We should work it out

Incredibly disappointed for Notts teachers and the Notts education unions, who will know the importance of children not missing school lessons more than most, for them to be told by the Conservative council leader “it was time teachers ‘pay back a little’, with other services continuing during lockdown.”
(source: Nottingham Post)

I have tweeted – 
“Why the determination to be rude to teachers?
“The criteria for re-opening schools should be about what’s best for public health; end of.
“Not some imagined debt.”

Well done to the trade unions on acquiring the scientific advice.
A bit disappointing that it does not seem to offer enough to encourage a small partial return schools on June 1st.  
(I had wondered if the argument was going to be that the number of cases in parts of the country was sufficiently low to enable a return; but apparently that case has not been made.)

Seems to me the trade unions have been proportionate and dignified.

Unlicensed quad bikes on The Embankment

The hot weather yesterday did see large numbers of people enjoying Victoria Embankment in the evening.
Rang some complaints in and have spoken to the Police today.
We are getting some people hanging around busy spots and not making way – in a manner that would be social distancing friendly – for people passing through. So we’re on the look-out.
On the look-out too for the owners of quads that were hanging around and more at the Embankment. If we can find them, we can impound unlicensed quads and have them crushed.

The Police have had more success in recent weeks in arresting drug dealers based in The Meadows and perception is that users have gone elsewhere.
Happy to hear feedback on these points.
Bumped into a Meadows resident a few days back in a city centre street who said the City Council have been excellent. So the score currently is 1-0. Let me know if you have an opinion.  
Meanwhile, was sorry to read that one of wardens was spat at by someone who then bit a Police Officer. Reported to the media – fair enough – but the N Post said it happened on Meadows Way, then showed a photo of Bridgeway Shopping Centre – unfair on our local shops.

Respecting social distancing

Have seen social messages from political opponents and from people who don’t wish local Labour Councillors well, (and to be fair, some friends too) that social distancing is not being respected in The Meadows.
The substance of the concerns has been passed on to the Police, who have checked and will continue to check. Broadly speaking, people in The Meadows have been respecting social distancing.
I have heard of certain episodes, seemingly associated with sense of either panic or lack of respect for space, associated with using the chemist.

Reasons for the respect include of course care and concern for the public in general, for our health workers and others who have to serve, their immediate household and themselves, both in having to stay in and in coping with the disease (I think I know 1 person who’s had it and it didn’t sound at all mild or moderate, even if they didn’t go to hospital).  

I guess I understand the heightened anxiety and exhortation but I wonder if, when we come to evaluate all that has happened, we will find that people did indeed join in well (in those areas I know).

Graphics from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center  (hence the jet airliner?!)

Local Police priorities

A bit disappointed with the tv journalism. Latest is emphasising the need for a consistent response from the Police across the country on challenging people for being outdoors.
Of course, it sounds like common sense, the kind of common sense you see rehearsed on Match of the Day.
But there’s a reason we have Constabularies and many reasons for seeking to hold the Police to account at more more local levels. Cos our needs vary.
Some friends think the traffic Police might be being too challenging. Maybe, maybe not.  
But I know the local concern is people involved in the selling or buying of drugs, and hanging around shopping centres or telephone boxes or underpasses.  
So my focus is not consistency, but public health and community safety. Calling for repeated patrols at known hot spots and asking that volunteers are sought for food deliveries rather than uniformed officers.  
We are also likely to hear more about neighbour disputes, and there is likely to be more domestic violence during the public health emergency. 
As it happens, the Chief Constable for Notts said yesterday – “that @nottspolice are using the “engage, education, encourage, enforce” model of policing by consent on Covid-19 and not being overzealous.”
Also as it happens, local patrols are finding the local hot spots are clear of nuisance.

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.

Planning committee – March 2020

New council housing on the former Eastglade school site, and challenges about how to boost its environmental features further.
New social housing by TumTum Housing Association of Woodborough Road, at the site of the former Woodborough pub site.
A homeless hostel by Framework on the site of the Mechanics Arms on Alfred Street North – with repeated assurances that the hostel would be continuously and well managed.


A go-see fun-filled movie bringing back memories of the seventies and that BBC broadcast, whilst addressing themes of sexism & feminism, racism & internationalism and objectification & personal development.

Billed as a comedy-drama, the theatre showing I went to didn’t trigger laughs and I suspect this is because the movie chooses not to make enough fun of the men, chooses to show women miserably suffering at the hands of men, when I suspect the women would have had amusing things to say about those condescending interview boards, fellow history students, and television panels. (And look up the YouTube video of Bob Hope and his tasteless gags that night.)

My recollection of watching Miss World as a boy was that I joined in with the judging; and then when the women’s movement made their points, it was like, yeah, it’s obvious, even to a 9 year old. Yet fifty years on, Miss World continues, just not on BBC tv.

Wiki. Guardian review. Guardian comment.
P.S. note for Salop fans – this shows Grenada conquering the world.