Welcome


This website has been created for the residents of Abbotts Barton and surrounding areas so that you can keep up to-date with what's going on.

Apart from news you can find information about events, campaigns, and how to contact councillors.

Abbotts Barton Community Group is a community association which serves the people of Abbotts Barton and aims to act as a community anchor organisation. The main areas of work for the Group are:
  • ☐ To enable residents to find out how we can make where we live even better and do something about it.
  • ☐ To run events and activities for the benefit of inhabitants of Abbotts Barton.
  • ☐ To strengthen community participation.

Big Lunch 2014
We always welcome people to join us, it's easy and free and there is no obligation to do anything! Please see our Membership page for more info!

If you should be interested in helping out at events, as a street champion, or as a Councillor's Surgery visitor, please don't hesitate to get in touch! Also let us know if you have some ideas for events or skills that could be useful (e.g. face painting at the picnics)! Read more about how you can help on our Get Involved page!

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Thursday, 21 November 2013

News roundup

So the cold has finally caught up with us! Of course there is the usual scaremongering going on in the papers with predictions of snow. Yes, hide now, SNOW! If you are not scared too easily and want a laugh, have a read of this one: Britain to be hit by entirely typical weather!

Nevertheless, I have to remind myself that I need to start every car journey about five to ten minutes earlier, simply to get rid of the condensation in the car, to be able to see things. Here is some more good advice from ROMANSE online: Safety tips for driving in snow and ice. It's all about PREPARATION.

On that note, maybe we should all crotchet some stylish nose warmers?


Council activities


There will be a Winchester Town Forum meeting on 27 November (agenda items). If you are curious what the WTForum is spending money on, have a look at the file WTF 195 (part of the meeting agenda, see link); most of the money is spent on Recreation Grounds & Open Spaces. The other interesting part is what groups grants are being given to.

The way things always sound in the papers, you wouldn't expect that there are only four council tenants in Winchester who are affected by the benefits cap! I've found this piece of info in the PDF belonging to business item 8 of the upcoming Cabinet (Housing) committee meeting on 28 November (agenda items).

This is an interesting one, I wasn't aware that they want to use as few signs as possible on the new Andover Road route through the Barton Farm site: Councillors safety fears for Barton Farm. I've read about a German town just recently where they got rid of ALL road signs and traffic lights and managed to calm down traffic so much, that as a pedestrian you can step onto the road at any time without being run over. And still the traffic is flowing apparently. I think this works well when it's done properly but it might lead to problems when there is just a pocket of less traffic signs and drivers still behave like they are the kings of the roads because they don't understand what's going on. One thing is certain in my opinion; as soon as there will be the first accident the signs will be put up at Barton Farm.

For anybody who needs to drive into Winchester city centre, be aware that parts of Friarsgate car park in Winchester closed over safety fears.

Into cycling? Winchester South Park and Ride Cycle Track opens.


Riverpark Leisure Centre


According to Hampshire Chronicle River Park expansion proposals eroding public trust, claim councillors.

SaveTheRec was asking on Twitter: "Is the River Park exhibition a real consultation or fig leaf for WCC's 'preferred option' to build on playing fields?" What do you think?

Further, SavetheRec are asking a number of questions why the council seems to be so set on building on the green despite going through a consultation. The answers seem to be that there is a difficult contract DC Leisure and also that it is simply the easiest solution for the council. On top of that the council has not yet done any meaningful research in how much the different options would actually cost - so how can we come to a well informed conclusion on what would be the best option?

Saying that, have you been to the exhibition about the Leisure Centre plans yet? It's running until Monday 2 December and whatever your opinion on the plans is, I believe that we should use any and all chances we have to influence the politicians that have been voted into power by us. If you shouldn't have a chance to get to any of the exhibition venues, you can also find the Leisure Centre plans online - and there is also an online form that you can use to make your voice heard!

Winchester Action on Climate Change also posted a response to consultation on replacement of the River Park Leisure Centre.

Something more upbeat: here's a new version of the Save The Rec song, now with children's choir.


Community


Winchester Nightshelter: "Items most needed for the cold weather: warm hats, gloves, socks, scarves, blankets."

Someone seeing you pick up a piece of litter might just inspire that person to do the same.


Health Care


Hampshire Chronicles reported about plans for the hospitals in Winchester: Future of Winchester maternity unit under spotlight and Health bosses want your views on hospital shake-up, consultation ends on 30 November. Health chiefs will then draw up proposals for formal public consultation. Please fill out the the full (or a shorter) survey to make your views known! And of course NHS chiefs defend plans which could see Winchester maternity services downgraded.


Environment


Friends of the Earth are not happy with HCC's stand on things: Hampshire County Council accused of towing Government line in fracking row. And: didn't the fracking companies say themselves that costwise this will make no difference for the end user?

I am much more in favour of these schemes even though some people think they don't look good:
Bid for huge solar farm near Winchester given the green light
Winchester planners back wind mast on proposed 14-turbine site at Bullington Cross

Worrying: England's parks and open spaces have lost £75m in cuts since 2010! And "a coalition of 41 UK environment groups warns that the Government is failing to deliver nearly a third of its natural environment commitments, despite huge public support for action for nature, wildlife and the countryside."


Safety


Are your smoke alarms working? Remember to replace the batteries in your smoke alarm once a year. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have all the advice needed!


Things to do


Today! Christmas Market and Ice Rink Opening Ceremony, at 6:30pm! Did you know you could do a Christmas twilight tower tour at Winchester Cathedral?

Winchester celebrates new arrival at Marwell Wildlife - I know it's cold, but the animals are still there! And who wouldn't like to see the anteater baby? :)

Something completely different: Knights in shining armour battle on Southampton Common

It looks like there will be great benches at Hockley Viaduct!  I'm sure the children will just love it and no doubt want to play trains on it - no chance for the grown-ups to sit down... ;)



Opinion


Finally, what do you think? Too much, too young: Should schooling start at age 7? As a foreigner from a country where school starts at the age of six I wasn't too happy to send my son to school at four. He was definitely to young for some of it (and I made him stay at home on some days as long as I could), but in other areas he definitely benefited. What's your experience?

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