DAILY EMERGENCY COVID-19
... Important Daily Notices ...
page is to place quick update important notices that are being
sent to us from Government and other organisations over the
Coronavirus Emergency affecting our country (UK)...
Please remember that the information changes quickly, so always
check to see what time and when the last post was made. We
will update as and when we can.... Users of our Formby
Service will get most updates 1st and then they will
be added on here as soon as we can... If you have any
updates to send in or any views on the posts on here, please
email us to:-
This page is updated on 30 March 2020
font have to sack staff to get help with the Job Retention
SP Energy Networks has revealed
contingency plans to ensure homes and businesses in Southport
and other parts of the Liverpool City Region maintain their
electricity supply throughout the Coronavirus crisis.
The plans being implemented by the electricity distributor also
introduce special measures to protect supply for critical
national infrastructure and public service sites; including
hospitals, nursing homes, food supply chain businesses Ministry
of Defence sites and prisons.
The UK has one of the most reliable electricity networks in the
world and contingency plans developed by SP Energy Networks
alongside other network operators, Government and electricity
regulator Ofgem will ensure power continues to flow throughout
the Coronavirus crisis.
Other major changes that SP Energy Networks is putting in place
Rapid installation of new connections that will support the
containment of COVID-19 including connections for hospitals,
care/nursing homes, water treatment works and food supply chain
A commitment to continue any critical maintenance and repair
work that secures the resilience of the electricity network in
the short and medium term to keep the power flowing;
prioritising power cuts and urgent safety issues.
Postponement or cancellation of new network upgrade projects
that involve planned interruption of power for customers –
unless it assists the restoration of power supply or if not
conducting the work poses a danger to the public/ staff/
contactors or it supports short or medium term resilience
Deployment of teams to undertake connections projects that will
provide additional resilience to the local or national
electricity networkl such as additional generation capacity to
provide more electricity where it is needed.
These changes will be implemented with immediate effect for SP
Energy Network's 3.5million customers across:- Merseyside,
Cheshire, North Wales, North Shropshire, and Central and
As a critical operational business, SP Energy Networks has
already established social distancing measures and rolled out
additional processes for critical frontline operational staff
and control centre teams who cannot undertake their key roles
from home to ensure they can maintain operations in the event of
a localised outbreak of Coronavirus.
Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks said:- "We have
1 of the most reliable energy networks in the world and our top
priority throughout the COVID-19 crisis will be to keep the
power flowing for our customers in Southport while ensuring
critical national infrastructure sites receive the electricity
supply they need. We've already put huge changes in place to
keep our staff safe and redeployed them on priority projects
that will support the UK's national effort to tackle the
Coronavirus. If you see us outside your home or we visit your
property during the Coronavirus emergency, please be assured we
are there because it is critical. It's absolutely essential our
network holds up against storms and high winds so our teams are
working to maintain and strengthen the resilience of the network
we all rely on to take us through this storm season and beyond.
We know that now, more than ever you are relying on us to keep
you safe and warm by ensuring the power continues to flow and we
are committed to doing just that."
Customers who have received a letter from the NHS advising them
that they are:- 'at risk' and should take
additional measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 are
being advised to sign up for the Priority Services Register.
This provides free additional services to customers in
vulnerable circumstances if there is an unexpected power cut.
They should sign up at:-
text:- 'PSR' to:- 61999.
In the event of a power cut, customers should call the national
105 hotline, no matter who they pay their bill to. For more
information about SP Energy Networks, please visit:-
people in North West England are more dependent on their
broadband and internet connection than ever...!
Brits are more dependent on
their internet and broadband provider than ever before. In the
North West of the country, 53% are increasing their internet use
due to the restrictions of Covid-19, a new study reveals.
As of Monday, 23 March 2020, UK residents were put under strict
guidelines to stay at home. The study, from leading price
comparison website, Moneyexpert.com, found that 35% of people in
the North West are using the internet for different means
because of Covid-19, and that 1 in 5 (22%) are finding it a lot
more challenging to use the internet for things such as video
calls or shopping for food online.
However, a huge 87% of people in the North West are using the
internet in ways they never have before. While 61% are using the
internet to keep up with the news and Government changes, 55%
are relying on strong connection to keep themselves entertained,
and to keep in touch with loved ones (51%). 13% are checking in
on the elderly or an:- 'at risk' friend or family
member, and some are even holding out hope for a summer holiday
abroad by planning their next getaway!
With millions of Brits now working from home, the reliance on a
strong connection is more necessary than ever. However, for
many, the change from professional office to home office isn't
quite as smooth and simple as hoped for. More than one in ten
(12%) people in the region say the speed of their connection is
completely inconsistent, and for some (14%) the internet is
cutting out for no reason at all. Virtual video meetings are
causing Brits to look completely unprofessional, with a 1 in 5
of those in the North West (21%) missing meetings due to poor
internet connection; on average, people have missed around three
meetings since the pandemic began.
Unfortunately, broadband problems are not a new discovery in
isolation. 67% of people in the region have considered changing
their broadband and consider cost as a factor they'd think about
heavily (89%) when preparing to switch. 44% would like expert
advice when doing so.
Jason Smith, CEO of
"With a significant proportion of the UK now working in a new
way from home, many are coming up against new problems with
their broadband and internet connection. 45% of Brits are
finding it difficult to connect to video meetings when more than
one person in the house is using the internet, so consider
creating a shared calendar to schedule meetings, and keep one
room in the house free for those important calls. With weeks and
months of uncertainty ahead, optimising our home spaces to be
entirely fit for our changed needs will help us reduce stress
and keep our sanity. A suitable broadband connection with a
minimum guaranteed speed is a key part of that."
Horticultural is worth ₤1.4 Billion sector cold be wiped out in
major part of the UK's gardening
industry worth ₤1.4 billion, which includes hundreds of family
businesses up and down the country, could be destroyed following
the UK Coronavirus shutdown, claims the Horticultural Trades
Peak season has only a matter of weeks left for the horticulture
sector which has formed an essential part of British life for
over 350 years. It includes the ornamental crop sector, which
grows bulbs, bedding plants, cut flowers, pot plants and stock
mostly sold through garden centres, supermarkets, florists and
Around 650 businesses across the UK produce ornamental crops,
which contribute ₤1.4 billion in total to the country's GDP
annually and employ over 15,000 people directly and almost
30,000 indirectly. Many of these jobs form a vital lifeline for
The perishability and seasonality of plants means that an
estimated ₤200 million of seasonal plants will have to be
scrapped across the ornamental horticulture industry.
Since Mother's Day weekend when demand is typically high, but
people were beginning to self isolate, sales dwindled
dramatically, while lockdown means that there is unlikely to be
any sales through to the May bank holiday, the busiest trading
period of the year.
Alan Titchmarsh MBE said:- "This spring could well bring
about the end of British horticulture as we know it. Hundreds of
nursery owners and growers are facing huge losses of plants and
revenue simply because the stock they have spent many months
nurturing for the spring market; their peak season; will have to
be destroyed since garden centres and other outlets are closed
for business. This means not only a loss of billions of pounds
to the UK economy and of thousands of jobs but, more than this,
it will decimate an industry that will be unable to recover for
the foreseeable future. Our gardens and green spaces; the very
things that provide spiritual and physical sustenance at times
like this; will no longer be able to call upon the variety of
plants that are currently available; a range that has taken
decades to develop. Without some form of rescue package, we are
destined to see our gardens and public open spaces decline as
growers find it impossible to recover from unsustainable losses.
Businesses will disappear overnight in a situation that will
take many years to reverse. I urge the Government to put in
place a rescue package which will enable British horticulture to
survive. Without it, our gardens and open spaces; a vital source
of solace and nutrition to those at home; will suffer
Speaking on behalf of the HTA, Chairman James Barnes said:-
"We have hit a perfect storm in the UK. The seasonality and
perishability that is unique to our industry means that growers
are potentially facing stock losses on an ever rising scale as
each day passes. Stock is 1 of the biggest components of asset
value in the sector; stock write offs will destroy the balance
sheets of many and make it impossible for them to continue. We
are calling for the Government to work with the HTA, as the
industry's representative body, to come up with a financial
support scheme to help those businesses which have had to scrap
perishable stock and are facing a huge financial crisis. For
those that can stay in business, there are also significant
longer term issues as growers may not have time to plant next
year's crop, leading to a 2 year supply hit on the whole
industry including retail, which will severely impact the
availability of British grown seasonal plants and flowers."
The HTA claims that while the Government's financial measures
related to the agriculture and horticulture firms are welcome,
in many cases they are not suitable for ornamental businesses.
Investment in stock means that many nurseries do not have the
reserves to take on the debt of a Government loan, and often
fall out of the scope of any support scheme due to EU state aid
The HTA estimates that a minimum of a third of UK ornamental
producers may fail in a matter of weeks, leading to a loss of
around ₤250m in direct GDP contribution to the UK economy
annually. Allowing for a 2.4% per annum growth factor, the value
of this lost contribution to GDP over five years would be ₤1.34
Around 70% of bedding plant sales are made between March and the
end of May 2020. Many of these growers are facing huge
difficulties and a near complete loss of income due to the
Horticulture not only provides a great deal of grow your own
produce, but also contributes to positive physical and mental
wellbeing and serves some 23 million gardeners in the UK. The
longer term impact from the failure of the UK businesses will be
significant. The wipe out of British commercial growers will
increase the volume of imported plants, raising the risk of
Britain being hit by plant pests and diseases, undermining
efforts by the garden industry and the Government to manage the
nation's biosecurity strategy.
A good example is Porters Fuchsias is a family run wholesale
bedding plant grower based in Formby, Merseyside, that needs
urgent action now or the family risks losing their livelihood.
Natalie Porter, who helps run the business said:- "The
uncertainty surrounding the length of the Coronavirus crisis is
hindering the industry's ability to make quick and efficient
decisions to save businesses like ours. Time is running out.
Most of our summer stock has already been planted and will be
ready in three weeks. Our remaining stock due to be planted will
be ready in 5 weeks and go to waste in 8. We are facing a
potential write-off of ₤350,000 in the next three weeks due to
perishable stock. This would jump to ₤200,000 per week
In the likely event that the impact of Coronavirus continues
beyond 3 weeks, the outlook for Porters Fuchsias looks bleak.
Natalie continued:- "In this case, a loan becomes
unfeasible. Even if the payback deadline were extended, it would
mean writing off many, many years of future potential profits."
It is not just in the North West that is affected, Kernock Park
Plants, who are based in Cornwall has traded plants for nearly
40 years. The firm produces up to 12 million plants per year and
the turn of Spring would normally be the start of peak season,
however when the Covid-19 pandemic was announced and subsequent
measures enforced across the UK, the business had to prepare for
uncertain times ahead.
A specialist provider of carpet bedding the firm also produces a
vast range of ornamental plants including:- herbs and
vegetables. Managing Director Bruce Harnett said:- "The
recent fall in sales and mass cancellations from hundreds of our
customers is extremely worrying, as we are now nearing full
capacity with approximately seven million unsold plants on the
Like thousands of nurseries up and down the country, Kernock is
now faced with the difficult decision of closing its doors,
resulting in a massive revenue hit and numerous job losses.
Bruce fears for the British garden and plant industry and calls
for a form of scrappage compensation, to help cover the costs of
plants that will inevitably have to be destroyed. "We have
already paid and produced for the inputs and the labour to
create the products for nearly all of our sales, catering for
the peak demands in spring and summer. We can't simply shut the
doors and struggle through waiting to reopen. I can only hope
that we can continue trading in some way and secure some sort of
compensation for our unique sector."
Alex Newey is Managing Director of the Newey Group based in
Chichester and agrees that the ornamental growers' sector is
particularly unique:- "I can't think of another sector
which invests throughout the year for such a short sales window
to recoup the costs. We are about to lose an entire industry
which will severely impact the availability of British grown
seasonal fruit, vegetables, plants and flowers. "We need to
access funding immediately to avoid a catastrophe. This pandemic
is hitting our industry at the worst possible time. We have made
all the investment, but have made virtually none of the sales.
It is a low margin sector and, with all sales outlets closed,
the costs will swamp businesses very quickly. Our problem is not
one of freezing fixed costs or even controlling staffing costs
but of the massive amount of money already sunk into the crop.
This is crop that is perishable and will very soon be completely
for non-essential businesses to close gets cross party support
Esterson MP has written a letter,
which has been signed by over 120 MPs cross party, to the
Business Secretary to ask for clear advice to be given to
non-essential workplaces such as construction sites, warehouses,
manufacturers and call centres to help to halt the spread of
Mr Esterson told Business Secretary Alok Sharma that many
workplaces had stayed open even if their work was not essential
and questioned how they could ensure staff were able to stay two
metres apart. This followed pictures of workers in call centres
and on construction sites crowded together and sharing tables in
canteens and cafes.
Mr Esterson and his colleagues also pointed out that the more
non-essential staff that travelled to work, the more crowded
public transport would be for those whose roles were essential.
Non essential workers risked passing the virus on to health
staff and other essential workers such as supermarket staff.
Bill Esterson said dozens of constituents had contacted him
"in bits" over having to choose between going to work
and the health of them and their families. Over 130 MPs signed
the letter, saying they were hearing similar stories in their
Mr Esterson wrote:- "Unfortunately, while some workers are
able to work from home, many are not and we have all been
contacted by constituents who have been told they have to go to
work or lose pay and whose businesses continue to operate. These
include construction sites, call centres, distribution centres
and factories. Some of these are essential. Many are not. This
is forcing non essential workers to travel on public transport
unable to stay two metres away from other people, including
essential workers. Meanwhile, at work people are closer than 2
metres to their colleagues sometimes with inadequate hand
Senior MPs such as:- Brexit Committee Chair Hilary Benn, Shadow
Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne, and former Cabinet minister
Harriet Harman have all signed the letter.
While pubs, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers and shops selling
non-essential items were closed last week, and the public were
urged to stay home to stop the spread of the virus, there was
ambiguity regarding whether workers should be leaving the house
to go to workplaces that were not essential.
Mr Esterson said:- "I have had dozens of constituents call
my office in bits at the thought of being forced to go to work,
risk catching the virus and passing it onto their families, or
lose their jobs. Some have been told they cannot have sick pay
if they have not been diagnosed with the virus. It is leading to
huge amounts of worry and stress for constituents, especially
those with underlying health conditions or who live with other
people who are vulnerable. It's time for clear guidance from the
Prime Minister and the Business Secretary that unless the work
that is being done is vital to keep the country functioning at
this time, the workplace should be closed and the businesses
encouraged to access the Government schemes that have been made
available to ensure workers get paid."
This is the letter in full that was sent:-
"We recognise that businesses are under huge pressure given the
current crisis and we welcome the guidance given by the
Government that everyone should stay at home to save lives. This
advice has been confirmed by the Prime Minister a number of
times. The package of measures for employed and self employed is
very important support for workers and builds upon the health
advice which exists to protect everyone.
Unfortunately, while some workers are able to work from home,
many are not and we have all been contacted by constituents who
have been told they have to go to work or lose pay and whose
businesses continue to operate. These include construction
sites, call centres, distribution centres and factories. Some of
these are essential. Many are not. This is forcing non essential
workers to travel on public transport unable to stay 2 metres
away from other people, including essential workers. Meanwhile,
at work people are closer than 2 metres to their colleagues
sometimes with inadequate hand washing facilities.
The BEIS website lists businesses that must close, but also says
that other businesses are not required to close, indeed it says
it is important for businesses to carry on. The Government tells
workers who have concerns to speak to their employer but many
staff fear that they will be victimised if they complain not
least as trade unions are often not recognised by many
You and your colleagues have made clear that the instruction
from Government is to Stay At Home and Stay Safe. The Cabinet
Office says the only exception should be defined activities in
order to protect the NHS and save lives. We believe that this is
the correct instruction.
The BEIS website is contradicting the advice being given by
Government ministers. The closure of the hospitality sector and
schools was in order to reduce the spread of infection. Allowing
non essential workplaces to stay open is inevitably adding to
the risk that many more people will be infected than necessary.
We are therefore calling on you to clarify the guidance to
businesses in the interests of putting health 1st, giving the
greatest support to our health staff and protecting workers and
all those who they might be in contact with."
advises parents to switch on to electrical safety week
Family Safety Week, NICEIC, the
UK's leading electrical safety authority, is reminding consumers
of the importance of having adequate measures in place to ensure
electrical safety in the home.
As the way we use our homes has continued to evolve in line with
the digital landscape, the average UK home now uses more
electrical appliances than ever before. According to recent
estimates 57% of the nation's households now has a smart device
to control:- lights, security, kettle, vacuum cleaner or other
device. Equally, while traditional soft toys, games and books
were once the mainstay of childhood, today's kids now rather
play with tec and earlier than ever, with 90% of 2 year olds now
using smart phones and tablets.
With this, brings greater safety implications which parents need
to be aware of; an issue which NICEIC is keen to raise during
Family Safety Week.
Running until 4 April 2020, the important annual week long
campaign from family safety charity RoSPA (The Royal Society for
the Prevention of Accidents) has been designed to highlight the
simple measures families can take to help keep themselves and
their loved ones safe from serious accidental injury.
Darren Staniforth, NICEIC's Group Senior Technical Presenter,
said:- "There is no escaping the impact that technology
continues to have on the UK home: from the integration of smart
media through to the introduction of'electric toys', it would
seem that it's no longer just adults, but children who are using
more electrical appliances than ever. With this does, however,
come increased safety concern. We must remember, after all the
electrics are incredibly powerful and potential dangerous, and
must be handled correctly, especially considering the increased
use of electrical devices by children. In terms of best
practice, it goes without saying that any electrical work in the
home should be conducted by a qualified, certified professional,
such as those listed with the NICEIC, in order to ensure the job
is done correctly and safely. Also, under no circumstances, even
if it appears to be a simple job, should parents attempt to
carry out their own electrical DIY; doing so can lead to vast
safety risks, leaving their families exposed to all sorts of
hazards. In terms of the everyday, it's about operating basic
due diligence; for example, keeping electrical cords out of
reach, keeping appliances off when not in use and never leaving
a child unattended when using a device still connected to the
mains. Also, obviously water and electrics don't mix; so all
drinks should be kept firmly out of reach of electrical
appliances, and children should be dried thoroughly after bath
time before using anything electrical."
According to NICEIC each year around 12,500 house fires, 750
serious injuries and 10 deaths are caused by unsafe electrics in
Darren adds:- "There are many benefits to the increased
use of technology in the home; helping us to live more
efficiently, comfortably and, in terms of children, often aiding
in their education. However, it is incredibly important that we
don't forget that electricity is very dangerous and should be
managed carefully and correctly as it becomes more and more
widely used in the UK home. Failing to do so could not only
compromise the safety and wellbeing of your family, but also be
in breach of the Part P of the Building Regulations."
You can search for a registered electrician in your area by
Total UK cases
COVID-19 Cases Update for Liverpool City Region and
THE number of fatalities continues
to rise. The current figure has risen by 180 to 1,408.
The number of COVID-19 infections has risen by 2,619 in just
a day, to 22,141, the Department of Health said. In England,
there are a total of 18,594 confirmed cases. North West -
total of 1,847 confirmed cases. Current confirmed cases
within the following local authorities are as follows:-
► Liverpool, 197 confirmed cases.
► Sefton, 57 confirmed cases.
► Wirral, 56 confirmed cases.
► St. Helens, 49 confirmed cases.
► Halton, 19 confirmed cases.
► Lancashire, 278 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire West and Chester, 45 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire East, 61 confirmed cases.
► Manchester, 109 confirmed cases.
► Stockport, 93 confirmed cases.
► Trafford, 86 confirmed cases.
► Wigan, 53 confirmed cases.
► Bolton, 47 confirmed cases.
► Rochdale, 78 confirmed cases.
► Bury, 59 confirmed cases.
► Tameside, 62 confirmed cases.
► Oldham, 101 confirmed cases.
► Blackburn with Darwen, 14 confirmed cases.
These stats are according to Public Health England as of
* A new process for collecting numbers of recovered patients
is in development: More information to follow.
See archived update pages
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