Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Sunday, 10 January 2010

grit [salt] and gas update

According to the Times, and an update to this,
On Tuesday ministers are expected to ask councils to reduce gritting further to preserve stocks.
The UK’s biggest salt mine expects its reserves to be exhausted by tomorrow and
the Government has been forced to order salt from abroad that is not due to arrive here until January 21.
Let's hope this is accurate ... otherwise the country is going to grind to a halt. It's no good having only main roads working, so they look good, if nobody can get to them because side roads aren't safe.
The Met Office said that snow of up to 15cm (6in) was possible on the highest ground but most areas would escape without significant falls.

A spokesman said that an earlier warning of widespread falls of up to 20cm was no longer in force.
Good job the big boys got their hands on the little boys' salt, to make sure there was enough to go round, they mightn't have managed it without the 'widespread falls' warning.

Meanwhile, in Kent,
the Army [is] on stand-by to help deal with the weather
Phew, good job there are plenty of soldiers - we never know when we might need them. Good job the government has a long record of looking after them properly.
Maybe some of the soldiers were once Scouts, because this weekend ...
around 2,500 Scouts and leaders braved the sub-zero temperatures at a winter camp.

They had to hammer tent pegs into the frozen ground at Gilwell Park, near Chingford, East London

Gas problems over? That's good.

The National Grid today lifted its latest gas supply alert — its third such warning in a week — after more supplies came in from the market.

It was imposed yesterday after an imminent shortfall appeared to be looming, and it came after Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that gas was not running out despite recent record levels of demand.

Ah, not quite

The planned closure of a large gas network owned by oil giant BP PLC (BP) cannot be postponed, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday, despite the country's gas supplies coming under increasing pressure amid the continued cold weather.

The Southern North Sea gas pipeline, which brings ashore around 1% of U.K. domestic gas supplies, will be shut down for maintenance next week in order to bring new fields onto the pipeline, and the work is essential, this person said.

The U.K. is currently in the grip of the coldest winter in 30 years and sub-zero temperatures triggered a surge in U.K. demand for heating and power generation Monday, forcing the operator of the U.K.'s natural gas grid to issue an alert that demand was about to outstrip supply in the system.

The U.K. government said at the time there was no risk of consumers being cut off.

The U.K. has just under four billion cubic meters of storage capacity, just one fifth of Germany's, at 19 billion cubic meters, and less than a third of Italy's 14 billion cubic meters.

The lack of stored reserves leaves Britain exposed to competing with other countries for gas imports during periods of strong demand across Europe, and having to pay higher prices to lure it there.

Err, will somebody please tell our Prime Minister what's going on, because he doesn't seem to have much of a clue.

No comments: