, from around 48 clients, collected from phone calls, e-mails, Facebook posts etc.

There is one almighty reckoning to come as we assess whether firms and projects and jobs that have been lost, needn’t have been. Our understanding of who are important and what’s important is changing and there will come a time when we will resolve to win the new peace.

Culture and events – 
Films: Misbehaviour; And Then We Danced; Dark Waters; Portrait of a Lady on Fire;  True History of the Kelly Gang
Films on TV: The Man with the Iron Heart; Margin Call; Mindhorn.

And farewells: Joe Ashton, (Kenny Rogers).

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.

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.