First Spalding Road. Now Fletton Parkway!

Oh! Spalding Road!
Spalding Road is the A16.

The A16 from Peterborough to Spalding subsided and was closed (if I remember correctly before it opened) until remedial work was completed. It starts in Paston Ward and travels through Northborough Ward in the Peterborough unitary authority area (governed by Peteborough City Council).

It then enters the Lincolnshire County Council & South Holland District Council areas where it travels through county & district wards: Crowland & Deeping St Nicholas, Moulton (Weston and Cowbit) and Spalding St Mary’s

It also passes through the following parishes:
Newborough, Borough Fen (Peterborough)
Crowland, Cowbit, Weston and Spalding South (South Holland, Lincolnshire)

It travels through two parliamentary constituencies: that of Peterborough Borough and South Holland and the Deepings.

The Fletton Parkway is the A1139

The roadworks which are currently underway and which have hit a £4.5M size brick are within the following areas of local government:

parliamentary constituency: North West Cambridgeshire
unitary authority area: Peterborough City Council
unitary authority wards: Orton Waterville, Orton Longueville and Orton with Hampton
parishes: Orton Waterville, Orton Longueville (and an unparished area)

Further reading

New Listerner

Peterborough Telegraph


30th January

2nd February

Was there a Clerk of Works?

Oh!  Again.  Check out the last frame!

To the best of my knowledge Clerk of Works is currently not a role within the organisation structure of Peterborough City Council (I can’t find the role on their website). Happy as always to be corrected.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – FOI-14-0299 A1139 Fletton Parkway

Although it looks from this document as if there were “site supervision and clerk of works functions” identified, it is clear that one contractor to the council appointed another contractor to the contractor to perform the roles. This is not the same as having one qualified person on one’s own team and begs the question who the possibly qualified person was. Happy as always to be corrected.

If Clerk of Works is the role which secures budgetary control (see above video), why isn’t Morson (the contractor apparently covering the role) picking up 100% of the £4.5M cost overrun?  One way to establish the reason for this would be to subject the relevant contracts and subcontracts to scrutiny by a person competent in law of contract.

Personally, if I were the council I’d bring the role of Clerk of Works straight back in-house to establish and secure a clear line of responsibility and management.  A good properly qualified person in this role could save the city a fortune over time.  I know that breathtaking achievements (even if you only count the beans) are often made, quietly and without a brass band, by people doing this sort of job for other organisations.

Information on the history of the role of Clerk of Works within Peterborough City Council’s remit very welcome.



Mayor’s Charity Concert in Oundle Tonight

Irena Oundle thumbnail portrait

The Mayor’s Charity Concert begins at 7:45 tonight, Saturday January 17th at St. Peter’s Church Oundle.

The concert will showcase the talents of outstanding young performers, including previous winners of Oundle Young Musician of Year, Pianist Irena Radic & Cellist Ellen Porter and Daniel Dixon, 2014 Oundle Young Singer. A string quartet and wind ensemble from Oundle School will join the line up.

The programme will include lots of treats, including Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque.

The concert will help to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charities: CHAT Youth Counselling and Volunteer Action.

Tickets £10 & £5 (child) available online at

Mayor of Oundle's charities

The hidden history of wind power in Peterborough

airfix propellor screenshot

I am convinced that the design of wind turbines is still in its infancy.  Having said that, I don’t really understand why people are sometimes quite rabidly opposed to the air fix propellor on a stick model, which is doing such a great job all over Europe.  Yes they are very engineer-y.  Yes they are so clearly using technology used in the aircraft industry.  Yes, they are very very masculine and depending on where they are put they can be a little domineering.  But how could it be otherwise?  These are the soldiers: the vanguard of the wind generation revolution: these massive rotators fight to get the tiniest bit of political support, they are the machines which have to demonstrate massive power potential in locations remote from their own consumers.  They have not picked their territory: they are nobly fighting to secure a place in the same antiquated network model as the fossil and nuclear power generators we need to replace: not necessarily the ideal battle field for wind.  When you look at one of the larger structures you cannot fail to recognise the language of aeroplanes including their use in warfare: even if your awareness is purely instinctive or unconscious.  Perhaps that is part of the negativity they sometimes attract. Here they are in cheerful, colourful mode doing their bit to explain and defend the work of the wind energy industry (and attracting the usual derisory moans and grizzles).

But while this massive battle rages, delicate vertical axis models have been available for ages (look up VAWT ).  They have been quietly dancing, spinning curvaceously, unobtrusively, like wine glasses or a flimsy dress picking up the tiniest, the slightest breath of wind.  The delicacy of what they can do doesn’t always get as far as Youtube, where up-loaders succumb to the prevailing pressure to post videos showing how fast, rather than how slow they can go.  Here is one going pretty fast and working flat out for a Welsh school:

A decade ago I felt that the VAWTs might be the future, with their much more feminine profiles, greater potential to blend in and work quietly, more decoratively and much less obtrusively.  Unhampered by lurking military resonances.  Would they last longer, situated as they can be in much less exposed settings?  Would they prove more resilient?  They look good near trees and buildings and they work hard in community settings, right alongside the consumer of the power they generate, wasting much less in the grid.  I have wondered: would these smaller sideways turners be the future?  They certainly don’t seem to generate the same vituperative anti wind spin.  If they haven’t already caught your attention look up “vertical axis wind turbine” on Youtube.  You will find a huge international ideas festival of designs and the international community of people: engineers, technicians, artists… working on them, in their gardens, in their schools, in their workshops and factories.

Then there are the millions of people fascinated by the decorative potential of wind.

This isn’t a wind turbine: it is a moving sculpture and it talks maths, jellyfish and snowflakes.  It appeals to wind chime enthusiasts, garden designers.  But can you  imagine something like it gently turning on The Green Backyard and providing power? Or in one of Peterborough’s parks? Couldn’t something a little simpler go on your chimney? Couldn’t wind power look stunning?

Considering its location, the unitary authority area of Peterborough has astonishingly low levels of wind generated power.  Personally I assume this has to do with its politics.  It can’t be to do with its engineering skill base.  But did you know that Peterborough does have a well hidden history of wind turbine investigation, if not early adoption?  But it is so well hidden that you could be driven to wonder whether it might actually have been concealed.  You have to be in the know to have even found out that there is something to look for.  I know that someone tried and where it happened: but I only know a tiny bit about it, but it doesn’t make sense:  there isn’t a narrative which tells the story.   I am sure there must be more to it than I have been able to discover.  I also don’t know why this early attempt at wind power generation fell so early and failed to progress.  Who or what stopped it in its tracks?  Was it really just lack of money? Could that have been what scuppered it?  I for one don’t know what happened.  I am inviting you to share what you know with me privately using this form or publicly in the comments section: