Bilton news – June 25
Signs of change: curtains open at Bilton Community Centre, a light on in the Health and Wellbeing Hub, more people at the bus stop, a socially distanced crowd of mums and young children outside Richard Taylor School at 3pm, heavier traffic on the road and more roadworks on Bilton Lane. Of course the Community Centre, Wellbeing Hub and Library and some businesses are still required by the government to remain closed until at least July 4, and that date could change. Even when the go ahead is given it is unlikely that many will be able to open on the first day. Reopening is not as simple as unlocking the door and turned the lights on.
Behind the shutters: there is a lot going on. Anyone reading the Harrogate Advertiser over the last few weeks will be aware of the hoops businesses have to jump through before being allowed to open. Because organisations like Bilton Commmunity Centre and Bilton and Woodfield Community Library are charities run by volunteers few members of the public consider them to be businesses; but in the eyes of the law they are in every way businesses and are subject to the same rules and restrictions as those businesses run on a commercial basis. Behind the scenes at the Library many hours have been spent producing the legally required risk assessment, ensuring the cleaning has been carried out to the required higher standards, planning a phased reopening, purchasing PPE equipment, working out how social distancing measures can be put in place and hoping the restrictions will be eased before the opening date. The same will be happening everywhere else so please, be patient, everyone wants to open, it is just a case of how and when, and that is still not clear.
Continue to be kind: because not everybody is being kind. The library volunteers have received criticism via social media on their inability to state a firm opening date. The complainant suggested that if the volunteers were not capable of doing this they should employ someone who was. This did not upset the library volunteers who have developed thick skins since taking over the library in 2012. The critic displayed complete ignorance of the laws regarding Covid and the amount of administration involved. The conversation came to a stop when the complainant was invited to become a volunteer or make a financial donation that would cover the cost of paying someone. It is understandable that people are becoming impatient but please do not take it out on those who are trying to bring some form of normality back. Most people, of course, are very understanding and are continuing to be kind. The complaint is another case of a minority causing problems for the majority. If other organisations are receiving similar criticism, and they likely are, they may not be as resilient as the library volunteers and might just decide to call it a day. So, to the majority, thank you for being kind and understanding of the problems of others, whatever they may be.
PPE problem solving: I did not know so many people read this column. Attempts to solve problems with PPE have generated more interest via the email and in the street than almost anything else over the many years I have been writing it. Between us I think we have solved the problem of steamed up glasses, little ears and facemasks so now we are moving on to hand sanitiser. Does its constant use cause damage to the metal used in rings? Many people think it may do so are removing their rings, often reluctantly. I suppose it could depend on the metal but does anyone have an answer to this?