Not in lockdown

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell is counting his loo rolls.

It was impossible not to feel some sense of alarm at the prime minister’s daily briefing on Monday afternoon; after all, we haven’t felt a disruption to our daily lives like this for more than a generation. I can’t remember anything like it in my lifetime.

However, I think it is vital that we unpick the government advice, and adjust our lives accordingly – not to go into panic mode.

Essentially, the government wants to prevent needless deaths, especially those that could be attributable to an overstretched NHS. We’ve seen what can happen in China, Italy, Spain and France, where the number of serious cases of the disease presenting themselves all at once have caught the authorities on the back foot.

The UK has, in effect, the benefit of hindsight, since we are considered to be a couple of weeks behind the curve. If we can slow down the spread of the virus, the NHS won’t be inundated, giving it time to prepare.

What the government does not want is economic collapse, hence the call for social distancing and not a stop to all travel, ie, to work; although if working from home is possible, then this is preferred.

The stresses and strains that something like this puts on business and the wider industry are immense, but I believe we are well placed to weather the storm. What is vital is that we don’t develop a bunker mentality – shoring up our defences and hiding until it is all over. I think we have a duty to keep operations moving as smoothly as possible, while being mindful of our civic duty and the safety of our most vulnerable family members, neighbours and friends.*

And, if you do find yourself self-isolating with your family, you can always try to find a quiet spot to read your favourite trade magazine.

In other news (which would come at the top during a normal week), Aperture Trading has gone into administration.

Aperture acquire Synseal a year ago, and has focused on streamlining the business and divesting non-core elements.

Here is the statement released by the administrators:

Chris Pole and Will Wright were appointed as joint administrators of Aperture Trading Limited on Monday 16 March.

Operating from premises in Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire, the company specialises in PVCU extrusion as well as fabricated window, door and conservatory solutions.

The joint administrators are attempting to trade the business whilst they seek a buyer, with 330 members of staff retained to assist with this process. Regrettably, 121 of the company’s 451 staff were made redundant on appointment.

Tim Bateson, restructuring director at KPMG, commented: “Despite significant and ongoing restructuring of the business last year following its acquisition of Synseal Group’s assets, Aperture Trading has suffered from significant market headwinds, trading pressures and a decline in sales. Over the last few weeks, we have been exploring sale options for the company and unfortunately none of the interest received presented a viable solution. As a result, this led the directors to take the difficult decision of placing the company into administration.

“Our focus over the coming days and weeks will be to seek a buyer for the various elements of the business and to liaise with those employees who have been made redundant, ensuring they are provided with the support and information they need.”

Interested parties should contact Alice Hutson:

*Since this was written, we have learned that the government has announced a £350 billion support package for companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak. This will be discussed further in the next issue of Glass Times. NB.