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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.

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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).


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