Abingdon Country Market Future in Doubt

Abingdon Country Market Future in Doubt
Tha Abingdon Country Market Stall were busy selling home produced cakes and jams at the Farmer’s Market this morning in Abingdon.

The Country Market recently stopped their weekly Market at the Guildhall, but continued to trade at the Farmers Market. However, today they were upset by news that they are no longer wanted at the Farmer’s Market, even though they were founding members 15 years ago. Their presence does enhance the Farmer’s Market in Abingdon, and they would be greatly missed, so I hope a way can be found to continue to allow them to trade alongside the Farmer’s Market.

16 thoughts on “Abingdon Country Market Future in Doubt

  1. captainkaos2

    Hi everyone, well its Panto time again and in their final year you lucky people of Abingdon are being entertained by the never to be repeated Tory town council. Shall we begin?
    Act 1,
    Sandy Pandy, the leader and puppet to the Barber from next door is continuing with his obsession of seeing how many times he can get his photo in the paper, last time he was shown heralding the merits of building a second river bridge-for Didcot !! er, hang on a mo Sandy Pandy, when was Didcot part of your remit?
    Act 2,
    Daddy bear and mummy bear are busy trying to cover their tracks of failing to insure the good people of their constituency were no longer being protected from greedy developers because they were too busy eating their porridge to notice the draft plan had expired !
    They called an emergency public meeting at which they and Humpty Dumpty Hudspeth and sleeping beauty “Nicola” announced “no development, over our dead bodies”
    Act 3,
    Oh no, it’s the Jester, Little-John! He thinks he’s making us all laugh by spending over £100k of our money on models, consultants and architects trying to fit our golden slipper (the Guild hall) onto Sandy Pandy’s two left feet !
    Act 4,
    Daddy bear and Mummy bear are busy in the kitchen conniving up the threat of a judicial review against the decision made by count Nimmo Smith re the Ock St crossing (no one’s told them he’s in the same party). That’s right, blow more of our money trying to cover up, oops, rectify your palava
    Act 5,
    HE’S BEHIND YOU ! Little-John will you put that model down and tell the good people of Abingdon how much you’ve wasted for them? Aw, don’t cry, soon be May and you can have a good rest.
    Act 6,
    Alice in Blunder land is busy trying to sell all the worn out flags she spent thousands on (that wrapped themselves around their poles) and for just £5 each, sound financial judgement.
    Act 7,
    (on comes Chap’s, the Panto horse) “I love you Chap’s” said Sandy Pandy, I and the rest of the cast fully support your proposal to levy a tax (oops, sorry BID) on those nasty shop keepers in Abingdon (at which point Chap’s the panto horse made some rude noises)
    Quick Little-John, fetch a bucket, said Sandy Pandy, Chap’s is going to pass a motion! “Which end shall I place the bucket?” a voice from the people said “you’ll need two, crap comes out both ends!”
    Act 8,
    Nasty Nimmo Smith was over-ruled and the crossing and housing will go ahead, but wait, Alice in Blunder land thinks she can stop it because the houses have too many bedrooms!
    Act 9,
    Sandy Pandy was crying in the corner “that boffin Dr Haliday has demanded I reveal how much you’ve wasted on the Guildhall Little-John” don’t cry Sandy Pandy, “I’ll announce a scheme where we say we’re going to spend £3.5 million on a new Cinema and “stuff” in the Guild Hall” don’t be a silly jester Little-John, said Sand Pandy, we’re skint and our lottery bid failed too! “UREKA” shouted Little-John, I’ll spoof the good people by saying work won’t begin until autumn, by which time we’ll be long gone! “Aren’t I cleaver Sandy Pandy?
    Yes Little-John, but I still think it should be my photo in the paper?
    Act 10,
    A shining light appears in the sky, it’s Lesley the fairy god mother, “I will grant you one wish” she said, and all the good people of Abingdon closed their eyes and remembered all the good things Lesley gave them, a beautifully renovated county hall, magnificent Abbey gardens, kept the outdoor swimming pool open, renovated the market place, introduced farmers markets, (the fairy god mother even stopped the war memorial from leaning) and so the good people of Abingdon’s wish for change was granted. The pantomime season will end in May !!

  2. Ali

    Why are they know longer wanted? Surely there is room for everyone!? Nothing wrong with a bit competition to keep the other stall holders on their toes!! All seems a bit petty!

  3. ProofReader

    The big news in this story seems to be that Abingdon, not happy with being relegated as county town of Berkshire to join Oxfordshire has now become its own county…or maybe its just a typo 🙂

  4. backsteeter

    The Thames Valley Farmers’ Market rules apparently no longer allow a group that has more than one principal producer. Even though Farma who accredit Farmer’s Markets say “Community associations such as local allotment societies or Country Market groups may be agreed as principal producers on a case by case basis by the local market.”

  5. Rachel

    Captain Kaos 2

    Remind me again who mismanaged the sale of the Old Gaol? It was the Lib Dems, oh no it wasn’t, you say? Oh yes it was and most of the town were not told anything about the deal or what it would mean for them or the public purse.

    Sound financial and legal advice should have been taken and any property person would have told them to retain the freehold and add an uplift clause. As it is, Cranbourne have sold all the newbuild properties, set up five or six management companies to take ground rents and service charge from each leaseholder for years to come and put thousands of pounds in the pocket of Thomas Merrifield to boot.

  6. captainkaos2

    Yo ho ho Rachel, may I respond to your excellent reminder of the Old Gaol debarkle?
    My Panto focus’s on the Town Council, The Old Gaol mess was the doings of the District Council as they were its owners and while I agree that at the time both councils were Lib/Dem I think we shouldn’t be naive enough to think that all of the negotiations between the builders and council were taken exclusively by councilors.
    Attrition, elections and the like mean councilors come and go, it’s the “boys in the back room” that by and large steer the ship
    They, through their research, knowledge, training and contacts present councilors with scenarios for them to decide on and to be honest most of those councilors are out of their depth to make good judgement. (the guild hall/cinema project is a classic example of what I mean)
    As Spike wrote on here a little while “the people of Abingdon are being poorly served”
    Earlier this year the District Council announced it was giving, yes GIVING Tilsey Park to Abingdon school because it could no longer afford to run it, as expected there was much criticism and the proposal “went cold”
    However, on the District Councils planning site two weeks ago was an application to replace the all weather sports surfaces there by Abingdon School which indicates to me that yet more of our family silver has been given away and once more with no public consultation, and this under a Tory regime!
    Happy Christmas

  7. newcomer

    captainkaos2 is quite right that it’s the ‘boys in the backroom’ who are making the big decisions. Politicians come and go, political parties gain and lose influence, but it’s the bureaucratic administration, who are in it for the long haul, who make the big decisions.

    If rival politicians primp, posture and snarl at each other in public then all the better as it takes the electorates’ eyes off who is making the key decisions. No doubt there’s a lot of laudable stuff done by local politicians on a small scale, but the administration keep the big stuff for themselves and this requires big money.

    The Vale has monetized Abingdon’s assets to spend on it’s own schemes elsewhere. The Old Gaol has been ‘cashed in’ and the Town Council persuaded to take on the money pit which is the Guildhall. The Town Council may have got the Guildhall ‘for free’ along with £1.25 million, but it’s now responsible for the full £150K per annum running cost and The Vale is home free. In addition, now the Town Council has moved out The Vale can monetize Old Abbey House and sell it to the highest bidder, which makes their sweetener of £1.25 million to the TC look a lot less generous. Game, set and match to The Vale (though it was their bureaucracy what did it)

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that Ian Hudspeth recently said something to the effect that his bureaucracy knew what was better for the electorate than the electorate did. I presume that he was informed that this was the case by the same people who gulled him into saying that it would be a good idea to build a traffic tunnel under Oxford High Street

    The bureaucracy know where all the bodies are buried, they don’t really need to give politicians a spade with which to bury themselves ;0)

    It’s all just too depressing.

  8. hollyhills19

    With ref to Tilsley Park, this was given to the people of Abingdon by Vera Greening in memory of her son who had been killed in a motor cycle accident. His name was Tilsley hence the name. It would be interesting to know what the conditions were when it was gifted to the town

  9. Cassandra

    To get back to the topic in the post……sad to hear about the possible of the exclusion of the Country Market Group. I can understand the Farmers Market management clause regarding single producers. However surely this ‘local cooperative’ ( similarly the WI) are a special case?
    Is there any way in which the local shoppers can approach the Farmers Market and show their support for the Country Market group?

  10. davidofLuton

    As a work-around, could not the county market me allowed to set up at the other end of the precinct, outside Woolies (as was) underneath the tree at the same time as the Farmers’ Market? This is under a different jurisdiction, so should not be under the Farmers’ Market control.

  11. Daniel

    Perhaps our collective energies shouldn’t be “wasted” on voting or not voting on politicians who’s position is, by its nature, transitory…and as has been mentioned elsewhere, their whims are as, or can be, as fruitless as ours; perhaps our collective impetus should be directed to these “backroom guys and gals” who are the true decision makers, and the ones truely responsible for the mismanagement, the ills and the gotten gains (of others)!? If the ‘politicians’ just act on the whispers of others….forget the puppet, let’s grab our pitch forks and seek out the puppet masters (by that, I mean a strongly worded letter, rather than actual pitch forks of course…)

    I don’t yet know what to do….but is anyone with me!?

    Let’s start with who these people actually are – are they ‘council officers’? Is there another more specific job title? Whoever they are, they seem very quiet considering THEY spend our money on consultants. They are very faceless considering THEY aren’t accountable if or when things go wrong….

    Who are THEY? What do they actually do? How are they judged and measured, by what criteria, set by who?

    I think the New Year should start bring us some answers…but first perhaps we need to formulate the questions and determine how to ask them….

  12. newcomer

    I think you’ll find, Daniel, that the upper echelons of local government bureaucracy have gifted each other such cast-iron contracts that it’d cost a fortune to winkle them out of their cushy numbers. The elected, who should be managing and monitoring this, have been asleep at the wheel (again).

    Who are these people? A bit of digging is needed, but we know where they are …. Crowmarsh Gifford … they’ve distanced themselves from the scene of their crimes.

    However, nothing can happen soon, as they’re all off on a seasonal break of eleven days, starting tomorrow. So we’ll all get a well deserved break from their labours …

  13. Daniel

    Newcomer….I hope, that one day, I will be as pessimistic as you. Until then, let’s start asking those questions and start getting some answers….if not for Abingdon, for our own information.

    So….that’s two of us who want to know WHO is making decisions about Abingdon. That is two of us who want those people to now be accountable.

    Anyone else?

  14. Hester

    Daniel and Newcomer – those are certainly appropriate questions, but can I suggest that the most effective way to find out the answer would be to ask either the respective Council offices, contact details on their websites, or ask your local councillor to find out for you. Use FoI request if no joy at first. Happy 2015!


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