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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If you want to receive news (approximately monthly) from the Community Group about Abbotts Barton, please enter your name and email address below:

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Worthy Road speed control measures and other County matters

Hi everyone,  Lynne from Abbotts Barton Community Group here. Earlier in December, I had a meeting with Fiona Mather, the County Councillor, to find out what is going on in the area.  The most crucial thing is that a crossing for the Worthy Road is under consideration and one of the things that will determine whether or where it goes ahead is evidence of local demand. So now is the time to email Fiona.mather@hants.gov.uk if you want a crossing stating why you want one (for example: I cross every day with two children on scooters, an elderly Aunt etc.) and where. Spread the word!  One email with a number of people’s names and email addresses on it is useful as then Fiona can demonstrate there is demand without having to flood the Council Officers’ inboxes or write a letter and get your neighbours to sign it. Or if that sounds too tricky just send an email yourself.  This week would be handy but if not as soon as you can.

There are however going to be some new signs and road markings on the Worthy Road, these are:


  • new 'frail/infirm pedestrians' warning signs on approaches to Abbots Barton Nursing Home + new SLOW road markings
  • enhanced 30/40 speed limit signs on backing boards where speed limit changes north of Stoke Road + red pad surface alongside with painted 30 roundel
  • replace existing 'frail/infirm' and 'side road ahead' warning signs further north throughout route with enhanced signs on backing boards + new SLOW markings
  • some redundant signs will be removed as part of the above works.


The road markings are weather dependent but the Council are anticipating that the new signs should be in place early in the new year.

The 20 mph zones are to go ahead following a recent public consultation. The next stage is the statutory consultation which involves putting the orange signs up, but this is largely a formality. The plan is that the zones will be in place in Stanmore, Winnall and Highcliffe by the end of March and the rest of the areas will go ahead in the summer. This includes Hyde but not Abbotts Barton.

Other items we discussed were ‘Give Way’ lines for the junction between Francis Gardens and the new Abbotts Walk development as there appears to be some confusion there with cars pulling straight out of the new estate and railings next to the Worthy Road at the top of the Francis Gardens alleyway, similar to the ones at the top of the alleyway from Knight Close. Finally Winchester City Museum service has been merged with Hampshire County Council museums and the assets leased to an independent trust for 25 years. This means they are able to bid for private funding and it is hoped that they will be less at risk from cuts. Museums are not a statutory requirement so when central government funding to local governments is cut they can be seen as an easy target.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

News Roundup

Hello everybody, as we are nearing Christmas life is getting more hectic. I will keep posting on Facebook and Twitter as I find time but this will be the last News Roundup blog post/email for this year! Let me use this opportunity and wish you all very merry Christmas and also a wonderful 2014!

Council activities


Winchester City Council has announced that there will be no more district-wide distribution of waste collection calendars. Every resident is supposed to receive a brief summary showing the collection day changes for 2013/14 but if they wish, residents can also obtain a full annual waste collection calendar in two ways:


Even if it's money saving, I'm not entirely certain this idea serves the voters well: Winchester civic chiefs poised to review elections.


Sorry to be so negative, but is this another consultation fiasco in the making? Winchester Station Approach report set to spark interest from developers.

Yes, what to build where... Locals strongly oppose proposal of elderly care flats in Chesil Street.

So no conversion of Avalon House into much needed flats: Winchester's largest empty offices set to be re-let after five years

Council changes threatens future of Winchester Area Community Action (WACA). It would be a shame if their services would be destabilised.

Like to save money on your energy bills? Switch Hampshire could find you a better deal.

Aha, M&S want to open another shop but Winchester planners urged to reject M&S food store plans.

Winchester City Council is going to offer a new programme, starting January 2014: "The MEND programme (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition...Do It!) provides families with fun, interactive group sessions that promote healthy lifestyles, and address issues arising from being overweight."

Community


Winchester Nightshelter: "URGENT APPEAL FOR GLOVES - we desperately need warm gloves for our residents. Call 01962 862050 to donate."

Safety


Unbelievable how some people are making their money: Hampshire MP appealing to pensioners to ignore offers from Internet company. The same kind of con exists for the EHIC (European Health Insurance Cards).

Environment


From the marine conservation society: voice your support for the introduction of the 5p plastic bag charge to protect the environment by December 20th!

WinACC and Friends of the Earth collected some information in regards to Fracking: WinACC/FoE Fracking meeting questions and answers.

WinACC "was delighted that demand was so high for our free Green Deal assessments. Sadly, the money has been used up, so unless you are already on our list, an assessment and report from Solent Green Deal costs £150. If you take out a Green Deal loan this charge will be covered by the loan or grant."

Friends of the Earth have "created almost 80 bee-friendly spaces through our Bee Worlds project this year! Smashing our initial target of 60." Can we have something like this here in Abbotts Barton? Ideas and champion needed!

Things to do


Are you familiar with the King Alfred buses? This year's Winchester bus day to be the last on New Year's Day - but don't worry, they want to set up something new.

And the Christmas Market is suffering from its own success: Winchester faces overcrowding problems with success of Christmas market.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Councillor's Surgery

Today we were three, Sarah, Jane and I (Sylke) went to the St. Bartholomew Councillor's Surgery (first Thursday of every month, 7:30-8:30pm at Hyde Parish Hall). Jim Maynard was there to talk to us.

Again, there wasn't a lot to talk about, so here is the short summary:

Play areas


As you will have seen from the last News Roundup, one of our new goalposts has appeared and the old one was taken away. Councillor Maynard assured us that a second new one will be put up. Apparently the council officers aren't quite certain where to put the second one as the old one seemed so far away from the new one when they put it up and they want to find out from the community where the other one should go. Oh and there is also the manhole cover slightly in the way. Let's see how this progresses.

We mentioned again that we would also like some picnic benches in the park, near the playground but not on it.

As for the play area planned for Abbotts Walk nothing will happen before the houses are finished. According to Councillor Maynard a consultation is planned on what should go in the green area.

Road safety


We mentioned that Lynne is trying to get people to write in to HCC/Fiona Mather on the topic of a crossing for Worthy Road, and Sarah explained that it was getting harder and harder to navigate safely as a driver through Park Road due to the parked cars there. Councillor Maynard explained that while it might not seem safe with parked vehicles obstructing your view, at least people are going slower due to fact that it is hard to navigate. If the road had double yellow lines everywhere the empty path creates an illusion of safety for drivers and makes them drive faster. While this is true, we believe the situation needs to be watched as if it gets any worse, it would become really hard to get through. A similar observation was made for Hyde Street and Councillor Maynard said it would probably be a good thing to not allow parking in front of the traffic lights at North Walls.

Apparently at some point residents of those areas in Abbotts Barton with the new parking restrictions will be asked by the council how the new system is working out. As far as I'm concerned, it's working brilliantly - crossing the roads with children seems to be so much safer now that we can actually see the road as there are fewer cars blocking the view lines!

Take note, the next Councillor's Surgery will be on Thursday 9 January December 2014 (not on the first Thursday)!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

News Roundup

As always just minutes after I had published last week's News Roundup something came up that I would have loved to include: we got a brand new second goalpost in our park! Thank you, Jane, for pursuing this for such a long time!


The new goalpost seemed to be miles away from the old one which got steadied by some workmen a little later. We thought that was it. However, this very morning I noticed that the old goalpost has disappeared, so are we getting a second new one after all? 

Anyway, December has started and with it came the first Advent Sunday. In Germany we traditionally have wreaths on our tables with four candles, one more being lighted every Advent Sunday, until all four are lighted together on the last Sunday. This is a great way for the children to count down the weeks until Christmas. As I found a decent wreath on the Saturday beforehand, here is my first ever attempt at making one for our house:


Slightly earlier that week we had the Winchester lantern parade (the Hampshire Chronicle article has great pictures but here is a fantastic one!) which also ties in with the Advent period.

Another German custom is Nikolaus! On the evening of 5 December (today!) children take their cleanest pair of shoes and put them onto the window sill in their bedroom. Over night Nikolaus (=Santa Claus - who is different from Father Christmas!) will arrive and leave some fruit and sweets and if the children are lucky also some small presents. So on the morning of 6 December there is a lot of excitement in the house when the children discover what Nikolaus has left for them. In a way this custom is quite close to what is done over here at Christmas time, with the stockings waiting to be filled over night. Only that the children in Germany get both, as the Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas) is also going to pay them a visit on the evening of 24 December.

Oh yes, if you should be short of ideas for Christmas presents: Instead of buying your child a boring old iPad for Christmas, get them a stick!


Riverpark Leisure Centre


The consultation period for the Leisure Centre plans has now finished, I hope many people have used the opportunity to let the council know their opinion on the presented options.

Here is one more article that was published about the open Save the Rec meeting: Winchester meeting hears leisure centre options withheld from public consultation

There were a number of interesting tweets from Save the Parks: 
"Council admits that the 'strip' of lost green space shown in footprint drawings for Option 2 is LOWEST ESTIMATE. No architect work done yet!"
"… 'To get anything decent', they said, 'you'd need to take up much more space'. How much? 'We don't know. We haven't got drawings.'"
"Overheard at the Guildhall: Winchester resident: 'I don't know which to choose!' Council officer: 'Well, Option 2 seems best… Here's a pen.'"
If you haven't had a chance to have your say, I'd say there is nothing stopping you from still writing in.


Council activities


On Monday I spotted that a notice had been put up at a sign post at Nun's Walk, so work will be done there, the question is just when... 

 


You might have been wondering when the annual bin calendar is going to arrive, well, it seems it's not - unless you call and request it to be sent to you! Alternatively you will be able to download a version from the the Working Together website. (WCC press release / Hampshire Chronicle article)




And here is a whole bunch of Hampshire Chronicle articles:


Environment



'Government plan to cut energy efficiency scheme "unforgivably perverse"', says govt's own fuel poverty advisor: Britain's damp, leaky homes among Europe's most costly to heat.


Here in Winchester: Lib Dems attack fracking report!

Something to consider: Tell your MP: No more UK coal!



Safety


For the latest information on recalled products, keep this link on your favourites list: Product recalls - Trading Standards Institute.


Community


Have you ever heard of the Winchester Residents Association? I'm sure people who lived here longer must have but during the last years there wasn't much about them and now they seem to be ready to break up: Winchester residents' group set to close.


Things to do


Why not go for a walk on the newly named Viaduct Way and check out the new features there? There is a great set of photos of the new benches on the WCC page on Facebook.


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Oh, yes, today we have December's Councillor's Surgery! Anybody going? :)

Let's get a safer crossing for Worthy Road!

Here is a message from Lynne:

I had a meeting with Fiona Mathers our County Councillor this week. The Council have money from the Barton Farm development to spend on road crossings. One of the places being considered is the Worthy Road!  Fiona needs to demonstrate that there is local demand for the crossing and also where people would like the crossing to be.

Please could you take a moment to email Fiona on fiona.mather@hants.gov.uk?

A couple of lines is enough, just saying why you would like a crossing (traffic is very fast, children crossing to primary/secondary school, dangerous for elderly people etc.) and if you have a preference where you would like the crossing to be.  Please also put your full postal address in the email.

I’ve also attached a petition with space for seven names.  Please would you consider printing it off and taking it round your neighbours?

Finally if you could forward this information by email but also to people in Abbotts Barton who aren’t on the internet or don't have email that would be great.

The Council did a count of people crossing the road earlier this year and concluded there wasn’t enough demand to justify using Council funds. The Barton Farm money is a one off opportunity to get the crossing and they are making the decisions at the moment!

Any questions please contact us!

Note: Please download the petition document for proper viewing and printing - it doesn't look the way it should when you view it through your web browser!