Monthly Archives: January 2016

Abingdon Town Council Meeting – 27th Jan 2016 – Gets Political

There was a meeting of Abingdon Town Council this evening to consider reports from the council’s sub Committees, and agree next year’s budget.
Abingdon Town Council Meeting
The meeting began with a prayer from Revd Charles Miller where he prayed among other things “Inspire the council with a right judgement in all things, and … a zeal for the common good.

Councillors expressed concern about the mud on the road left be lorries leaving the Drayton Road building site, and the danger presented sometimes by lorries turning into the site. The Mayor undertook to write to the district council to express the town council’s concern.

There was then a heated debate about setting up a working group to consider the council’s future carbon cutting. Conservatives first suggested postponing the working group agreed at a previous town council. They then proposed it be set up under Widdecombe rules so that the ruling Conservative party have 3 members, and the opposition Lib-Dems 2. This left the independent Angela Lawrence out in the cold. But the Widdecombe rules were voted through by all the Conservatives; all the Lib-Dems abstained, and only Angela voted against. She appeared to be the one most passionate about making things happen in this working group.

A decision was made to allow a 2nd monthly Farmer’s Market. There was also a discussion of Market fees. On this occasion it was Conservative Councillor Vicky Jenkins who was a lone voice. She said that the town council was subsidising the Farmer’s Market whose rents were 38% less. Both Markets should be treated the same.

Other committee papers were all agreed including those on the Guildhall which I will return to soon.
Abingdon Town Council Meeting
There followed a party political discussion on the budget. The Lib-Dems proposed some amendments to the budget. These included adding £60K to the Community fund to help save Abingdon’s Children’s Centres, and £30K not £10K towards pushing ahead with the Neighbourhood Plan. To pay for these changes they wanted efficiency savings, charging more for some council services, and not putting quite so much towards the future cemetery fund, or buying additional Christmas lights.

In the end this amendment was voted down largely on party lines with Angela Lawrence the independent and another councillor choosing to abstain. The main Conservative argument was that the Lib-Dems should have thought of these ideas earlier and got it properly discussed through committees beforehand.

But it did produce a good lively debate. When everything is agreed beforehand town council meetings can be as dull as next year’s budget sheets.

New Nag’s Head Pub Sign and Live Pub Music

New Pub Sign
A new pub sign is being put up at the Nag’s Head on the Thames. The painted sign will replace the faded print that was there before.
New Pub Sign
We popped down to the Nags Head on Sunday to hear George Haslam and his jazz ensemble.
New Pub Sign
George played Baritone Sax, and was accompanied by excellent musicians on Alto Sax, Flugal Horn, Keyboard, Double Base, and Drums.
New Pub Sign
There is a lot of good live pub music in Abingdon. The Nags Head, Old Anchor and Brewery Tap all feature local bands on a regular basis.

Youth Speaks – Public Speaking Competition

Thanks to James for this…

The local round of Youth Speaks, a national public speaking competition for schools, sponsored and organised by Abingdon Rotary Club, took place last Friday at Steventon Village Hall.

Four Abingdon schools took part, Abingdon, Larkmead, Our Lady’s and St Helen and St Katherine. Three of these schools fielded both an intermediate and a senior team, with Abingdon School fielding just a senior team.

Each team consisted of three speakers, an introducer, a main speaker and a summariser. Topics were varied, including the search for aliens, dementia, body building and the limits to our knowledge.
Youth Speaks
The winners of the intermediate category were Larkmead whose team gave a very amusing presentation on the subject of body language, with many demonstrations.
Youth Speaks
The senior category was won by the team from St Helen and St Katherine. They gave a most informative and moving presentation on the subject of female health issues in the third world.

Abingdon Rotary Club President, Chris Ronaldson, awarded the prizes, and the winning teams will take part in the next round which takes place in Witney on the 28th January.

Repair Work in Progress – Please Bear With Us

Oxfam Repair Work
The workmen will soon be in at Oxfam in Abingdon. The floor, that has been supporting businesses at that address for over a hundred years, needs to be replaced. Oxfam have been there for nearly 30 of those years.
Oxfam Repair Work
So all the trinkets have been cleared away to make space.
Oxfam Repair Work
The clothes and books, fairtrade products and crafts etc have been put in storage to clear the floor.

If all goes to plan Oxfam will be open again in two weeks time.