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No 34: December 2012

Published by Rothay House, Mayfield Road, Eastrea.

Eastrea Village News SANTA’S SLEIGH MEMBERS of the Village Hall committee joined the volunteers from Whittlesey Round Table for the annual door-to-door procession with Santa Claus. This wellknown local charity has awarded a grant towards equipment for the Eastrea Centre, and the members offered to join in with the door-to-door collections. The float, which calls every year to Eastrea, is one of the most successful fundraising events in the calendar. Among those volunteering this year were two Eastrea teenagers, Tegan Green and George Nutt.

THANKS TO CAMBRIDGESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL?? THE EASTREA Village Hall Trust has begun to feel that they are taking part in one of those Grand Designs TV programmes on Channel Four. The stories of unexpected building delays, strange production problems, and now roadworks, are all starting to ring true. Excavation work on the A605 for our main sewer connection was well under way when it was stopped in its tracks — by order of Cambridgeshire County Council Highways Department. In November our main sewer connection had been excavated down some 4 metres (over 13 feet) when further work became necessary because of the heavy rainfall. The gravelly subsoil had become unstable, so extra pumping work was going to be needed. But the County Council had imposed a ban on all work on roads feeding Peterborough and Cambridge for the whole of December. There was no chance of an extension, and as a result, the excavation had to be completely refilled with the same earth (and then topped with asphalt). Email: mail@eastrea.net

It will have to be dug out again, with the work starting in January 2013. Elsewhere, Council road work is being allowed. The A1123 near St Ives at Whitton Junction has been dug up and traffic is being halted. You could argue that the road does not directly feed a major city, though that does not explain work continuing on the Peterborough Parkway, the A1139, which is stopping traffic at the Boongate junction, causing dangerous city tailbacks. This month the Village Hall Trust has finally received the agreed County Council contract for the building of Roman Gardens, our new access road. The wording had to be changed to protect the Trust but even now it contains a dozen legal errors. It took two years for this document to be finalised — and it’s still full of mistakes. The Trust manages to work without delays or making errors like this. Unlike the Highways Department, the Trust is made up of volunteers. If committee members made mistakes like that, they’d be asked to leave. However, if you happen to be a a well-paid County Council official, then it doesn’t seem to matter!


DO YOU LIKE THESE WALLS?

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WITH THE NEED to conserve our costs, the new Eastrea Centre was designed to have an interior finish of white finished concrete blocks (right). These would characterise the interior of the main hall and all public areas, including the meeting room, hallway, toilets and foyer. Do you like them? No? We didn’t either. The view of the Trust (which reflects comments from residents) is that a smooth and plastered finish would look far better. This would also help to absorb echoes, be stronger and less liable to damage, and give a far more luxurious look to the building. Our developers agree, and have decided to give us smooth plaster walls for all public rooms and at no extra cost to the Trust.

DO YOU LIKE STRUTS? TRUSSES ARE USED to strengthen a steel beam roof (left). Most such modern buildings have a network of transverse beams of this sort — but we don’t like them. Eastrea residents also don’t want them. So the new village hall has been designed without them. Our resin-coated steel beams are far stronger than many, and specially designed shoulders have been installed to prevent the roof from flexing. During November, work on installing the roofing panels continued, and — even though work was delayed by the weather — the panels were all fixed before December.

ILLEGAL JARS DO YOU MAKE jam that you can sell to raise money for charity? If you use recycled jam-jars you could now be fined £5,000 — because you would be breaking the law. Believe it or not, the Food Standards Agency say that only newly purchased jam-jars can be used. This way of recycling clean glass jars is against EU Health and Safety law. Laws against using dirty food already exist, and meanwhile the EU is keen for us to feel closer to Europe while spending millions encouraging us to recycle. Happy New Year, Brussels. Email: mail@eastrea.net

(ABOVE) Eastrea Village Hall trustee Gareth Prentice and digital expert Martin Brunning discussing the cat-6 and cat-5 plus coaxial cables which will terminate in euro-modules and RG-45 patch panels with a DMX desk in the control room for selecting ambient lighting presets. Not sure what it all means? Neither are we. That’s why we are so glad that we can rely on Gareth and Martin.

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