In the Roysse Room this evening there was a Meeting of Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council. These are my jottings …
Abingdon-on-Thames was given a special award for the Corporate Use of Heraldry for their use of the town’s heraldic symbol.
We heard that The Mayor, Angela Lawrence sat unperturbed when a rat ran out at a recent event she attended.
A grant was awarded to the Foyer for £5,000 to support additional opportunities for residents (sport, job seeking, community involvements, trips etc). The Foyer gives accommodation to young homeless people and often helps to turn their lives around.
A grant of £10,000 was given to Abingdon Rugby Club towards urgent ground work to their pitches.
Councillor Alice Badcock was congratulated for organising Fun and Music in the Park.
The architects have come back with revised costings for the Guildhall development after the failure to secure a lottery grant. The improvements to the frontage and foyer area have been dropped. What remains is a modular design :
- 100 seat cinema
- Abbey Hall including removable racked seats
- Lift to some but not all historic rooms
- Bar cafe area in the lower ground floor lobby and offices where the old bar was.
The costs are still in the range of £3,500,000 – £4,000,000 because of inflation so don’t seem that much lower. The design was described as ‘modular’ and ‘pick and mix’. If funding cannot be found for one option such as the cinema then it may be dropped. Exploratory meetings are to go ahead to see if a cinema operator partner will help with funding.
The annual accounts did show that The Guildhall costs £224,362 to run in 2014 and £148,831 in 2013 (excludes income). But on questioning it was discovered that a large part of the difference was the £30K gas bill. Both gas bills were paid in 2014.
The Museum are producing a book about WWI in Abingdon to go with their exhibition starting on 4th August (exactly 100 years from when the war was declared).
The MG Garden is now complete and the Mayor will open it in the near future.
The solar powered Christmas Trees have been put up for sale by the contractor as they did not perform too well for Abingdon-on-Thames.
A new working group is to be set up to find land for a new cemetery. There is 10-15 years left of Grave Space and it will take five years to set up a new cemetery. If the town counncil did run out of room then the district council are ultimately responsible for burials but that could mean Abingdon residents getting buried in Wantage or Faringdon.