7th May 2020
Having submitted our re-opening paper to Government last Friday, all eyes have turned towards Sunday’s coronavirus briefing by the Prime Minister. In a number of leaks and hints we can divine a thought process that will emphasise, as we have, the need for businesses to adopt good social distancing measures and solid public health measures. These will be the minimum requirements for any business that wishes to open at a date to be determined. What we don’t know is into what level of detail the Government will go about which sectors can and cannot open. We are of course lobbying to anyone that will listen that our sector should be open asap, but we will simply have to wait until Sunday to know more.
Nevertheless, it would be helpful if members continued to correspond with their MPs and local elected representatives updating them on you and your industry’s plans for reopening. A short note enclosing the bacta paper will be sufficient as well as asking for their help in getting you open asap. Please point out the continued support you will need in order to get through this crisis as the lockdown eases. I have written some template text at the bottom of this email you can use if you wish to. Please copy me in to any correspondence.
I have read lots of sectors’ reopening plans as well as some of the plans of our colleagues in Europe. All are broadly consistent with what we have said in our document. I have good papers from the Germans and the Dutch, a well put together paper from the West End of London promotional body, IAPPA’s plans and a good paper from industry consultant, Kevin Williams, on reopening FECs. Rather than send them all out, if anyone is interested in reading any of these papers then let me know. I also had, via the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, an interesting report on consumer attitudes to post crisis visits to attractions. Again if anyone is interested in reading it please let me know.
Finally, I just wanted to let you know that I have prepared a template risk assessment members can use for their businesses to work out what you might need to introduce regarding social distancing and public health and hygiene. I’ll wait until Monday before sending it out in case there is anything in Sunday’s announcement that is relevant.
In other news:
- Rates. The Government has postponed the 2020 rates revaluation.
- Scotland. Our lobbying on rates relief continues. We have this week had some positive engagement from Scottish civil servants on the issue as well as a helpful contribution from an MSP who agreed with us that AGCs should get the rates relief. Members are beginning to receive rates bills now. Some councils are giving the relief and some are not. Please keep me and Regional Chairman, Joseph Cullis, informed as this intelligence is vital in our lobbying efforts. We are also opening a dialogue with the Scottish local government association, COSLA, to see if they would be prepared to issue guidance to their members.
- Scotland. Members can now make applications for ‘hardship’ funding or ‘pivotal industry’ funding. The eligibility criteria are not that well worded but it was confirmed this week that IF you have got rates relief this does not disqualify you from applying for the money. It is intended to cover businesses that have fallen through cracks for support under other schemes. If any members do apply please let me know how you get on.
- Wales. The Welsh Government has been firm in its decision not to reconsider its guidance on rates relief and grants insisting it is up to local authorities. There is a mixed picture. Some members have got help others have not. We have engaged with local Public Affairs company, Deryn, to help in our lobbying and we will be ask all members in Wales to help. Regional Chairman, Richard Case, will be writing to all members in Wales very shortly.
A few more names have been added to the suppliers list below. I was pleased to see Instance Automatics have produced a ‘support the seaside’ flag which fits perfectly with our Siding with the Seaside campaign amongst other things.
PMS International – PPE
Delta Leisure – Signage
Instance Automatics – Signage and PPE (and flags)
Concept Games – Screens
Cornelius Electronics – Screens
legraphics – Signage
Shipley Creative – Signage
ActiveOffice – Screens and PPE
Print Centre Group – Signage
Bob Rudd Leisure – Hygiene Stations
Edmundsen Electrical – PPE and Signage
JAK Digital – PPE
URtoGO – PPE and Hygiene Stations
Empire Graphics – Signage and Screens
Kudos Giftwrap – PPE and Signage
Bob Rudd has also asked if anyone can supply them with a range of FEC equipment, pushers, grabbers, skee ball, air hockey etc. Contact Phil Aspinall.
LETTER TO MPS AND LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES
Dear [INSERT NAME]
REOPENING [INSERT COMPANY NAME]
As Government thinking turns towards re-starting the economy post the Covid-19 crisis, I wanted to let you know our plans for getting [INSERT COMPANY NAME] re-opened.
[INSERT DETAILS OF YOUR BUSINESS]
We will need additional support to get through this crisis even when we are open. The attached paper from my trade body, bacta, sets out the support that we will need. It also provides details of the social distancing and public health measures that I and my industry will put in place to support the national effort to beat Covid-19.
I would be grateful for your support in getting us open.
Stay well everyone and try to have a great weekend.
Returning-the-FUN-to-Britains-High-Streets-and-Seaside-Towns-A-plan-to-get-the-amusement-machine-sector-back-to-work.pdf (571 downloads)