Monthly Archives: January 2019

School needs more reading buddies

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The Duke of Bedford School is keen to recruit more reading buddies.

No teaching skills are required, just a willingness to spend a few hours each week listening to children reading. This reading aloud practice is a key element in improving reading skills.

Days and times are flexible, but you should be prepared to commit to attend on a regular basis. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.

If you are able to help or want more information, send your name, e-mail and contact number to Cathy Gibson, Assistant Headteacher at enquiries@dukeofbedford.peterborough.sch.uk.

Concern over traffic at quarry

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Two-hundred lorries per day will be used to bring in waste to fill a gravel quarry in Thorney.

Pode Hole quarry is now fully worked, but more gravel has been extracted than planned and soil set aside to fill in the earthworks is not sufficient.

The owners have applied to Peterborough City Council for permission to infill with waste (not household refuse) and return the land eventually to agricultural use.

The plan involves a six-year project, working from 7am to 6pm on weekdays and on Saturday mornings, where 19 lorries an hour will deliver waste to the site.

Thorney Parish Council considered proposals at its meeting on Monday and said it had major concerns about additional lorries and road safety on the A47.

Russ Bevington said that work would start soon on widening the entrance to Willowhall Road for the Pasture House Farm quarry and if that coincided with this work, then there could be traffic chaos.

The Parish Council will write to the city council expressing these concerns and also suggesting a lower speed limit along this section of the A47 for the duration of the work and that trucks delivering waste do not use roads through the village.

The Parish Council is also keen to see the cycle lane extended to reach Eye, so that people can safely cycle into Peterborough.

Land on the opposite side of the A47 to Pode Hole and Pasture House quarries has also been put forward for a new quarry, extending as far as Bukehorn Road. Planning permission has not yet been sought, but there was a suggestion that if this did go ahead, access would be from Bukehorn Road.

Dorothy Halfhide said she was strongly against that idea. She thought Bukehorn Road was totally unsuitable, it had dangerous junctions at either end and would be a safety risk.

Local taxes to rise from April

Thorney residents will have to pay an extra £12 per house on average to cover Parish Council spending.

At Monday night’s monthly meeting, the Parish Council voted unanimously to increase their precept to raise £77,000 from the village rather than £65,000 previously. This is an increase of 24 per cent.

There was some concern that such a large percentage increase would look bad, but it was pointed out that there had not been an increase for 10 years.

The precept is a local tax added by the Parish Council to City Council rate bills. The figure of £12 more is an average and higher band homes will pay more, those on a lower band less.

Campaign to reinstate half-hourly bus service

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A campaign is being launched to re-establish a half-hourly bus service in the village.

Two members of the public turned up at Thorney Parish Council’s monthly meeting on Monday to complain about the poor bus service.

Rita Young said it was crazy that two buses left for Peterborough within minutes of each other and then there was nothing for an hour.

Les Lazell blamed council cuts. He said bus subsidies had gone down from £1.2 million to £750,000 and were due to be cut to £600,000 next year. He said this was a political decision.

Parish councillor Dorothy Halfhide said she would take this up. She used the bus herself and had been canvassing opinion through the Thorney Post Community Forum Facebook page. She said it was clear that what might have seemed like a minor change was having a big effect on people who use the bus.

Ray Wood said the bus was only saving four minutes by not stopping in Thorney.

The Parish Council agreed it would write a letter in support of a campaign to reinstate the half-hourly service.

Thorney Parish Council snippets

Reports from Thorney Parish Council meeting on Monday, January 14.

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Allotment holders can’t reach their plots due to the muddy track across the field at the bottom of Gas Lane.

Helen Baker said her car, with two children on board had got stuck in the mud. She asked if the Parish Council could improve the surface of the track.

She was told the field was owned by Peterborough City Council and rented to a farmer who would object to a track being laid.

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Sheila Reeves has been co-opted onto Thorney Parish Council.

Sheila, who worked for Peterborough City Council before she retired, has lived in the village for 16 years.

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People outside the village living alongside the A47 are prisoners in their own homes, Les Lazell told Thorney Parish Council’s January meeting.

He was seeking their support to campaign for a walkway alongside the main road to the east of the village. He said there had been a footpath, but this was removed when the road was widened.

“The road is dangerous,” he said. “There’s an accident every five days. If someone was in a mobility scooter or using a pushchair, they’d have no choice but to go on the road. What happens if you break down?”

The Parish Council said this was a Highways Agency matter and Mr Lazell should write to his MP.

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The Parish Council is to purchase a notice board for £479. The board will be placed inside the bus stop in front of the Duke of Bedford School and will be big enough for four A4 sheets.

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A local tradesman will be asked if it’s possible to repair the level crossing gates by Kingsline Close.

The gates are rotten, but it was felt they could be repaired in-situ by using wood filler or splicing in new wood.

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One of Thorney’s village signs is to be taken down to obtain quotes from a specialist company to provide new signs in cast aluminium.

The signs are becoming rotten and replacing all four signs may cost £20,000.

Dorothy Halfhide suggested that the four signs might be replaced by one on The Green and there was an alternative suggestion that the grassed area next to the traffic lights would be a better location.

A decision will be made once alternative costs have been obtained.

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Thorney Parish Council is to give the church £1,300 to remove a dangerous tree in the graveyard and also cut back another. The total cost of the work is £1,800, but John Bartlett said the church had been given an anonymous donation of £500.

Some parish councillors thought the church ought to pay the entire amount, but a motion to that effect was defeated.

Ray Wood said if the tree was in his garden, the Parish wouldn’t pay.

Russ Bevington agreed that the diocese ought to pay but said they wouldn’t. “The tree is in a dangerous state and needs to come down quickly. The graveyard is a major village amenity, tourist attraction and is used by many people to walk through to the park.”

He said part of the order was for a replacement tree to be planted and he thought this should be an orchard-type tree that wouldn’t grow too tall.

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A new hedge along the field boundary of the cemetery is being planted on January 26. Any villagers willing to help are invited to come along.

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New LED street lighting will be installed along Northside in February,

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The extended 30mph speed limit on Whittlesey Road is not being obeyed, Dorothy Halfhide told the council. She said she’d been overtaken by two cars travelling very fast and there was nothing from the end of the village to tell drivers it was still a 30 limit.

The city council is being asked to paint 30-signs on the road.

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Ray Wood asked if the Parish Council could see the surveys on the state of Woburn Drive. He was concerned that the road had not been resurfaced following completion of the Thorney Meadows estate.

He also raised concerns about parents parking illegally when picking their children up from the Duke of Bedford School. “They take no notice of double yellow lines,” he said.

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Thorney Parish Council is to hold a closed meeting on January 24 to agree their policy towards Bedford Hall.

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The Parish Council will write to the police thanking them for their efforts when a man went missing in the village last week.

Russ Bevington said four vans, eight policemen and a helicopter with infra-red camera were deployed and a family-liaison officer had been with the family throughout. Along with numerous villagers who turned out to help after seeing an appeal on Facebook, a thorough search of the village had been done.

Dorothy Halfhide said the police had been surprised by the village’s response. Happily, the missing person was safe.