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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Brian Rix, 92, Actor and Disability Campaigner Dies

Lord Brian Rix, the actor and learning disability campaigner, has died aged 92.

Lord Rix, the Mencap President, who also served as the charity’s secretary general and chairman, had been ill for some time and received 24-hour nursing home care.

Only a few weeks earlier Brian Rix made an impassioned plea and called for a change in the law on assisted dying,  so as he put it, he could “be helped on my way" peacefully.

In a letter to the speaker of the House of Lords, Lady D’Souza, Lord Rix wrote:

“My position has changed. As a dying man, who has been dying now for several weeks, I am only too conscious that the laws of this country make it impossible for people like me to be helped on their way, even though the family is supportive of this position and everything that needs to be done has been dealt with."

The Mencap chief executive, Jan Tregelles, said: “Lord Rix was a beloved colleague and friend to so many people with a learning disability and their families. His passion, zeal and humour will be sorely missed. His tireless campaigning has perhaps done more to improve the lives of people with a learning disability than any other.

When Rix’s daughter Shelley was born in 1951 he and his wife Elspet were urged to put her away and forget about her, Tregellles added. “This started a quest lasting over 60 years to make the world a better place for all those with a learning disability.” E&OE Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581


Friday, August 19, 2016


Perhaps the Parliamentary Select Committee might like to add tv news report to their fact finding mission? SKY NEWS sticks an oar in....

 E&OE Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581 > PETERBOROUGH TRIB NEWSREEL .

Friday, August 12, 2016


Railway workers on Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) have voted to strike in a dispute over jobs, working conditions and safety, the RMT rail union said. Over 84 per cent of workers polled backed strike action.  The strike will take place over three days just before and after the late August bank holiday, however it will have run-on implications beyond these dates.

The union balloted members in July over possible job losses and safety protocols.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


The Charity Commission (CC) should demand more feedback from trustee boards at the largest charities to check how they are performing, and should rethink its guidance on paying trustees, according to a new paper on rebuilding trust in charities.  

It will also put an end to this sort of 'quasi sales pitch' seeking charitable contributions, taken word for word from a local Cambridgeshire website: 

 "In exchange for helping fund our operation, there are several titles available which a business or entrepeneur (SIC) (or perhaps entrepreneur?)  use in their own publicity and advertising. Here are just some of them, pitched at prices to suit every pocket, with all the benefits you can expect for making charitable contributions."

Saturday, August 06, 2016


The abandoned Post Office Underground Railway.....

Its a pretty poor deal when a City the size of Peterborough cannot even support its own stand alone Post Office! its now to be franchised off and stuffed at the back of the books and mags jumble sale once known as WHSMITH, located at the grotty end of Bridge Street. 

We've included the long winded Post Office justification for the move. Tellingly it needs several pages of management speak and potted jargon, but what it all boils down to is money. Customers will be greatly disadvantaged and amusingly for some products,  such as Biometric Services, customers are advised that Stamford Post Office is only 14 miles away!

They'll house the Post Office 'shop within a shop' where the coffee franchise briefly was - that didn't last long - right at the back of the store. You'll know how narrow and highly stacked, the WHSMITH aisles are these days..... Or if you just want to cash your DWP giro pop in through the back door, possibly parking your motor on the yellow lines in Wentworth Street, as there is no parking anywhere near.

Friday, August 05, 2016


The RMT Rail Union suggest that having already pulled many of its cheapest advance fares on popular routes, Virgin East Coast  are now easing up prices again.

Over half of the fares are being increased by an average of 1.4% from this Sunday,  for travel after 4 September as well as introducing a return leg restriction on off peak return journeys on Monday to Thursday.

Virgin East Coast off- peak return leg discounts abolished; and all fares hiked up from this weekend
but some not actioned until September 7th.....

Instead of continuing with the same service, the public sector East Coast operator offered, Virgin East Coast are now applying restrictions during peak times.

Although the increase starts from 4th September, Virgin have had to accept that passengers cannot be ‘excessed’ or surcharged  immediately as tickets are valid for a month and customers could be travelling on tickets sold using the old conditions until October 2nd. 

Showing little regard for their long suffering regular passengers, Virgin have made it clear that in future if they wish to travel at the same time as they currently do – and it falls within the restricted morning or evening peak – they can ‘change their plans to travel at an unrestricted time’ or pay for an appropriate (and more expensive) Anytime Return ticket.

In future the last train before the evening restriction at Kings Cross will be 15.30 for most trains although for some journeys it is 15.00. The first train after the evening restriction is 17.49 although some trains are later than that and for Berwick Upon Tweed it is 19.00.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “When the East Coast mainline was run in the public sector it was the most efficient and most popular rail service in the country. Reprivatisation has dragged it back down with Virgin/Stagecoach seeing it as nothing more than an opportunity to bleed the travelling public dry”.

“Meanwhile, RMT is balloting for action on VTEC over the attack on jobs and safety. This company has declared war on its staff and passengers alike and we need to stand together to stop them. The result of our ballot is due next Tuesday – 9th August.”

Full details of the changes from Sunday can be found in the attached PDF

 E&OE Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581 > PETERBOROUGH TRIB NEWSREEL .

Appeal Court Blocks Calais Jungle Escape Route for Lone Children


The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision which allowed four asylum seekers, including three children, to escape the Calais migrant ‘Jungle’ camp and be reunited with their families in the UK.

The Court clarified the test to be applied when people seeking refuge want to claim asylum in the UK but arrive in another European Union Member State first.

Three unaccompanied children and one disabled young adult fled war-torn Syria. They spent months living in appalling conditions in a migrant camp in Calais known as “the Jungle”, which had been described as a “living hell“.

Full story:

 E&OE Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581 > PETERBOROUGH TRIB NEWSREEL .

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Ada Lovelace DAY inspired STEM festival a reality for Peterborough


Peterborough’s first ever free Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Festival is set for Sunday 1st October at the all new Allia Future Business Centre, behind the London Road ABAX Football Stadium Complex.

The FREE ENTRY ONE DAY festival programme is aimed at younger people and families.     

STEM Organiser Tia Lush, said: “We urgently need to inspire younger people to become tomorrow’s innovators in science, technology, engineering, and maths.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Shailesh Vara MP recently visited Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd,Peterborough, to discuss the company’s plans to deal with the safety of its tumble dryers.

This follows widespread concerns about Whirlpool Group  branded dryers bursting into flames and presenting a fire hazard, there has been substantial media comment on the lack of urgency shown by Whirlpool, who continued to sell tumble dryers, which turned out to be potential fire hazards. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016


This months prime  'porkies' award for tree hugging goes to.....

We see Peterborough City Council CEO Gillian Beasley has been shedding a few crocodile tears in the ever helpful PT, over the loss of Government funding for Peterborough City Council and suggesting that Peterborough City employees might 'widen their horizons' and work with her new chums in financially (compared to this City) well-heeled Cambridge!

At the top of the list for horizon widening (if only he could locate the plush office exit) could be Simon Machin, a kind of astronomically remunerated Clark of Works for the PCC, he has a long posh title... something that Gillians well over inflated Corporate Department might dream up ...but just read this load of totally misleading hyperbolic twaddle attributed to said Mr Machin from the PCC website, carefully shifting the blame from his office, and likely to be repeated unchallenged by the local newspaper (unless perhaps there is a restaurant review attached. That's enough ED):

"A number of trees planted as part of the newly designed Bourges Boulevard are due to be replaced in the autumn.

Twenty-three trees in total were planted by Eurovia Contracting (North) which carried out the Bourges Boulevard regeneration project on behalf of the city council.

A majority of the trees are becoming established and are growing well. However, eight of the trees have failed to come into leaf after dormancy and are unlikely to survive.

As part of the contract Eurovia will replace the trees at no cost to the council.

Are you with us so far?

The truth of the matter is that Mr Machen is well aware that eight or so of the rootballed mature trees were left where they were unloaded in the Car/Coach Park at the Back of the Brewery Tap pub and lay on the ground in the open for several weeks, in bright sunshine,  no watering, and all lumped together at a 45degree angle. the 'cowboys' employed by the contractors, then simply put a single sling tied around the now dried out fragile tree trunk, rather than a specialist net sling taking the weight of the now solid impacted dried out very heavy clay/soil rootball.

The PBROTRIB commented at the time (see below)  but in reality a simple walk around his patch by the saintly Mr Machen would have given him the clue that all was not well with his chosen favourite contractor.

If he had hired a local firm, the job would not have only generated local employment but would have been completed much faster. The sub contractors vehicles were also commuting all from way up north ( possibly why the works were only operational during weekday office hours and knocked off early on Fridays)  

Perhaps Mr Machen might like to reconsider his remarks because the trees we saw delivered were all very healthy but needed immediate planting, rootball protection and regular watering.

No doubt the contractor, will under the original contract put pressure on the specialist Nursery to replace them at their cost, thus impacting on that firms profitability and possibly causing a few redundancies but hey who cares?

Bourges Boulevard

Simon Machen, corporate director for growth and regeneration, said: "It's a great shame some of the trees have failed to flourish. They were bought from a reliable and well regarded nursery and planted by a specialist landscape [**** ha! ha!] contractor. The Bourges Boulevard scheme also includes a full irrigation system for the trees .

[Yes but irrigation systems ( its just a surface water catching scheme) actually need water, lots of water, Simon!....].

Mature trees of this size can sometimes suffer stress or die, having been transplanted from a nursery and then having [BEING LEFT TO DRY OUT ON CONCRETE IN A CAR/COACH  PARK FOR SEVERAL WEEKS WITHOUT WATERING THE ROOTBALL AND THEN UNABLE] to adapt to their new surroundings.

"Eurovia will be replacing the trees as part of the original contract however this will not take place until tree planting season in the autumn."

Works to transform Bourges Boulevard into a pedestrian and cyclist friendly boulevard were completed in July 2015.

The scheme saw the central reserve widened and lined with lime trees. In addition, two 10 metre-wide pedestrian signalled crossings were installed between Crescent Bridge roundabout and Bright Street roundabout to improve access to the city centre for pedestrians and cyclists.

The project also allowed traffic from the railway station to turn right out of Station Road for the first time with traffic lights introduced at the junction.

**** Eurovia UK, through its subsidiary Ringway, is a major player in long-term road maintenance contracts. Its main competitors are Amey (Ferrovial Group), Kier and Balfour Beatty. Eurovia UK also operates in conventional roadworks in competition with Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Tarmac (CRH Group).

This is how the Pbrotrib reported it, the rootballed trees were to remain in situ for several more weeks

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Peterborough Council ? Who ordered the dead trees?

If you would like to see a really sorry sight in Greener Peterborough, have a look at the car park behind The Brewery Tap pub;  you'll find three fully grown rootballed unprotected trees lying on their sides.

They have been in the same position for over a week now. We have the pictures  to prove it. The whole idea of a rootball, is that the rootball is kept moist prior to final planting, and the tree  must be planted without undue delay.

Meanwhile back to the expensively purchased dead trees...

The tree is carefully lifted by the rootball, and not by the trunk as the numpties working for a northern contractor ( no one round here is good enough it seems)  have been doing, but then all the trees in the very odd Bourges Boulevard redevelopment don't look too healthy either. 

The trees clearly haven't been watered in, to their final resting place, concrete lined tubs, so as the temperature rises, the rootball hardens like concrete around the roots and the tree dies. It happening already, the trees outside Waitrose, first to be planted, the leaves are already shrivelled and damaged branches where the slings on the tree trunk were incorrectly attached (rather than lifting by the rootball) haven't been cleanly lopped back. 

Clearly it would help if the council officer in charge, left his plush office,  and walked along to the disaster known as Bourges Boulevard. The whole deal has been a shambles running way over its scheduled completion but then we all know that, just how do we get it through to the councillors? Knock on wood??? 

Perhaps qualified solicitor Mrs Beasley might suggest Mr Machen urgently reviews his remarks on the PCC website, as clearly his quoted remarks relate to the workings of a legal contract involving public money and do not reflect the actuality of the situation, and many local residents have photographic evidence to prove it?

As to the assertion it is at no cost to the council, Mr Machin might like top add in his overhead to the administration of this contract, there is a cost to the council and Mr Machin is clearly at the centre of it

Additional source: E&OE Tel:+44 (0) 1733 345581







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THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).


NUJ Code of Conduct

The NUJ's Code of Conduct has set out the main principles of British and Irish journalism since 1936.

The code is part of the rules and all journalists joining the union must sign that they will strive to adhere to the it.

Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

A journalist:

1 At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed

2 Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair

3 Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies

4 Differentiates between fact and opinion

5 Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means

6 Does nothing to intrude into anybody's private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest

7 Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work

8 Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information and takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge

9 Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation

10 Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed

11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare

12 Avoids plagiarism The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code.

The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code

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(As modified at Delegate Meeting 2011)