This piece from Andrew Griffith came on Tuesday as part of a debate on the theme of Public Services with Michael Gove acting as the host. There are of course some real benefits for the outdoor economy and garden centres to offer many of us. I have a particular garden centre site that I regularly visit that is in West Sussex, so in one sense I totally agree with Andrew that the quicker Rushfields along with other garden centres are open the better from the point of view of places I would be keen to go to. However garden centres have both outdoor and indoor factors and so in some cases they are no safer than other urban based retail premises. However much more importantly, there are many people across the nation who would not benefit from a garden centre as they are lacking in any outdoor space for their homes and if we are going to have a debate about the improvement of mental health issues in our nation, it would be useful to have a broader approach than simply this one idea. The first aspect of the comment from Andrew however is also one that needs a bit of care. The response from Michael Gove was:
I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words about the Government Digital Service and gov.uk. The civil servant who leads the work on gov.uk, Jen Allum, been doing a wonderful job in making sure that we can provide people with accurate, timely and comprehensive information.
It is rather sad that I spotted this comment on a day when the gov.uk web page that is entitled “Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK” seems to have collapsed. It is supposed to publish the number of tests and the number of illnesses and deaths each day in the early afternoon of the following day. Over the last few days the publication which the page states is “Data on UK positive and negative tests and data on deaths is updated on this page daily at 2pm or shortly after. The figures for test results and for deaths are compiled from different sources. This is why the figures for deaths are reported from an earlier point in time than the figures for test results.” has been publishing much later than 2pm but yesterday it did not get published at all and indeed today it was not published until around 11.30am today which was around 10 minutes after I tweeted to Andrew “Hi @griffitha I wonder if you can get in touch with the gov.uk website and ask them to provide us with yesterdays data?” Whatever the reason it is good now to get the data although it was around 21.5 hours later than intended and I did send him a subsequent tweet to thank him.