Zak Spade's

A lack of joined up thinking in local policy

Local newspaper, July 2020
Phil Wilkinson ("National Policy")

o - O - o

Those who direct policy affecting the people of this area seem to be adhering to the disjointed decision-making of our nation’s leaders.

Nationwide, those who have stayed at home to work are now able and required to entertain directions from employers to come back into the workplace. Meanwhile, all childcare facilities are to remain closed.

It smacks of a certain left-hand/right-hand form of thought, or perhaps a failure to employ ‘joined up thinking.’

And so we have the exact same woolly thought processes taking place here. The shops can open and trade, but the multi-storey car park that provides shoppers parking, and therefore access, remains closed. The reason stated is that the structure and design doesn’t allow social distancing.

But pubs, shops and restaurants can?

Quite how the multi-story car park structure is less capable of safe operation than the establishments victimised by muddled thinking, is beyond my reckoning. However, I have a theory. Perhaps the virus can be transmitted between vehicles and creeps in through air conditioning and ventilation systems. Maybe cars should be required to wear masks.

As theories go, it isn’t great, but then it makes a great deal more sense than claims being made by those who seek to keep the place closed.

Maybe I’m not thinking it through properly. Might it be that access in and out of the structure causes shoppers to bunch together too closely, thereby compromising social distancing? Naturally that can’t happen in pubs, shops or restaurants; wink, wink!

Could it be that the enclosed space causes the easy spread of the virus? Anyone who has ever used the building will vouch for the ventilation (otherwise known as draughts), which is unlike that of anywhere else given permission to open.

So, it’s not that, either.

Does someone want to be seen as caring, even if it is at the expense of the retail outlets being disadvantaged? It appears that those who are running centre:mk are happy to open their multi-story car parks. Maybe the air in Milton Keynes is different?

It is pure speculation on my part because I can’t work it out. However, I bet I’m not alone in trying to fathom a proper and valid reason and I’m sure someone will eventually uncover the real answer.

I pity the shop owners in the town who are expected to pay business rates to the same authority that has heaped further restrictions and difficulties upon them.

© 2020

20 March 2023