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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Sunday, 30 March 2014

News Roundup

What a pleasant Sunday so far! After a trip into town earlier, I am now looking forward to having some nice beer from today's Winchester Farmers' Market:



Don't forget, it's Councillor's Surgery for our ward this Thursday (7:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Hyde Parish Hall).

Council activities


The Transport Consultation ends tomorrow! Bus services and Hythe Ferry under threat as Hampshire County Council bids to slash £1.5m from budget.

The Local Plan 2 consultation is still open until 4 April, information and a comment form are available on the WCC website. Winchester campaigners urge caution over new housing location.

Part of Winchester city centre could be subject to major redevelopment - near the station.

I get the feeling 'consultations' should be called 'presentations' - as Council and residents don't seem to be having the same understanding of what is meant by the term: Residents hear results of Chesil Street surface car park development survey.

You've probably heard by now: Rob Humby to take over as conservative leader.

Winchester tax-payers could foot bill after city council mistake - how did this happen?!

Over the last three days the Council held a public exhibition about the Silver Hill Project. If you couldn't make it, you can still look at the exhibition information online!

Some information from Hantsweb: What happens to our recycling?

Hampshire County Council begin 'massive operation' to repair flood-damaged roads.

Residents left baffled after Winchester City Council moves charity bins - will this happen all over Winchester?


Other local news


A great BBC School Report about how the flooding affected St. Bede's school. Lots of well known faces!
St. Bede's also made the local headlines by getting an award for being eco-friendly!

Senior managers go in revamp of Winchester charity group WACA.


Public Health


Public meeting hears more on plans for new hospital between Winchester And Basingstoke

A couple of days ago the NHSdirect website was closed (saying that it will be closing 31 March!).


Environment


Winchester Friends of the Earth are running an Air Quality Protest Event on 4 April at 2pm, saying that a lot more could be done to make Winchester a healthier place to live.

More information about WinACC's climate change meeting earlier this month: Zero carbon Britain in 15 years.

Want to help with Hampshire's Big Clean Up in June? Contact Winchester Litterpickers.

Wildlife charities' fears over fracking in Hampshire. And Government survey reveals huge support for windfarms compared to fracking.

Do we need to return to a drinks container deposit scheme in the UK? Petition here if you think so.


General News


New Government scheme sparks debate over toddler education.

Are there any other EU citizens living here in Abbotts Barton? Be sure to register for European Elections this May! If you're a UK based EU citizen you can vote here, registration deadline is 6 May!

Keep your home safe: Hampshire Police are saying "Burglars do it by hook or by crook. If you have a UPVC door, lift the handle and turn the key!" (And definitely don't leave the key in the lock on the outside - my specialty it seems.) Here is a Burglary crime prevention video.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

News Roundup

Another two weeks and things have turned around! The flood waters are still receding, all St Bede's children are back in their school, and the dirty playground near the Leisure Centre has been cleaned and re-opened. Just in time for the sunshine!



Council activities and consultations


As money needs to be saved HCC is doing a consultation (until 31 March) on how BUS SERVICES are used and some of them might be cut down or replaced by other means. On the list of subsidised services is also our local 6A bus and the Spring service. Please make sure to have your say using the online consultation form to be found on their information page.
Important: as many of our neighbours don't have any internet, please let them know what is going on - and if you can either print out the PDF version of the form for them or let them contact our local ward councillors to get a copy of the form from them. The completed form can be sent back to HCC by post (all information needed is in the PDF file).

On the Local Plan 2 consultation there is some food for thought on the WinACC website. WinACC and City of Winchester Trust are campaigning together as Winchester 2020 and are calling for a debate on Winchester's future. The Local Plan 2 consultation is still open until 4 April, information and a comment form are available on the WCC website.

We are in the final week to state our preference for City Council elections; election by thirds or whole council (all out) system. It takes 30 seconds to vote! Please have a think about this if you haven't done so yet!

If you haven't seen it yet and have a smartphone, there is a great little app for reporting things like missed bins, fly tipping, road problems, finding your local councillors, and other useful information: a link to this app can be found on the WCC Report webpage. I've recently used it to report some rubbish that somebody tipped near the Rugby Club and it was cleared away within two days!

Public Health


About the new hospital to be built: MP Brine has 'anxiety' about hospital downgrade plans

General News


The Open Spaces Society is urging councils to save open spaces! There are steps that can be taken if the councils WANT to save them!

A hundred people at climate change meeting in Winchester. The article only focusses on how we should change our eating habits, but from a previous one announcing the meeting I got the impression that more should have been discussed. Has anybody been there and could enlighten us?

HCC is facing huge costs for repairs to the roads damaged by the flooding!

Southampton Airport could get a longer runway - this would affect us too!

Not new but reaffirmed: Winchester and Southampton among countries most expensive cities

Have you been exasperated by the boy/girl divide in toys and books that seems to have got more and more fashionable over the last decade? After the Let Toys Be Toys campaign there is now also a Let Books Be Books one. I'm so glad that some toy shops and book publishers have already been seeing some sense and are making changes. I am supporting this because I once saw my little boy looking at craft items in a toy shop that were decorated the 'wrong' way (to make them look appealing for girls) and he felt it wasn't for him because of that - already having soaked up the stereotypes of pink is for girls and blue for boys. I myself played with cars and Lego as a child and never thought they were for boys only. Toys are for children and they should be able to choose what interests them!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Councillor's Surgery Visit

Lynne was at the Councillor's Surgery on Thursday and talked to Dominic Hiscock and Jim Maynard, two of our local ward City Councillors. Here is her report:

Road Safety - Worthy Road crossings


Dominic Hiscock is part of a joint City Council and County Council group looking at pedestrian routes across the city. Fiona Mathers (our County Councillor at WCC) is part of that group too. They're trying to get two pedestrian crossings installed on Worthy Road. The group is due to draw its conclusions soon. I updated Dominic Hiscock and Jim Maynard about the petitions and emails I'd organised; they're going to put the crossing on their next 'Street focus' with an option for people to say they want it.

Local Plan 2 consultation


Jim Maynard offered to get us the PDFs of the display boards from 1 March - and details of the station development (however at this stage it will just be percentages of land for commercial, residential, etc. use). If anybody is interested to look at the files from the consultation on 1 March, they are on the WCC website.

Jim Maynard explained that the areas marked in pink (in the Winchester Town Exhibition Boards) were areas that the land owners had offered to the Council to build on. For the pink areas WITHIN the building line of the city the presumption is that they are to be built on, for those OUTSIDE of that line the presumption is they won't, particularly bearing in mind that the city has identified the land needed for new houses (under current requirements) until 2025. The detail in the online PDFs isn't great but the councillors thought that in Abbotts Barton Hillier Way was pink and also possibly Dyson Drive. Even if Dyson Drive is pink, then there are still only plans to build on Hillier Way and the garages opposite the green. There is no known progress on those. The pink areas beyond Abbotts Walk are beyond the building line of the city, so they should not be built on. I still think it's a bit scary that the owners want to sell them.

Community


As the Community Group is still without a space to do group meetings, we discussed the number of underused community buildings that are in the Abbotts Barton area e.g. the Football Club building and the Air Cadet hut.

Road Safety - 20mph project


The plan is for 20mph zones to be rolled out to rest of city 'if they're successful'.  There is currently no timeframe so this might take a while.


The next Councillor's Surgery will be on Thursday 3 April!

Saturday, 1 March 2014

News Roundup

Aren't we all glad to see the flood water receding? Things are slowly returning to normal, it even looks like the St Bede's school children might all be back in their school by the end of the coming week. Hooray! I am not going to reproduce the countless articles and news videos I published on Facebook and Twitter over the last weeks as I am assuming most of you will have followed the developments via TV/radio, newspapers or other web sources. I think most notable for me were these actions: the idea of slowing down the River Itchen near Easton which really seems to have brought some relief for Winchester, the temporary road that was built to allow traffic to continue on Andover Road, and the flood barrier built in Park Avenue. Undoubtedly a lot of work for the Council - let's hope they put in place some updated contingency plans for the next flood!

Over the last days we had communications with WCC and one of our ward councillors (Dominic Hiscock) about the playground near the leisure centre which has by now mostly emerged from the flood waters. I asked whether it had been cleaned (not actually knowing whether the water had gone totally) and was told, yes. Unfortunately this was not right, and after pointing out that the place is filthy (and we don't actually know whether the flood water was contaminated or not), it was decided that it should be closed to the public until the grounds have been cleared of debris and washed properly. See for yourselves:

 

 


Upcoming events


6 March: Councillor's Surgery
12 March: Winchester Town Forum Meeting
19 March: Winchester Cabinet meeting

Council activities


Today we had the St Bartholomew Ward Local Plan Part 2 drop-in meeting at the Discovery Centre. I went to take a look as big information boards are sometimes easier to take in than the same information on a small PC screen, plus there were people to talk to. If you couldn't make it, don't worry the consultation is still open until 4 April!
Looking at the maps and the information presented, the main items that struck us where all the areas that had been suggested for development (for example the fields north of Abbotts Walk), the lack an improvement in the number health facilities, and also again no mention of a community facility for Abbotts Barton. As for the land suggested for development we were assured that these areas (which are all outside of the town area of Winchester) were not being considered by WCC as they apparently have found enough space to build the required 4000 new homes (this includes 2000 at Barton Farm) within the town boundaries. In terms of health facilities, this is decided by the newly set up West Hampshire Clinical Commission Group who are of the opinion that there are enough practices around (despite the fact that many people experience two week waiting times before they can see their GPs).
Please find more information here:
http://www.winchester.gov.uk/news/2014/feb/planning-winchester-town-future/
And lots more (plus a link to the comment form) here:
http://www.winchester.gov.uk/planning-policy/local-plan-part-2/development-needs-and-site-allocations/winchester-town/

Yesterday Hampshire Chronicle reported Winchester council leader to stand down.

I am repeating this important survey about the City Council elections frequency: vote in 'thirds' or change to 'all out' system, what's your preference? This only takes a couple of minutes (mainly to read the information of pros and cons provided). I would really urge you to look at this and to vote as this change would have a major effect on how the Council works. The closing date for this consultation is Friday 14 March 2014.

Leisure Centre


On 20 February Hampshire Chronicle published University announces plans to build leisure centre at Bar End. Interesting.

Other news


It seems as if the Abbotts Walk development is entering the last building phase! See Progress by abbottswalk.com, a blog run by one of the residents there.

Have you seen this site? Parents Want A Say - about what parents think about the changed rules for schools to allow absences.

Good news for some, bad for others: Property prices booming again in Winchester.

Some more info regarding the confidential information that the NHS has about us:
18 February: Giant NHS database rollout delayed
23 February: Hospital records of all NHS patients sold to insurers
1 March: NHS 'barred' selling patient data for commercial use

And for the foodies amongst us: Developers confirm Wagamama plans have not changed for Winchester

Things to do


The Romsey Choral Society is going to perform a concert at St Cross Church on 15 March, 7:30pm: There's something about Mary. Directed by Jamie Hall from Abbotts Barton!

WCC: "The Great Hall and Queen Eleanor’s Garden reopened Saturday 15 Feb after refurbishment work."

Eggs marks the spot: Easter Bunny is Winchester-bound for city-wide egg hunt