Author Archives: Eric Rayner

Help for people sleeping rough

Peterborough City Council has opened its winter night shelter and emergency provision to support rough sleepers.

The Peterborough Winter Night Shelter opened will remain open until 11 March. The shelter is run by a group of seven churches working together with the council to help reduce rough sleeping.

People wishing to access this provision need to visit the New Haven Night Shelter, 21 Towler Street, Peterborough or the council’s Housing Needs team at Bayard Place to complete a referral form.

People who are homeless can access an emergency night shelter at Fairview Court, 1 Oundle Road, Peterborough. People looking to use this service should be at Fairview Court at 10pm.

This emergency provision is only temporary until the temperature increases.

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities for Peterborough City Council, said: “Nobody needs to sleep rough in Peterborough. Not every town and city adopts this approach, but in Peterborough nobody has to sleep rough.

“There are a range of services and options that are made available and offered to every rough sleeper, including a winter night shelter and support for those who are struggling with mental health issues or are reliant on drugs or alcohol. In addition, the emergency provision will be in place until temperatures rise.

“The fact remains that there are still some people who refuse to accept help for a number of different reasons. We continue to engage with these people and offer them support, should they require it.”

If you know of someone sleeping rough please notify the council as soon as possible using the rough sleeper referral form on

Further information is also available on the council’s website about what someone should do if they find themselves in housing difficulty.

People are able to make donations towards the winter night shelter provided by charities in Peterborough by visiting

Cathedral celebrates 900 years


The campaign to celebrate the 900th anniversary of Peterborough Cathedral starts at New Year with a short burst of fireworks and a peal of the cathedral bells at midnight. There will also be a hot chestnut stand and a carousel.

The Reverend Canon Tim Alban Jones, said: “This coming year will be an exciting one, not only for the cathedral, but also for the whole of Peterborough.

“The building of the cathedral was arguably one of the most significant events in our local history and without it, the city would not be what it is today. It’s a beautiful building and integral to our community, it’s a great chance to celebrate Peterborough as a whole and what we as a city have achieved over the past 900 years.”

To find out more about the events planned throughout 2018 as part of the Peterborough Celebrates campaign and on how to take part, visit

No leads on cemetery vandalism


Police have drawn a blank with their investigation into vandalism at Thorney Cemetery.

A spokesman said that despite publicity in local media and an appeal on Crimestoppers, no information was forthcoming and there are no further lines on inquiry to pursue.

A spokesman said: “The offence occurred on Halloween and was likely to be prompted by this annual event. There have not been further instances however, in the interim, there will be continuing patrols checking the cemetery.”

Additional dog-poo bins in village

For many years Thorney Parish Council has been lobbying Peterborough City Council to provide extra dog waste bins in Thorney, recently our three City Councillors took up the challenge.
Now, a new dog waste bin has been installed on the grass at the side of the footpath just as you enter the 30mph on the Thorney bypass side of the road on Wisbech Road as you drive into the village from Wisbech direction.
Once a new pedestrian gate has been installed at the Parish Council Cemetery in Whittelesy Road, Thorney Parish Council will fund a new dog waste bin to be fixed to the new steel fencing, this should take place in the coming months.
John Bartlett, chair of Thorney Parish Council, said he would like to say thank you to our City Councillors for making this possible.

Golf Club holiday lodges can be built

Thorney Lakes Lodges
Peterborough City council has approved a planning application from the owners of Thorney Lakes Golf Club to build 17 holiday lodges on the site.
The application had been opposed by Thorney Parish Council on the grounds that insufficient evidence had been provided and was also recommended for refused by the city council’s planning department.
However, the council’s planning committee decided to approve the application.
Parish Council chairman, John Bartlett attended the planning committee meeting and expressed concerns about the plans.
The development can now proceed. The lodges will be sold as holiday accommodation only, permanent residency will not be allowed.

Lakes enforcement notice flawed

The enforcement notice relating to unauthorised development at Thorney Lakes Golf Club has been withdrawn.

An error in the document issued by Peterborough City Council means it would probably not be upheld on appeal.

The city council issued the notice in July following complaints by residents and Thorney Parish Council that preparatory work was being undertaken for holiday chalets without planning permission having been sought.

The owners of Thorney Lakes have since applied for planning permission and a decision is likely on December 19.

Rude pud gets John in trouble

The Dog in a Doublet pub on North Bank has made page 5 of The Sun today.

Landlord John McGinn has been overwhelmed by complaints for calling his festive spotted dick pudding  Santa’s Dick.

The dessert, which  replaces the usual raisins with spiced apples, has been on the Dog in a Doublet’s Christmas menu for a decade.

But John got hundreds of complaints after it featured in local magazine The Fens.

John, who runs the pub with wife Della, said: “It’s a bit of fun and is one of our biggest sellers. But since it appeared I’m getting people calling up every day to complain.”

You can read the full story on The Sun website:

New company moves into Bridge Works

Bridge Works, the old Thorney Precision engineering site on The Causeway is to re-open in the new year.

There had been rumours that the buildings were to be demolished for housing, but the factory has been taken on a 10-year lease by another engineering company – PCML.

Jonathan Rowe, Managing Director of Thorney Precision for 10 years and son of the founder Patrick Rowe, is now Group Sales Director of PCML.

The company serves high-tech customers, mostly in Cambridge. “We are growing rapidly and now have five sites, three in March and one in Cambridge – we employ 130 people and our turnover is £10 million,” explained Jonathan.

“We will shortly be moving machines and staff in and will be operational in January. The factory will soon be full of busy machines again and employing more and more people, hopefully from the Peterborough (and Thorney) area.”

Dance group to start cheerleader classes


iDance, the new dance school which started in the village in September, is looking to expand its range of classes.

A cheerleading group is being formed and spaces are limited in some of the classes.

Principal Rebecca Thorpe said the children had a fun time dressing up at Hallowe’en and also had a pyjama week for BBC’s Children in Need appeal.

“I want to thank everyone for their support,” said Rebecca. “We’ve got some exciting things coming up. Children will be getting certificates and rosettes at the end of term and we will be having special watching weeks when parents can come along and see their children in class.”

The club has been asked to do a performance at the Serpentine Green shopping centre in January.

Village school to become academy

2014-10-13 15.49.58

The Duke of Bedford School is planning to convert to an academy.

If the application is approved, it will join forces with five other local schools in a multi-academy trust.

Staff and parents were told about the plans in November and there will be a consultation evening arranged with parents where they can ask questions.

Converting to an academy means the school is no longer under the control of the local authority – in this case Peterborough City Council.

Instead, schools are being encouraged to join together to form multi-academy trusts (MATs) and be self-supporting.

The Duke of Bedford School plans to work with Church of England schools in Eye, Castor, Newborough and Peakirk as well as All Saints’ School in Peterborough.

Eric Rayner, chair of governors, said government policy was pushing all schools to become academies and the move was inevitable.

“All secondary schools and the majority of primary schools in Peterborough are academies. We have held back until now because we wanted to find the right schools to work with, schools where we would be equal partners, which shared a similar ethos and were local to the area.

“We didn’t want to be pushed into a large chain, where we would have lost our identity and where a highly paid chief executive would be more concerned about the size of his company car than children’s education.

“Our school won’t be renamed, we’ll keep our uniform and we’ll keep our identity. We will also have a strong voice on the new MAT, with one of our governors on the board of trustees and another as one of the foundation members.”

The school and the new multi-academy trust now have to go through a conversion and set-up process with the government. It’s expected this will take around six months to complete.

Cathy Bailey, Headteacher at the Duke of Bedford School, said she believed the move would strengthen the school and provide children with a better education.

“There will be increased opportunities for children and staff to work together across the six schools and share resources and expertise,” she said.

“All schools in the group were rated good in their last Ofsted inspections, we are forward thinking and outward looking, and we believe these changes will maximise the outcomes for our children.”


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