Saturday, 2 September 2017

Council Cuts ifs and buts etc etc

You try not to be downhearted by the obvious slippage in standards these days across the board, whether in council or emergency services, how you are treated and what you can actually buy in shops etc but the signs and actualities are there, everything has got worse, everything is struggling to make ends meet.

A week or so ago there was an article in the local paper about an outdoor centre near Chatteris that needs new managers. East Cambs DC the council who want to let the site say the it has officially been a centre since the 1980's.

It is an old gravel pit and a small amount of surrounding land next to a main road it has a few buildings and mainly traded as an activity and water centre. It stopped after a bungled burglary and arson attack in December 2016.

The council say it doesnt want to be unduly prescriptive about what anyone can do but they will need a robust and economically sustainable business plan. They also say ots on a direct bus route and close to stations at March and Ely

For that read you are going to need a lot of luck and deep pockets. Look on the internet such centres are struggling, schools who were a major user cannot afford coaches let alone to send kids out for the day, informal public use needs expoensive insurance and more facilities these days, it also needs somewhere closer to where people are. As to railway stations close, both are at least ten miles away.

Methinks the coucil is clutching at straws and heaven only knows what will become of the site because I am reckoning the council cannot afford to and dont want to run it in any way shape or form.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Okay I have worked hard this week

Okay I have worked hard this week and I am feeling it, ache all over.

What have I done then to get like this. Worked in 21 gardens for between two thirds of an hour and three hours. Which all added up to a total of 34 hours paid work.

Driving time between home and work not counted of course cos I cant charge for that despite the hours it takes epecially driving around Cambridge. Speaking of driving, over five days I did just under 200 miles.

Might not be much to some but it needed doing to free up a day next week to get my car looked at in a garage. Self employment eh, flexibility and freedom just dont ask me to move too quickly.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Vince Cable, village bank branch closure

 So there I am sitting in front of the telly full of cold and I hear this mornings reporting of Vince Cables comments, I have also seen the comments on the village Facebook page about the proposed closure of the only remaining bank branch in the village I live in.

Vince Cable has made various comments that are of course being taken out of context but broadly suggesting that the elderly have shafted the young over the Brexit vote by voting for a pre EU country that they hope will return ignores something and makes the why they voted that way far too simple in itself.

Surely the question should be what is it that they no longer see that they hope will return, okay perhaps false promises ,aka lies, which I see Alan Sugar is speaking up about as well today, fancy eh politicians should not lie, hah thatll be the day. Whats a headline in one of todays papers £36 million divorce from EU, I cannot remember the divorce settlement being realistically mentioned other than as a scorn dismissal and this looks to be the UK starting offer.

Different recent news items have mentioned loss of bus services, fracking, loss of police stations, lack of social and dont laugh "affordable" housing. Yes the worlds changed how many will say all changes have been for the good of the poeple though andhave then been made with a full appreciation of the social and economic impacts on society as a whole, so to be honest I can see why some folk voted as they did and after all it was there choice which they were and are allowed to make. 

Its all there if you look and then think have I played even a small tiny part in this changing world. We have all been encouraged to play a tiny part and that is my link to bank branch closures.

As I see it we are all to blame for the closure of bank branches and other shops etc in hamlets villages town suburbs whereever in one way or another by going along with improvements in technology and by not keeping on using the said services, the flip side has been that the services provided by all aspects of business have reduced because they have done the same thing. Why would they not because whatever anyone says or thinks they need to make a profit to survive whether that is enough to cover costs and make a reasonable profit or otherwise. After all without making money how do they employ others.

We the customers (which at times includes the service providers themselves) only realise and react when something we use ourselves is affected, the same as council services being cut that you dont use until you need too and when you ask about something they used to provide, lets say removal of large objects to the tip, are told it does not exist now or there is a charge. 

It is no point getting upset at the particular service provider although I can understand why people do, its a reflection of the commercial situation they are operating in, if a branch of a bank or shop is losing money, how long are the company supposed to carry it for? How many services they used to provide do they not now provide? In the case of the local bank branch I hear services have been steadily reduced as have opening hours already.

I am very pleased to see the village Post Office coming forward to say we can help with some banking, the thing is how many people will say right unless we support the Post Office they might be in this position themselves one day, hopefully not this branch but ofr course enough have already. 

Personally my bank which is increasing my business account charges is reducing its counter staff making it more of a chore to pay money in, although they seem to be able to pay someone to challenge everyone with the same question what are you here for, in an effort to get us not to get to use the cashiers but the automatic machines, jokingly I have commented to friends before long it will be you go in and the safe door will be open with a sign saying leave your pre sorted money here and we will deal with it later, perhaps they do that already thopguh with night safes? 

Sounds a bit like how supermarkets might get in the end as well, you help stack and get a discount.
We have got our hamlet, village, suburb even the world into this, it is up to We to get us out of it. Sunday morning cold powered rant over.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

zero hours contracts, cash payments, blah blah blah

So we have a new report out today about the Gig? economy.

Now I know there are folks out there much worse of than me but, all this talk about zero hours work and no cash payments leaves me thinking yet again please can you live in the real world where I have to work.

I have around 30 gardens that I regularly work in every month, all of these customers can say I want you to do more work or less or none, according to season and plant growth and what disposable income they have. So is that 30 zero hours contracts then with no holiday or sick pay etc etc and then bear in mind most of my customers are elderly.

Which brings me onto cash payments. Most of my income comes via cash and cheques with the small remainder via BACS. The BACS ones are usually landlords or companies or younger family members or individuals. So the report is saying less cash payments and at the same time banks want to do away with cheques, most of the elderly folk I work for will no way pay by BACS even though it would cost me less in bank charges because they want to know how much money they have and why shouldnt they.

My hourly charge is what I think most of my customers are willing to pay, I know I am not the dearest gardener and I also know I am not the cheapest. Yes I would like to up my prices but I dont think I will keep some of my work if I do. Its work I can do that keeps me sane, pays the bills etc and I am not getting any younger myself. Oh and yea it helps the mainly elderly folk I work for living in there own tidy homes and gardens longer with less fear of a knock on the door from some dodgy gardener working for less or more! and paid straight into there back pocket.

The report goes on about self employed paying less tax surprise surprise, guess what if I included in my hourly charge for all my time spent driving between jobs, usually around 30 miles a day and for at least an hour a day, time spent on record keeping, phoning next days customers, maintaining equipment etc it would go up somewhat.

I am registered self employed I have public liability insurance and a basic police check, I am also registered with Trading Standards as a Buy with Confidence trader, I pay my taxes on my profit and slim they are. Its as much about providng a service for me.

Yes I know there are unscrupulous employers out there, who need cracking down on but please dont tar us all with the same brush.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Some stability would be nice

I am probably not the only person thinking the same thing at the moment. I am only a simple man, I work for a living and everything I do is done with a sense of pride, with the best intentions and carried out professionally.

I live in a country that I love which is also lived in by many millions of other people, we all live together thinking about different things, believeing in all sorts of people places whatever and prioritising things differently but generally all getting along.

To enable that to happen we have an elected group of people in (and I use this word nervously) charge who govern and guide our actions hopefully with the aim of everyone in this country being able to get by and be happy, this first group of people are balanced by more elected people who see things from a slightly different viewpoint because we are all different.

Just a few days ago we had an election, I know it feels like ages ago already because of all the harping on and on. Ever since we have had claim and counter claim again going on and on.

As a simple man can I please make a plea, for the love of this country can you all please shut up, agree to differ and get on with running this country wisely and fairly, its not much to ask is it really.

The good of this country needs to be first not party political bickering and infighting and needlessly going on about another election, this last one cost us around one hundred and fifty million to stage that could have been spent elswhere possibly more usefully. Do we want and need that again any time soon.

We the people just want you to govern wisely and compassionately, after listening to what all the people say about there hopes fears and ambitions.

Just to repeat something I said earlier, for the love of this country can you all please shut up, agree to differ and get on with running this country wisely and fairly.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Oh dear oh dear oh dear

Thats it I have gone and done it, a website me a website and not a spider in sight mind there is a poem if you can find it. try putting in malcolmbusby the one person who reads these sometimes, when theres a z in the month!

Monday, 30 January 2017

la lala lala

Need to calm down and think nice thoughts, just sat here fuming when I hear a tapping sound, whats that I think, is it the neighbours in there garage looking for something or is it the cat wanting to go out.

I go to the front door and look no not next door, I got a feeling  look on the roof, sure enough query answered, at least 2 Redlegged Partridge tapping about looking for food among the tiles, and I smiled.