Category Archives: News

At least £350,000 needed to fix Bedford Hall

Bedford Hall

At least £350,000 will be needed to fix Bedford Hall, according to Thorney Parish Council.

The Parish Council discussed the future of the building this week, having received some reports on its condition.

Peterborough City Council, which owns Bedford Hall and is responsible for the maintenance of the listed building, wants to give the building to the village, but that means we would also be responsible for repairs.

The City Council has said it will use monies from the sale of the old Church Street Community Centre to fund repairs and also the move of the library, but the Parish Council is concerned the sale will not raise enough.

The Parish Council is still waiting for a formal letter confirming exactly what the City are offering in respect of the building and have said that no further discussion will be held until they have that letter.

This is the full text of the Parish Council’s statement regarding Bedford Hall:

BEDFORD HALL, THORNEY 9 January 2018. – Thorney Parish Council comments on Survey Information and Library Relocation Proposals received on 4 January 2018 from Caroline Rowan, City Council SURVEY (Refs: 23-27-8-3-1006 December 2017 + 23-27-18-3-1006)

Our initial reaction to these building surveys and the additional information they contain is a concern that this historic, listed building has been so neglected and allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair. We are also concerned by the number of items needing attention particularly as many of them are given Condition Rating ‘C’ ( Exhibits major or multiple defects) or ‘D’ ( Life expired, Exhibits major deterioration, Serious risk of imminent failure).

We note the overall costs of these works (excluding mechanical and electrical works) is estimated to be £176,660. As to some extent the survey is rather superficial, it seems likely that the closer inspection and testing suggested in the survey for a number of items will increase this cost.

Is it proposed that this closer inspection/testing is put in hand in order that a more accurate assessment is made of the building’s condition with the estimate revised accordingly? We believe the only way to establish what the real costs may be would be by putting these works out for tender and including a contingency for extras as the work progressed.

LIBRARY ( Hanson Barron Smith drawings HBS -DR-B 01 + HBS – DR – B 02) Either arrangement seems satisfactory. We assume they both have the approval of Vivacity.

Both show a point of access but no alternative means of escape is indicated for either – does this comply with current regulations?

We assume the budget costs ( £93,000 to £108,000) are for the refurbishment of either Unit 3 or 5 only and do not include for any mechanical or electrical infrastructure to the other areas in this rear part of the building e.g. heating, lighting, smoke detection, fire alarm system etc.

Can it be confirmed whether or not any basic works will be carried out to the parts of this building not allocated to the Library. It is possible that the proposed village referendum to determine the future of the Bedford Hall may indicate a preference for the funds to be allocated to other works to the building rather than a library.

GENERAL The costs allocated as above to the survey works and the library total £284,660. If the forecast costs in the mechanical and electrical survey (M+E Condition Survey Report 17 February 2017) are added to this (£59,017) the total increases to £343,677. This figure not only exceeds the monies that are expected from the sale of the City Council’s Church Street property but probably does not present the Parish with a fully usable building.

We query how this monetary shortfall will be dealt with and how those areas of the rear building will be refurbished rather than left in their current run down and non-usable condition. We look forward to receipt of the City Council’s ‘Offer’ which we trust will be to offer this listed building in a complete state of repair and fit for use in its entirety with sufficient other proposals to make this an attractive and viable proposition for consideration in a referendum in the Parish.

We would be grateful if we can be provided with information regarding the organisation and supervision of a referendum together with an estimate of the likely cost.

Contract ended with company that quoted £6K for bus shelter roof

Binman

Amey, the company that provides a range of services, including refuse collection, is the end its contract with Peterborough City Council by mutual consent.

As well as refuse collection, Amey also looks after:

:: Parks, trees and open spaces

:: Property maintenance (including schools) and cleaning

:: Community link and home-to-school transport

:: Catering

The company caused some controversy in Thorney recently by quoting £6,000 to fix a hole in the roof of a bus shelter.

A council spokesman said it could be that these services are split up and separate providers sought for each area. Any new arrangement will allow the council more control over how services are provided and ensure that a percentage of any income generated by services is returned to the council to protect services for residents.

Councillor Gavin Elsey, cabinet member for waste and streetscene, said: “I would like to thank Amey for its commitment to providing services for the residents of Peterborough during the past five years. However, it has been clear for some time that our contract is no longer meeting either of our needs and is no longer compatible with the tough financial landscape we are operating in.

A key driver for the proposal is the council’s current recycling performance, which does not meet the targets set out in the contract. Recycling rates currently sit at 45 per cent and our target is 60 per cent.

If this proposal is approved, we will look to split up the contract and offer it to different providers in a bid to get better value for money in these areas, more control and greater opportunity to generate income.

Regardless of what happens, residents should be assured that the continuation of these services and a smooth transfer will be key factor for us in making any decision.

The contract with Amey will continue until a new service provider is in place. We are expecting this to be in autumn 2018.”

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 www.peterborough.gov.uk.

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 https://mydonate.bt.com/events/pwns1718

Cathedral celebrates 900 years

Peterborough_Cathedral

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 www.peterboroughcelebrates.org.uk

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: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5067725/pub-rapped-for-calling-their-custard-covered-christmas-pudding-santa-dick/

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

FB_IMG_1510314524056

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.

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