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 12 February 2015

News Roundup - February 2015

It's nearly half-term and I thought I try to get this month's News Roundup out before I run out of time!

Have you seen that the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is organising two events in Abbotts Barton? The first one will be during half-term on Sunday 22 February at 10am down at the river (near the hole in the wall) and the second one will be a on Saturday 7 March 10am on the Abbotts Walk green (Abbotts Walk is the new development off Francis Gardens), details to be found on the poster. If you have neighbours who are not part of the community group, please let them know as well! It's also a great opportunity to meet other people around the area and make new friends!

If you have been to our website recently you might have noticed that we have added a new tab called About to the site. This new section gives you a) an overview of what the group wants to achieve, b) a little history, and c) a list of our successes so far. Soon we will add another page on which we will list 'jobs' that need doing in the hope to find a few people to help as volunteers. These jobs should not take too much time out of anybody's schedule and our group would benefit greatly from some more helpers, so please check back soon if you think you can spare a couple of hours a month or so and would like to meet new people!

Congratulations to the Abbotts Barton residents on the west side of Worthy Road: they have persuaded Winchester City Council to vote for parking restrictions on their side too! Roads were made dangerous to navigate by careless non-local drivers parking even at the most inconvenient spots all day. At some point even the bus couldn't get through anymore (see the Hampshire Chronicle article for more info)! From what I've heard there will be similar restrictions implemented to what is currently on the east side (Mon-Fri 11am to 2pm), which in my opinion is a very good solution. It has kept the roads empty enough to allow residents to find parking spaces but still allows non-residents to park at certain times to go for a walk or stop for a play in the local park. Even better, it allows for day-time visits during the non-restricted times without the residents having to pay for visitor's permits (£1 a day). By the way, did you know that there are websites where you can offer your driveway for daytime parking to non-residents in exchange for a little fee? One of them is Use My Space.

I'm sure you've heard about the big news relating to the judicial review of the Silver Hill project, if not: all the main points can be found here (Hampshire Chronicle) and here (Daily Echo).

Have you seen the suggested changes to the Winchester ward boundaries? You can look up the proposal on the Local Boundary Commission's Winchester web page and you can also comment there via a link.
Proposed new ward boundaries as per Local Boundary Commission
If this proposal goes through, the ward of St Luke's and All Saints would decease to exist and some of it (Winnall) would become part of St Bartholomew's (our ward). This combination could possibly shake up the possible voting results for our ward as at the moment St Luke's and All Saints is the only ward in Winchester with Labour councillors (all three of them) whereas St Bartholomew currently has three Liberal Democrat councillors. The ward boundary changes could also see city councillor numbers cut (Hampshire Chronicle).

Have your say: Winchester City Council is currently consulting on a number of projects, one is the Station Approach Scheme and the other is the Winnall Planning Framework. Both have surveys going!

And finally: the first part of the Barton Farm development will be called Kings Barton according to this article (Hampshire Chronicle), which in my opinion, how can I say it, is not too original in this area. Only marginally better than Abbotts Worthy! And why not Queens Barton?!

All the best,
Secretary of Abbotts Barton Community Group

Sunday 8 February 2015

Councillor's surgery - February 2015

This time Sylke was accompanied by Brigitte (an Abbotts Residents who had some concerns about road safety) and we spoke to Jim Maynard and Dominic Hiscock (two of our three local ward councillors).

Road Safety and Footpaths

Road safety is normally an issue to be talked about with Hampshire County Council (HCC) but when it comes to parking lay-outs on the roads Winchester City Council (WCC) needs to be involved. When Brigitte approached the group with her concerns I had a quick look at the area and noticed that the give-way lines at the bottom of Dyson Drive have been worn off so badly that somebody who doesn’t know the area wouldn’t necessarily notice them at all, so I filed an online report with HCC regarding this. 
Brigitte’s concerns are more about sight lines and navigation space available at the corners of Dyson Drive/Francis Gardens/Chaundler Road and also at the corner of Francis Gardens/Grosvenor Drive as it can be dangerous to navigate those areas without being able to see oncoming cars well. Especially at this time of the year visibility can be poor in the afternoon with the sun setting right over Chaundler Road and parking cars obstructing the sight lines. Since the parking bays have been introduced apparently there are more cars parked at the stretch of Dyson Drive between those junctions (on the side of the green) and it might help to take one or two spaces away. However this has to be looked at carefully as more road space often means that drivers go faster, something we do not want to encourage at all at those junctions. 
Jim and Dominic promised to talk to Neville Crisp at WCC so that the situation at the junctions can be evaluated.

I also mentioned that the ‘footpath’ on Hillier Road next to the football club grounds is getting used less and less by pedestrians as it is a) obstructed by vegetation and b) on the muddy side of the road. I was advised that this is something to report to WCC as the road is private and owned by WCC (even though highways and footpaths are normally a HCC matter).
We enquired about the best procedure to get private owners to cut back their trees and bushes that encroach on public footpaths and roads and make them unsafe. The best method is to use the online reporting system on the HCC website (or call them). HCC will then notify the owners and if they don’t act within a certain time period, HCC will notify a contractor and bill the owners.

Notice boards

Our two new notice boards are apparently on their way and will be installed soon (possibly within a month). 

Local surgeries

I asked about the status of these and was told they still need to be arranged. Most importantly, these local surgeries will not replace the one in Hyde as that one is an evening one and the local one in Abbotts Barton will be a daytime one.

Other business

  • Dominic told us that there is a local resident who is interested to set up a Neighbourhood Watch team for the east side of Abbotts Barton (there is already one on the west side of Worthy Road), so expect to see some information for that soon. 
  • Dominic also mentioned the Community SpeedWatch scheme (rolled out by Hampshire Constabulary), where residents volunteer to measure the speeds of cars in residential areas and report speeding to the police (volunteers don’t do their own areas to avoid having to report neighbours). This helps to reduce the speeds on those roads. If anybody is concerned about speeds on residential roads and wants to help, there is more information available on the internet (or you can call Hampshire Constabulary on 101):