Not a good day

Yesterday was a bad day when two major interviews were interrupted by a software fault on my smartphone.

Two trips to the Apple store in Southgate have hopefully sorted out the problem but that hasn’t saved me from the embarrassment of wasting other people’s time.

I was following up a story in this weekend’s The Sunday Times in which the bosses of various Bath attractions were interviewed about how the rising cost of energy was hitting them badly.

They spoke to Annette Dolan from Bath Aqua Glass – an independent glassblowing shop and foundry in Walcot Street – that was facing a steep rise in costs.

Annette said the latest quote from her energy broker was for £233,000 a year. She used to pay only £14,OOO per annum.

Annette Dolan

She said her mains-connected gas-powered furnace would be turned off at the end of the month and she has bought a portable propane gas furnace which she can use to make small items but the larger stuff will have to be outsourced to other companies.

All this and a return to the city’s Christmas Market this year too!

Alex Sherman, CEO Bath Preservation Trust

I had finished doing a video interview with Annette and moved on to the Museum of Bath Architecture to speak to Alex Sharman, who is the chief executive of Bath Preservation Trust.

A minute in and the video dropped out and – in checking my footage – l realised the same thing had happened to my interview at Bath Aqua Glass!!

Alex’s concerns for next year – when the Trust’s fixed price energy contract comes to an end – was also lost in this software malfunction.

As was a ‘piece to camera’ l had previously recorded ( l thought) outside Rosario’s Cafe in Northumberland Place. Rosario had also been interviewed by the Sunday Times about rising costs.

I can – however – pass on the two bits of information contained in that failed attempt.

You are going to be hearing a lot more about ‘warm hubs’ soon. Places where people will be able to go – for at least a period of relief – instead of suffering at home this winter if the temperature drops and the cost of heating is too much.

Bath Abbey tell me the church is keeping an eye on the situation and the concept of becoming a warmth hub. They have a working party looking at a proposal for the Abbey as it needs careful consideration. They will know where they stand in the next two weeks and once there is agreement on what they could offer, they will let me know.

B&NES has also got a team working on this and it is all, unfortunately, being factored into this and next year’s budget. Things are financially tight as it is with the loss of tourist income during the Pandemic not helping.

Meanwhile, we all await an announcement from the new Prime Minister on how she intends to deal with the energy price crisis.