Category Archives: School

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The enforcement notice relating to unauthorised development at Thorney Lakes Golf Club has been withdrawn.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

Village school to become academy

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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.”

 

Parish Council wants more information on holiday homes plan

Thorney Lakes Lodges

Thorney Parish Council says it has not been given enough information to make a recommendation with regards to planning permission for 17 holiday lodges/caravans at the golf club on English Drove.

This is its response to the city council:

There is no Consultee Representation in respect of Archaeology. This seems to be an important omission as a previous planning application on this site for the installation of ground mounted solar PV panels was refused on the grounds of the impact the installation may have on undiscovered buried heritage assets.

We recognise that this application differs from the solar panel application but would anticipate, nevertheless, that an archaeological report would be a requirement. This would permit us to take a view on the impact, if any, on this application. Can we please be provided with such a report?

We note that other Consultee representations raise queries and suggest conditions, for example, the Tree Officer’s Representation. Can we please be provided with a copy of the responses you receive to these queries?

As these are holiday homes we would be grateful if we can be informed of what holiday related activities may take place, together with an assessment of the possible noise levels that could be generated by these activities. This information is requested in order that an assessment can be made on the possible disturbance/invasion of privacy these activities may have on local residents.

We are aware that the site is to be well screened by vegetation and fencing which may (or may not) fully screen the lodges from view as claimed by the applicant. Although lack of screening may not be a valid objection on planning grounds we query the suggestion that a holiday lodge may have a roof terrace/balcony.  Overlooking from such a terrace may constitute an invasion of the privacy of the residents of a  neighbouring property.

Can we also be informed as to how the site and its entrance will be illuminated. The Landscape Representation makes a comment about lighting that would not be considered suitable. We would be pleased to see a lighting scheme that meets with the approval of the planning department. Again, this is requested in order that we can be satisfied that any lighting will not have a detrimental or disturbing impact on local residents.

In the documents there is a certain amount of content which we assume represents a Business Plan. We are not in anyway experts on this form of plan but would be grateful for the City Council’s advice as to whether or not the information submitted constitutes a robust and viable plan on a long-term basis.

Is the City Council satisfied that the Holiday Lodges/Caravans will not be sold as full-time residential accommodation? What would be the procedure taken by the City Council should it become apparent that any of the Holiday Lodges are being used as permanent residences.

Several local residents were present at the 13th November meeting of the Parish Council. They appraised the Council of their views on the additional information which are contained in a document prepared by Ian Glading. We confirm that we fully endorse the contents of this document which will be submitted by Mr Glading

Until the above items are responded to we still do not feel we are able to make an overall and thorough assessment of this application. We have not, therefore, been able to determine whether or not we are in favour of or against the application. In the meantime, Thorney Parish Council confirms that it objects to any approvals being granted to this application.

Check this out, mate

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A new after-school chess club is starting at the Duke of Bedford School after half-term.

The club is the brainchild of school governor Bert Brookes and it will be free to attend, with complete beginners especially welcome.

“Chess is a marvellous game,” said Bert. “It teaches children problem solving and maths skills and gets the brain working in ways that modern computer games can’t match.

“It’s a chance for children in the village to learn to play chess and I hope to be able to introduce a school chess competition, with an overall prize and also prizes for each year group.”

The club will be open to any child in Key Stage 2, so from year 3 upwards. It will run on Mondays, starting November 6, immediately after school for 45 minutes.

“Stop order” on building work at Thorney Lakes

Thorney Lakes Lodges

Peterborough City Council has issued stop and enforcement orders at Thorney Lakes Golf Club to prevent further work.

The order came into effect on July 18 after two previous visits by city council planning offers.

In the first visit on June 14, officers found workmen laying hardcore and advised them that there was no planning permission and they should stop work. A follow-up visit  on June 28 found no further work had taken place.

However, since then, a concrete base has been laid and hardcore put down for other bases.

No planning application has been made for any development on the site, although the Thorney Lakes website has pictures of the lodges to be built, along with a sales hotline.

When the Thorney Post called the sales number quoted on the golf club website, we were told lodges would be available to buy soon and a show site was to be built.

We asked how many would be built we were told that depended on planning permission and when we asked where they would be, we were told we could visit the site and see the bases being laid for the first lodges.

The sales office told us the lodges were not residential and would be for leisure use only. There would be two-bedroom lodges retailing at around £150,000 and some with one bedroom at a later stage around the £100,000 mark.

Thorney Golf Course is owned by Neil Morgan, who owns a number of leisure facilities, including Tallington Lakes.

We have asked Mr Morgan for an interview or a statement and he has said he does not wish to comment.

The Thorney Lakes website, under the heading “Escape from everyday life at Thorney Lakes” says:

“At Thorney Lakes you can choose from our extensive range of luxury lifestyle lodges with stunning views. Taking a tour around one of our individually designed show homes proves just how attractive countryside living can be. As well as a stylish interior with every modern convenience, each home is set in its own generous plot with plenty of room for outside living – we also help you to make the most of your outdoor space with our free design service.

“Located in beautiful countryside you will feel like you have escaped to a new world. Where the pace of life is slower and you can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of your surroundings. An ideal place for golf lovers or for people looking for a retreat that is a haven of tranquility. A place where you can relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.”

Louise’s skydive to help charity that saved her life

Louise Cade & Magpas Dr Andy Lindsay - Duke of Bedford School

Twenty-three years after surviving a horrific road accident, which killed her youngster sister, Louise Cade was back in Thorney on Wednesday to talk to children at the Duke of Bedford Primary School about road safety.

Louise and her sister Sally were both pupils at the village school in 1994 when, at around 3:30pm on January 21, a terrible tragedy struck.

Louise and Sally were coming home on the school bus, on what had been just another normal school day. The family were farmers on New Cut. Six-year-old Sally and eight-year-old Louise got off the bus and waited for it to pull away. They held hands, looked both ways and were crossing the road when a car – seemingly out of nowhere – collided with them at high speed.

Louise’s family will never forget the sound of the loud bang the car made on impact.

“My mum got to us as soon as she could,” said Louise. “My sister Sally and I were lying in the road. My mother says Sally was smiling at her, whilst I was unconscious. She remembers noticing Sally had fluid coming out of her ear and she knew then it wasn’t a good sign.”

Back in the 1990s, doctors from around the Eastern Region volunteered their own time with Magpas Air Ambulance and as result; Dr Simon Richards, Dr Andrew Knights and Dr Nick Jackson (who all worked at Thorney Surgery) were called out to Sally and Louise.

They did everything they could to save the sisters’ lives – in what had become truly devastating circumstances. Sally was first to be taken to hospital in an ambulance (with a police escort), shortly followed by Louise, with the Magpas Doctors on board. Sally died several times en route, as did Louise, but the Magpas doctors repeatedly brought them back to life.

Once at the hospital, Sally and Louise were next to each other in the ICU being treated. Louise explains, “Sally was on a ventilator but sadly died from head trauma and organ failure two days later.”

Louise had to have gravel sucked out of her lungs (one of which collapsed), she suffered a serious head injury and multiple broken bones, as well as a stroke. She says, “My family tells me I died several times and was not expected to survive. The last time I died, everyone thought I had gone when suddenly I came back – gasping for air, trying to rip the ventilator tubes out of me.”

Her parents were told she would probably not walk and talk again, but Louise was determined to get back to normal. At Sally’s funeral, the family asked only for donations to be made to Magpas Air Ambulance and raised funds to pay for a defibrillator for the charity to use. Not long after, the same Magpas Doctors were called out to another little girl called Rebekah; the defibrillator bought by Louise’s family, was used by Magpas to save her life that day.

Louise has lost most of her memory of what life was like before the accident. She explains, “It’s really upsetting I can’t remember much about my best friend who I miss dearly – but the motivation, determination and strength to live on has made me the person I am today.”

Louise, who is 31, now feels ready to tell her story for the first time. She wants the memory of her sister Sally to live on, by raising awareness for Magpas Air Ambulance who came to her rescue all those years ago.  As a result, Louise is to take part in the Magpas annual skydive this July.

Louise sums up why she’s embarking on such a courageous fundraising venture after everything she’s been through, “My sister means a great deal to me and I want to thank the charity that did so much for me on that terrible afternoon.

“Magpas Air Ambulance trains senior doctors and paramedics, from all around the UK, to bring the hospital to patients in life-threatening situations. I want to gather as many sponsors as I can and help Magpas give more lifesaving care to others in their time of need.”

Louise went back to The Duke of Bedford School to talk at the school assembly. Louise told her story, raising awareness about road safety and about the crucial lifesaving care Magpas Air Ambulance delivers, by land and air, in the East of England and beyond.

She summed up why this moment was so important to her, “I just want the children to take on the message of road safety and stay safe. I hope the children will take this on board and tell their parents – so that they can be more aware of children on the road.”

Louise was also joined by Dr Andy Lindsay of Magpas. He explained how they offer pioneering training to doctors and paramedics wishing to specialise in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine, for which the charity is renowned in the medical world. He also summarised how he felt about being part of today’s gathering, “It’s wonderful to see Louise looking so well. Spreading the word about road safety to young children is an incredible investment of our time. It’s great to capture their attention and a real privilege to talk to them”.

The link to Louise’s fundraising page is: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JumpingwithSally

New role for Pigeons Farm

Pigeons Farm is to become a centre for children and young adults with learning difficulties.

Planning permission for the new project was approved this week by Peterborough City Council.

Pigeons Farm, on Wisbech Road, just east of the village, was a popular venue for families, with animals, play equipment and a cafe. It closed last autumn when the owners Linda and Bob Moore retired.

Animals were all found homes, with many going to Rutland Farm Park near Oakham.

The new centre will be run by the Kisimul Group, an organisation that provides education and care services to children and young adults with complex learning difficulties, including challenging behaviour and autism.

They will convert existing farm buildings into specialist educational facilities, including classrooms and workshops.

Kisimul has four other schools, two in Lincolnshire, one in Surrey and one in Shropshire.

It is likely Pigeons Farm will offer animal and horticultural based learning programmes, including gardening and animal husbandry .

There will be about 20 pupils at the site with an equivalent number of teachers and support staff.

Planning approval has also been given for three holiday lodges on the existing camping and caravan site. These will provide short-term holiday accommodation for the parents and families of Kisimul Group residents.

The application stated: “Emphasis is placed upon providing a stimulating and rich environment, including such activities as horse riding, cinema and ten-pin bowling as well as outings to zoos, theme parks and theatres.”

School needs more reading buddies

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Would you be able to spend half an hour or so each week helping a local child to improve their reading?

The Duke of Bedford Primary School is looking for people in the village willing to become Reading Buddies.

It’s a voluntary role and involves going into school once a week to read with a number of children on a regular basis during term time.

No special skills are required – just a love of reading and a wish to help children to enjoy books and to improve their reading skills.

Bert Brookes (88) of Chestnut Drive has been a Reading Buddy for a number of years. He says: “Some children – predominantly boys – have varying degrees of difficulty with reading. The individual attention that Reading Buddies can give to these children can lead to a marked improvement over a relatively short time.

“The main requirements of a Reading Buddy are a desire to help, a degree of perseverance and a modicum of humour and appreciation of the child’s difficulties.  The reward is well worth the effort.”

If you’re interested, you can contact Assistant Head Teacher Cathy Gibson via e-mail at cathy.gibson@dukeofbedford.peterborough.sch.uk or call the school office on 01733 270243 and leave your name and contact details.

“Our Reading Buddies are a great asset to our school,” said Cathy. “We’re really keen to encourage our children to enjoy reading and having a Buddy can be just the boost they need. The children gain self-confidence, reading skills and often a new desire to read.  They thrive on having someone to share a book with one-to-one.”

Open day at new village pre-school

The new Duke of Bedford Pre-School is holding an open day on Friday, September 30, to allow parents and carers an opportunity to look around.

There will be two sessions – at 10am and 2pm.

The pre-school, which is sited in a dedicated building in the school grounds opens on Monday, October 3 and will be running daily, during school term, from 9am to 3.30pm.

The open day will give parents a chance to look at the facilities, meet staff, see new resources and explore the outside area,

All three and four-year-olds (and eligible two-year-olds) are entitled to 15 hours of funded pre-school education.

More information is available on 270243 or e-mail: enquiries@dukeofbedford.peterborough.sch.uk

Childcare clubs will be run by school

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The Duke of Bedford School is to take direct control of running the before and after-school club.

The decision to run the club directly was made after the current external provider decided to quit.

Headteacher Mrs Cathy Bailey has assured parents that all children who attend the club at present will continue to have a place and there will be no interruption of service.

The club, which provides a vital service for working parents, will move out of the Children’s Centre and into the main school building in March.

Mrs Bailey said that, in future, it is hoped to be able to expand the group to provide more places and also offer breakfasts to children attending the before-school club.

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