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Thursday, 10 December 2020

Practical issues with deliveries in the proposed security zone

We are told that BANES are engaging with companies about how they will work with them and residents to ensure that residents can get goods and services delivered and we were asked to comment about which firms need to be included.


To start with we need to consider urgent situations which are likely to require heavy equipment either to undertake work or to replace failed equipment.


Clearly, leaks of water and gas require arrangements to be made quickly with Utility Companies but also emergency plumbers.


Breakdowns of critical equipment like cookers, fridges and heating system require prompt access by electricians, plumbers and white goods sellers.


The discovery of dangerous or worn installations requiring rewiring or the replacement of obsolete equipment requires access by plumbers, electrician and utility companies.


Loss of telephone and or internet connection requires access by Openreach and contractors of ISP’s many of which have tight rules about how far they will transport equipment by hand.


Many vulnerable people in the zone depend on carers and cleaners who often have equipment to carry and are operating to very tight schedules, often imposed by NHS subcontractors.


However, there are many non-urgent deliveries where the proposed arrangements, which seem to be based on commercial deliveries which can are easily scheduled, would create major issues in a residential context. Residential deliveries are not like commercial deliveries:

  • Suppliers and their sub-contractors often have inflexible delivery booking processes mediated by machines not people
  • Unlike shops, houses and flats are not permanently manned during working hours
  • Few suppliers offer to provide details of delivery staff or vehicle identity numbers or descriptions and we doubt if many would be able to do so.
  • Few suppliers can or are prepared to offer very tight delivery slots the best most offer is 4hr targets. 

We would reiterate that it is unfair to put residents, particularly elderly residents, between the rock of supplier inflexibility and the hard place of an opaque bureaucratic process particularly one that operates at the glacially slow pace BANES seems to be anticipating.

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