Category Archives: Philanthropy

Fill In Our Potholes With Recycled Household Plastic

Hello

This blog is also about social comment.

The snow that visited us this year, has ravaged our roads. In a thirty-mile radius locally, cracks in the road have turned into miniature craters. We did not even have much snow, but the temperature was below freezing for a week.

There needs to be two things:

1) An electronic wand, hand-held, that can quickly map a miniature crater. Maybe someone can adapt the new hearing tests, which electronically map the ear.

2) There is a British start-up company, which is using plastic waste as part of materials to make roads. Cumbria is pioneering it. I know nothing of the physical and chemical makeup of roads, yet I wonder if plastic waste adds some elasticity? A pothole was filled in three times locally last summer and at the side of the road appeared a disc of tarmac and a hole. The bus went over it and out it popped.

3) Can it be used to fill in our potholes?

Macrebur is the brainchild of Toby McCartney and the key point here is that he has seen a version of it working in India. They use plastics to fill potholes and then melt it into place. His company converts waste household plastics to pellets, used in conjunction with bitumen, to make stronger roads.

It just needs someone with a bit of nous and money to help Mr McCartney fill our potholes.

Currently, the greatest fear is that motorists report genuine and opportunistic falls into potholes and the road budget for the year is soon exhausted. The country cannot afford these motorists to claim.

We need the pothole-filling programme to start now. Here’s the link:

https://www.curbed.com/2017/4/26/15428382/road-potholes-repair-plastic-recycled-macrebur

Please comment on the blog if you work for a County Council or a Borough Council. It just needs you to start a trend.

Thanks for reading

LucyLou

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Philanthropy

Brexit: Do We Have Anything Or Nothing?

Hello

As usual, Mrs May’s speeches say a lot about nothing at all. American gurus are good at that, but this is a Prime Minister speaking. The problem is that all of the men lost their nerve and agreed. Half of Conservative MP’s had already seen it before she spoke. I wonder whether two little words were implied: ‘General Election’, unless they agreed.

What we do not have:

  1. The European Court of Justice is superior to the UK Supreme Court;
  2. The invasion of people from everywhere, all insisting on having their own laws above UK ones, has not been addressed.
  3. The single EU market is to be denied to us – don’t be ridiculous. EU trade, both imports and exports, can be measured as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product). The EU maket is extremely important to imports and exports. The UK will go bust before even the EU hopes, so that she can go crawling back to the EU. Then what? Whatever they propose will not be to our benefit;
  4. UK businesses, including finance (making 25% of our GDP) have been left to flounder, mainly as politicians do not understand making money. If they had, Carillion would not be in this mess;
  5. No Customs Union? Please understand that after we depart this union, everyone who wants payback from the UK will simply hold up our goods in Customs. This last happened in 1979, as far as I know. The French refused to take our beef so we retaliated by refusing to take their lamb. A stand-off. Playground antics by bullies.
  6. Items 1 and 2 were the subjects that the UK voters decided on. A short statement about if you are here already, you are okay, whispered to the media. .

I do not see any female negotiators in the Brexit team. Women think and act differently. the playground antics would not happen.

Please make sure that a Customs Union is in all of our interests.  That Mrs May saw fit to say that what happened to Norway, would not happen to us, was unkind. That leaves them high and dry, when they would only be trying to help us.  Similarly, Canada, a nation whose wondrous natural resources make it a good market for us. We want Norway and Canada on our side and do hope that they will forgive us our daily shenanigans.

Oh and Ireland. Whilst living by the sea, I saw a man with a hand-held thing that you sign for delivery, only he was trying to reach a satellite. He told me that the satellite would receive his inputted figures and the supplier would receive fast, accurate data.

What if a microchip was implanted in all new vehicles that would be picked up by a satellite and sent it to Irish databases, one in the south and another in the north.  We must remember that southern Ireland is not in the UK’s jurisdiction, so any agreement must be made with honour.

Finally, there is a real possibility that the UK will go bust. Why has no-one looked at it? Mrs May’s negotiations to date are frightening: £1 billion to the DUP to vote her way.  Unfortunately they have been intransigent.  Hopefully, the money will be paid in stages, signed off by a businessman.  She also gave money to Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon.  I expect her MP’s bowl down to London, stay in a good hotel and vote as they think best rather than to shore up the Conservatives.

This is worse than a war over desert weapons that were never found. This is selling out our children. If nothing else, ask the Young Conservatives for their opinion on all of the above.  And let us listen to our children.  Let us hope that we will not be crying over spilt milk.

LudyLou

Leave a comment

Filed under Philanthropy, politics

Oxfam’s Recovery

Hello

Oxfam’s Chief Executive, Mark Goldring, tried to justify himself today, never a good idea. After public outrage concerning his comment that aid workers had not ‘murdered babies in their cots, his apology compounded the mistake.

We always hear about fat cats and people earning vast amounts of money, but when something bad happens, it is precisely their job to talk their charity out of the situation. Making a comment like that cannot be excused by being under pressure. Everyone feels pressure sometimes,  but are not paid £128,000 a year to make the situation better (although below what he could earn in the private sector). Not making comments like that is what he is paid for!

Yes, it is very tough at the top and lonely. Unfortunately, his position today may be untenable. The statement from one MP that this did not happen under his tenure made the poor man look away. More people, namely the Executive in charge of Haiti should be brought to account. Using Haitian citizens as prostitutes after a devastating earthquake is appalling. (Please do not let any MP and certainly not the Prime Minister apologise.) We want action. Who is the UK Minister for Charities? That looks like a crisis waiting to happen; a fundamental ignorance and sweeping under the carpet of everybody in the voluntary sector.

Every Oxfam employee apologised in front of the Parliamentary Select Committee today. It must be a record, but very frustrating for the listening MP’s. Oxfam’s Trustees will be busy, doubtless, in setting a new Charity Charter with the help of the Charity Commission.  As a minor volunteer, I would be aghast if anything happened to the detriment of a charity and so must Oxfam’s volunteers be thinking. So, some donors have run for the hills.  Corporate donors, however, can see the bigger picture that Oxfam is a world giver, founded in Oxford, England in 1942. Now it is a confederation of 19 different charitable organisations, operating around the world, under the banner  of Oxfam.

Mostly, it will be the corporate donors, Trustees, workers and volunteers who will help Oxfam to recover. I think we can expect more claims as the media chases charities for comment.

But today, my heart sings as recognition that North Lanarkshire Council in Scotland has been offering free school meals for primary school years 1-3 since 2015. Now it hopes to offer free school meals to all children 365 days a year.  Holiday and weekend lunches will be served in sports halls and community centres.  They noticed that children from deprived areas were underfed and the Council decided to make a difference, not only to the children, yet to their exam results. Let us hope there is agreement  to implement the groundbreaking scheme at the Council meeting next Tuesday.

LucyLou

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/feb/16/council-free-school-meals-year-holiday-hunger-north-lanarkshire

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Philanthropy

Syria Shows That There Are No Winners

Hello Everyone

This continual tit-for-tat,

“mine is bigger than yours”

and

“ I am going to let it off”

scenarios prove one thing.

We must get off this planet as soon as possible.

It is not normal, in the UK in August, to have two successive Mondays at 35 degrees C and the rest of their respective weeks at 14 degrees C.

We have to sort out why sunbursts are happening so frequently.  Is this the Mayan Prophecy coming true?  We are on a once in 3000 years’ planetary trajectory and meteorites are hitting us more frequently. One the size of a bus would create enormous damage and we do not know where that will fall.  It makes sense to put more funding into tracing the sky, preferably together.

And in the face of it all, seeming to ignore the danger, there are two men.  The choleric face of Mr Trump fills me with misgiving as does the calm face of Mr Kim-Jon Un.  Two different ideologies.

It is unfair of Mr Trump to ask China to mount sanctions on North Korea, who is a key trading partner.  China may be looking for a way for either side to stop this behaviour, without anyone losing face.  We were cast into World War II for the same reason.  Neville Chamberlain warned Germany that if he invaded Poland, Britain would enter the war.  Surely we have learnt that lesson?  Millions of men died in World War II and a whole generation of women missed having babies as there were so few men.  Could all consider what would happen if the planet imploded or if a string of earthquakes carved us in half, gigantic tsunamis blanking out populations? The Larsen B iceshelf, in the Antarctic will calve imminently: 5000 kms in diameter!

We need to look skywards, so that each of these men can save their nations. As Mr Barack Obama evidently wrote to Mr Trump, Presidents are caretakers.  We are all caretakers of this life to make it better for the next generation.

War is fruitless as Syria knows.  A country has been systematically destroyed and returned to rubble and desert, its people irreparably damaged.

So back to the bigger picture, back to calming the dreadful extremes of weather …  or leave Earth.  Without a planet, all wars and people disintegrate.

In the event that we do not wake up to safety, space-stations could be used as initial living quarters on as many planets and moons that we can reach.  Monitor for the best, easiest or cheapest and send out pioneers.  We should give them hope of return.  Their names will be carved on a memorial with our gratitude, to be passed from one generation to the next. Their faces will be remembered.

There may not be an Earth to which they want to return.

LucyLou

Leave a comment

Filed under Philanthropy

Thank You, Ariana Grande

Hello Everyone

Ariana Grande became known to us during a fabulous concert for Manchester, almost two weeks after tragedy struck the foyer of the venue.  She is a real gem.  Her kindness beamed from her in the photograph with Georgina Callender, 18, who sadly passed away.  When I first saw the photo, I did not know who was the popstar.  I had to look it up elsewhere.  It is because she is beautiful, like her fan, from within.

Your song ‘Over The Rainbow’ brought us all to tears.  Thank goodness for people like you.

LucyLou

Leave a comment

Filed under Philanthropy

Can English Finance Rescue Italy

Hello Everyone

Through the political turmoil, everyone is still saying that London is the best financial centre in the world.

As we are now officially out of the EU, here is a question:

Can we offer financial expertise and experience to Italy, its banks and financial services?

What if this would work?  Amongst consultancies, we have KPMG and Deloitte where my brother has a whizzy job.

My prospective son-in-law calculates risk.

I know, therefore, that we can help Italy, at a fee of course and consolidate London’s position as the epicentre of world finance.

Comments welcome.

LucyLou

Leave a comment

Filed under Philanthropy

UK Retailers Must Change Their Target Market To Survive

There is something disturbing going on in UK retail. The January Sales, which were stupendous online because of low footfall before a rainy Christmas, have never stopped. An upmarket bathroom company did not take enough percentage off in the January Sales and must have had to whip another television advertisement out to catch up with its rivals. In mid-May they are still in 50% off sales mode and have been joined by DIY chains, especially for kitchens.

Everywhere you go, there are 10% off days and up to 30% off stickers in shop windows. Austin Reed, beloved of women city workers has just gone under. You would think that there was room for a high quality tailor but the markets have changed. It seems as if everyone is looking at cheaper clothes, discounted cars etc.

Economists did say in 2012/2013 that there would be less spending by 2016 as a result of cutting the deficit. The result has been higher utility and petrol bills with few or no pay rises. It was thought that the spending of baby boomers taking lump sums from their pensions would fill that gap. However, much of their spending is going on holidays abroad, thereby taking money out of the British economy.

Unfortunately this government does not seem able to consider consequences of its actions. BHS, a beloved retailer, rival to M&S has just gone into administration and the government allows it. Why was the Business Minister, Sadiq Khan not involved in a pre-administration solution? Its 11,000 employees are now looking for work plus 1,200 people working for Austin Reed.
What is the solution? Company boards must go back to basics and find out or confirm who is their target market. For example, there is no point producing high-heeled boots for sale to 70-year old baby boomers.

The highest consumer spending is generally speaking, the sector with the most free cash. This used to be those on welfare benefit, but cuts and refusals across the board means there is another huge group looking for paid work and cutting their spending. Some of them are second-generation claimants.

Let’s hope that the people with jobs become more aware and a little less smug. The UK has just had two negative quarters of growth, i.e., nothing. Banks are writing to their customers saying that they are cutting their savers’ rates from measly to nothing.

The future of shopping is online. I bought a winter coat online in the January Sales and it arrived immaculately packed, within two days. Having said that, I saw a dress online in a Sale and went to the store to try it on. I came out with something totally different, probably due to the skill of the Sales Assistant. The prices online and instore were identical. Distribution is the key to profit.

Concessions in larger department stores have worked in the UK over the last ten years. Are they still working? If not, who is looking at the problem and what answers have they come up with? I fully expect to be told it is ‘commercial, in confidence’, but meetings between the top ten retailers can surely help each other.

Any ideas on the way forward, because we are sliding into recession? I hope that the government doesn’t blame possible exit from Europe for a dwindling economy. We have a lot going for us; we just need positive guidance.

LucyLou

Leave a comment

Filed under Philanthropy