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 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


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


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"


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


Dangerous children's hats seized over strangulation fears


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!

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