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, 23 January 2014

News Roundup

Back to the News Roundup after two weeks. I might have to keep this interval going as I've recently started with the Scouts, helping to run a new Beavers group at Holy Trinity, and demands on my free time have gone up, sorry!

Did you see the clouds over Abbotts Barton on Tuesday? It looked like we were underwater! This cloud formation is called Undulatus:



City Council activities 


On Wednesday a political shift happened at the City Council when two councillors left the Conservatives and joined the Liberal Democrats: "this is a change from a Conservative administration with an overall majority of 1 to a minority Conservative administration with no overall control." (Winchester City Council press release.)

I guess all of us have by now received the proper bin calendar that the Council didn't want to do any more to save money, I wonder if this had anything to do with it: Council faces fierce criticism for Christmas rubbish collections. Fact is they paid for two print outs, first the alterations calendar and then the bin calendar. Where is the money saving in that?

The proposal notice for 20mph on various roads in Winchester. Representations received by 19 February.

Good news for the skaters: New skate park to open in Winchester despite controversial plans

This might come in handy next time when looking for that elusive change for the parking meter: Pay by Phone

Chesil Street Surface car park consultation - don't miss your chance to give your views on the future of the car park (until 3 February). This is important as there are voices arguing that it would make more sense to use St. Peter's car park for this, so the outcome of this consultation might affect people in Abbotts Barton more than first thought.

More on the new parking strategy: Winchester councillors criticise new parking plan

Hampshire Chronicle reported that Winchester fails to hit house-building target, Government figures show. This looks like the Council's reply: House-building in Winchester district on track.

These don't sound like affordable housing is included: Eleven new homes on site of former care home in Winchester / Work underway on £8m housing complex in Winchester.

Civic chiefs vote for affordable housing rent increase.


Hampshire County Council news


Council Tax freeze on the cards, but changes to way some services delivered.
More cuts loom at Hampshire County Council.
Community safety officers to be axed by Hampshire County Council.
£149 million school buildings investment in Hampshire.
Potholes - your questions answered.


Hospitals


Winchester health chiefs defend NHS shake-up plans for RHCH and are proposing for a new hospital north of Winchester. According to Kelsie Learney ‏on Twitter, "bets are on Bullington Cross - road links to Winchester/Andover & Basingstoke - they don't mean at the edge of Winchester".
Winchester hospital 'almost certain' to be downgraded in NHS shake-up.


Leisure Centre


Council boss rejects call for independent review of new leisure centre plan for Winchester.
Complaint over handling of River Park Leisure Centre contract.


Play areas


I don't know why we ever met to discuss the play area planned for Abbotts Walk, nothing seems to go the way we were told at the time. See the research done by one of the residents: PLAY TIME!


Environment


See talks and facts from WinACC/FoE meeting on traffic blight in the Winchester district.

Send low cost attention-grabbing ideas to raise awareness of WinACC and/climate change to sparkle@winacc.org.uk in time for their open meeting on 1 February and win a prize!

Saving money on your heating is good for the environment too. Here is another article about how you can do this, aimed at tenants: What can tenants do? Some good advice, also for owners.

The energy efficiency 'savings' that are just hot air - our bill certainly didn't come down after we had the cavity wall insulation done, but there might be other reasons for that. Rising energy prices would be one... Read to the very end, some good advice there!

Winchester public urged to consider green energy.


Things to do


Fancy seeing some lambs? Sparsholt College opens its doors as lambing season gets underway.

See the Great Nave in Winchester Cathedral without chairs, only until 6 Februray!

Epic 'living pictures' at Winchester Discovery Centre - "Red Saunders’ epic photographic tableaux vivants (‘living pictures’) recreate momentous but overlooked events from Britain’s struggle for democracy and equality".

Learn something about the 'neighbourhood': Ten historical facts you may not know about Southampton.



Please share our News Roundups with anybody who you believe might benefit from this information!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Councillor's Surgery

Here’s the latest news from the councillor’s surgery - which was last week Thursday. Apart from Lynne, there was a resident from Abbotts Walk in the surgery to raise an issue to do with their property and stayed to listen to the general update.

Council house development


While the Council is still planning to build houses at Hillier Way and also at one of the garage sites (we don't know which one), there won't much happening until the end of the year or later. Once architects have been chosen and done their designing, there will be a public exhibition somewhere for residents to have their say about the designs. This could be at the rugby club, but also at the Guildhall.

Abbotts Walk


A planning application about paving has been put in for Abbotts Walk which also includes a reference to the open space. Jim Maynard to find out what this says.

There no news about the Abbotts Walk play area. We are a bit concerned that the Redrow employee who the councillors used to deal with about this has just left, and so far there’s no replacement that they know of.

The drainage basin in Abbotts Walk was a small pond even before Christmas and now is a sizable one. It could be that it has been silted up by the building work, which also uses a lot of water, but is something to keep an eye on. We were assured it would not reach pond levels, merely becoming marshy.



Apparently Redrow maintain the land for 12 months after the building work has finished before handing the land to the Council so there won’t be a playground until after that has happened.  It seems the Council are now doing the playground. However, we are sure we were told in a meeting that it would be Redrow doing it and then they would hand it over to the Council after their 12 months of maintenance are up.

Goalposts


The council won’t put a second goalpost in to make a pitch because of the manhole cover, as they are concerned somebody might trip over it. Jim Maynard is going to have a look at it with Council officers. The Council are planning to consult on whether residents are concerned that the re-sited goal post is too far away from the playground area to be able to keep an eye on their children who are playing there, whilst also keeping an eye on their children who are in the playground.

Leisure Centre and recreation ground


The Council Leader is planning to use the input from the consultation on the four options. There will be a cabinet meeting in February (probably the one on 12 February) when they will decide whether the current centre can be refurbished or a new one is needed. Dominic Hiscock has been invited to join a group looking at the issue which is having a series of six meetings ending in July so there won’t be much happening in terms of building for a while yet.

Commuter parking


Commuters are parking at Abbotts Road, Courtney Road and Park Road now and the councillors are getting a lot of complaints. The process of implementing some form of controlled parking is going to start in the financial year beginning 14 May and will take at least a year.

Road safety


Lynne updated Jim Maynard and Dominic Hiscock about the changes to the Worthy Road, they are going to contact Fiona Mathers.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

News Roundup

Hello everyone, I hope you had a good festive season! All my best wishes for you and may 2014 treat you well!

Here is our first News Roundup for this year, I hope it's not too long - after all it's been almost a month since the last one. To start you off, here are some reviews of 2013:

Guardian: Turned out nice: hot summer makes it a vintage year for wildlife across the UK
Hampshire Chronicle: January to March / April to June / July to September (I can't find one for Oct - Dec)

And something all of us knew already: Winchester hits top ten list of places to live in the UK

As for the weather, I found this article in Winchester Today very useful: Flooding in Winchester and Hampshire - Advice


Council activities


This month's Councillor's Surgery is actually TODAY, a week later than usual. Anybody interested in coming along?

There are still revised bin collections this week due to Christmas and New Year. If you are on the Thursday rota then your bin will be collected tomorrow (Friday), if not, find when your bin will be collected. By the way, I've come across "Southampton praised for weekly bin collections" and am wondering what the big deal is? I'm very happy with the fortnightly service, what's your opinion?

I finally found some time to look at some WCC meeting notes. The last Cabinet meeting (4 December) was an interesting one, at least considering the meeting minutes: City Councillors talked about the changes made to the Winchester District Community Strategy based on the consultation they did, about the Car Parking Strategy, the Station Approach project, CIL and section 106 charges, the project to change the election area boundaries and the election cycle, and some other items.
On that note, I've noticed that this month's cabinet meeting has been cancelled: "It has been agreed with the Chairman that as there are no items that are required to be considered by Cabinet at this time, this meeting be cancelled." I've updated our Facebook event list accordingly.

WCC: "Great Hall and Queen Eleanor’s Garden is closed to the public for 6 weeks until Saturday 15 Feb 2014 for refurbishment."

In December the design for Winchester’s outdoor events space was announced: "The portable events space will be available for use for free by community organisations from across the district for a variety of uses from outdoor theatre to exhibitions, and from concerts to rallies. The events space should be available from late spring 2014."

I don't get it, new dwellings to be build and none of them are supposed to be affordable? Winchester councillors unhappy at developer payments

£320m doled out across South East as part of New Homes Bonus / Winchester City Council set to receive £2m for new homes - and the councils don't have to spend this money on new houses.

The creation of the new "super school" (Westgate) is on its way:  Winchester school celebrates opening of new day nursery

Silver Hill development expected to see New Year planning application

Deadline for Winchester's Annual Councillor Achievement Awards looms - "Wintonians still have a chance to vote for their favourite councillor. The deadline for 2014 Annual Councillor Achievement Awards has been extended to Friday, January 17." Hm...

Hampshire Furniture Reuse Network: New scheme helps struggling Hampshire families find furniture and white goods

Make one small swap to your everyday food and drink to help you eat more healthily. Find out about Smart Swaps: 'Smart Swaps' for you this January in Hampshire


Politics


Do you know about National Health Action? A political party set up by doctors!

What actually happened with the pay rise for MPs? I lost track: Winchester MP Steve Brine silent over big pay rise

Might have shared this one before: “British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows”. Scary!

Many seem(ed) to be unhappy with their services: Serco to lose out-of-hours GP services and hospital management contracts


Leisure Centre


As you might remember, in November Save The Rec arranged a meeting about the City's Leisure Centre consultation. On 12 December they tweeted "News leaking of MASSIVE rejection of 4 consultation options. 100s want rebuild on same site or big new facility at Bar End. Will WCC listen?" On 20 December Save the Parks commented on the results (comments posted here by WCC): "Consultation results in! WCC has skewed its presentation to conceal massive rejection of building on green space." "Shock! WinchesterCity aggressively and contemptuously highlights when a respondent is from a Hyde postcode. Despises local opinion." "From the start, WinchesterCity determined not to consider the value of the park to the community. It is a 'leisure centre project' only."

The Telegraph had this to say: The threat to Winchester's green space should be a wake-up call for us all


Environment


Traffic blight, what can we do? WinACC hold meeting on 14 January.

Andrew Motion is coming to Winchester on Feb 27 for the Campaign to Protect Rural England to speak about importance of preserving rural landscapes.

Green spaces deliver lasting mental health benefits – finds a major new study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology.

WinAcc: The facts about your fuel bill

Solar farm wins approval - but what's so bad about these panels being visible? They are a lot more attractive than a monster coal energy plant...

Bullington Cross: Steve Brine and MoD object to Bullington Cross wind turbine plan.

Amazing maps: The total area of solar panels it would take to power the world

Britain's wild weather: the silver linings in dark clouds - "Heavy rains, tidal surges and storms aren't just uniformly bad for the nation – they do some good too"


Roads


Plans to go to Marwell Wildlife? Take note: Long delays due to roadworks in Colden Common

Let's hope these spread: Government approves low-level lights to boost cyclists’ safety


Safety


Dangerous children's hats seized over strangulation fears


Community


Get involved at WinACC, there are many different activities you could help out with, for example delivering leaflets.

I didn't have time to delve into this but it looks interesting: mycommunityrights.org.uk

Has your child ever lost their cuddly toy? Good advice: add a tag with your phone number to it. There is also a website called Teddy Bear Cuddly Toy Lost and Found which might help!

What a great campaign (sorry, if I repeat myself): Toys not just for boys: parents help cut down sexist signs in high-street shops


Things to do


The Wildlife Trusts: Make a windowbox wild patch & learn about ecology. Family activity for Christmas holidays & beyond!

A wild time with the Wildlife Trust: "There are several groups in Hampshire for children of all ages to get involved and discover nature, from bat detecting to making mud pies, so find your local group details on our website hiwwt.org.uk and start enjoying some ‘wild time’."

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Monthly Round Robin

Want to be outside and do something useful: Volunteers needed for woodland tidy-up at Sparsholt.

And after all this, I'll admit I've always been quite an indoors person but apparently "74% of kids say that schools aren't using the outdoors enough - kids want more ‪#‎wildtime‬!"

New yoga classes for Winchester

King Alf tweeted: "There is soon to be a new exhibition at Winchester Discovery Centre – and it features yours truly! You are royally required to visit!" - Kings, Saints and Servants

Very handy online guides:
What's on at Winchester Discovery Centre / Theatre Royal Winchester Spring 2014


Eating out


In December there were some rumours about Jamie Oliver's restaurant closing, I haven't heard anything more about it since: Jamie Oliver jacks in his pizza restaurants: Celebrity chefs shuts four branches / Future unsure for Jamie Oliver restaurant in Hampshire


Photo quiz


Who knows where this is? Sorry, no prizes to win!



Have a good week, all!