Monthly Archives: April 2015

Could you be a school governor?

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Would you be interested in helping your local school provide the best possible education for village children?

The Duke of Bedford Primary School has a vacancy for a governor from the community and the school would love to hear from people in the village willing to help.

The school’s governing body does a variety of things – it is responsible for setting the budget, it appoints the head-teacher and works with the teaching staff to ensure that pupils have the best-possible learning experience.

The school governing body comprises 12 governors, including the head-teacher. There are four Parent Governors (filled by parents or carers of children at the school); five Co-opted Governors (appointed from within the community), one Local Authority Governor and one Staff Governor.

There are no specific skills required, just an interest in helping the school be as good as it can be. Professional expertise or experience of business can be helpful, but governors are expected to attend training courses run by the local authority to provide all the skills and knowledge required.

Chair of governors, Pauline Coakley said: “This is an excellent way of helping in the community and it can be extremely satisfying. Don’t feel that you can’t do it or you’re not skilled enough, we are just ordinary people doing our best for the school.”

Anyone interested can contact:

Pauline Coakley on 270693 or e-mail p.mcoakley@yahoo.co.uk

Eric Rayner on 270137 or e-mail: eric.rayner@btinternet.com

Top-rated business is forced to close by planners

Battlefield Live logo

Battlefield Live, a war-games business based on French Drove, has been forced to close after losing a planning appeal.

The business, which is rated number one in Peterborough in the Fun and Games category on Trip Advisor, was started in 2011 and has been operating for the past couple of years on temporary planning permission.

Despite Peterborough City Council officers recommending the application, it was turned down by councillors following objections by residents concerned about noise.

Business owner, Nigel Simons, appealed against that decfision, but heard this week that the planning tribunal had upheld the original decision.

“We’ve no choice now but to close. I’m hoping that I might be able to buy or rent a couple of acres of land somewhere else in the village, but if not, we’ll have to move away,” he said.

“I don’t want to be bitter, I have to take it on the chin, but it’s a shame that facts have been distorted. I guess people are just worried that the business will affect their house prices.”

The planning inspector’s report said the business would have a detrimental impact on people’s well-being, but Nigel says the noise is no worse than a children’s football match.

“Sound engineers employed by objectors set up noise monitors and in a 12-day period they recorded just 85 seconds of noise,” he said.

Battlefield Live employs five people and is a war game, similar to paintball, but uses guns which fire bolts of infra-red light and can “hit” a target at much greater distances.

It is marketed as being suitable for ages seven to 70 and most business has been from children’s parties. The Duke of Bedford School had visited twice and Nigel has also hosted sessions for disadvantaged children.

“We always expected that we’d get planning permission, so we don’t have a plan B,” he told Thorney Post. He’s now hoping he can buy or lease some land (ideally near the bypass where noise wouldn’t be a problem) and keep the business going.

If anyone can help, he can be reached on 01733 270440 or nigel.simons@btinternet.com.

Keep Thorney Beating reaches target

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Keep Thorney Beating – the fund-raising campaign to buy a life-saving heart defibrillator for the village – has reached its initial target after only a few weeks.

Lyn Batterbee, one of the organisers, said they were delighted the campaign had been so successful so quickly. “The village has shown its true colours, it’s fantastic,” she said.

One of the key elements in the fund reaching its £2,500 target was the decision by the family of Morris Spridgeon to name Keep Thorney Beating for donations in lieu of flowers at his funeral. Well over £1,000 was given.

“Morris did so much for the village, while he was alive,” said Lynn. “It’s wonderful to think that he is still helping people even though he’s not here.”

The fund also raised £950 from a fashion show in March, plus a donation of £500 from Norwich and Peterborough Building Society. Lynn managed to get £200 from Lloyds Bank because of delays by the bank in setting up an account for the charity and people have also put donations through their door in St Botolph’s Way.

This means that the heart defibrillator will be ordered in the next week or so and should be installed at the doctors’ surgery in early summer. There are plans for an open night at Bedford Hall where people will be able to come along and hear how defibrillators work and how they’re used.

Two people have also come forward to volunteer as “first responders” who would be on call to help operate the machine in an emergency and Lynn would be pleased to hear from anyone else interested in this role.

There’s a car boot sale and craft fair at Bedford Hall on May 10 and a coffee morning at 3 St Botolph’s Way on May 16. “It will be handy to keep some funds on deposit so we can pay for annual checks or for the machine to be recommissioned in the event that it’s used,” said Lynn.

If anyone wants to help, or to volunteer as a first responder, they can contact Lynn or Mick Batterbee on 270670.

Library opening times cut from May 1

Thorney library

Opening hours at Thorney library are being cut dramatically from the beginning of May.

The cut in manned hours was expected as part of a drive by Peterborough City Council to reduce costs, but villagers were promised that the library would be available as a self-service facility at other times.

Now it seems that this has been delayed and the library will be open for just 10 hours on three days each week.

The new opening hours – from May 1 – are:

Wednesday: 9am to 12 noon
Friday: 1.30pm to 5pm
Saturday: 2pm to 5.30pm

Librarian Jane Ward said that they were still working out when the various groups, such as Homework Club, Reading Group or the Wednesday Drop-in, would fit in with the new hours or if some may have to be dropped.

She has produced a number of bookmarks with the reduced opening hours printed on and these also have the opening hours of the library at Eye. People can borrow or return books at any library run by Vivacity (the city council) and Eye is open Mondays (9am to 12 noon), Wednesdays (1.30pm to 5pm) and Saturdays (9am to 12.30pm).

When the city council opened consultations about reducing the library’s manned hours, they promised it would be open on a self-service basis for a further 15 hours. However, it seems this idea, which is being tested in other parts of the city, has hit problems and so isn’t now being rolled out.

At present there isn’t a date for when the additional self-service hours will kick in.

Free wi-fi at Rose and Crown

The Rose & Crown

The arrival of fibre optic broadband in the village has enabled the Rose and Crown to offer free wi-fi to customers of the pub and cafe.

Landlord, Steve Shreeve told Thorney Post that lack of bandwidth on the old network would have made things grind to a halt if it had been offered to customers, but he’s having super-fast broadband installed which means everyone will be able to go online.