Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council Meeting – 28th July 2021

Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council met this evening. Cheryl Briggs is the new Mayor – the first Green Party Mayor of Abingdon-on-Thames. Michelle from Aspire did a presentation for ‘One Planet Abingdon’

The Town Council have a new ‘Urgency Committee’ that meets one day before the full Town Council. They go through the list of the recommendations from all the other committees and agree them. The Town Council can then concentrate on other matters.

The Urgency Committee had agreed that the museum basement be considered as a possible venue for One Planet Abingdon.

One Planet Abingdon is a group of concerned individuals and environmental groups from Abingdon who have come together with a vision to create a climate emergency centre, in the centre of Abingdon. The climate emergency centre could be used to host things such as:
* Abingdon Carbon Cutter activities (eg. repair cafe, apple pressing, workshops)
* Other green and environmental groups pop up sessions
* Refreshments (of an environmentally friendly nature)
* Circular economy(clothing swap shop/refills pop ups/food zero waste/repaircafe/mending workshops)
* Environmental exhibitions.

Michelle from One Planet Abingdon gave a presentation to the Town Council and answered questions. Asked how quickly the centre could be up and running, she said as soon as One Planet Abingdon have business insurance in place.

The approval to use the space in the museum basement will also need to be agreed by the relevant Town Council committees.

The existing Town Council committees are being replaced by four new committees:
* Finance, Governance and Asset Management Committee
* Environment and Amenities Committee
* Town Infrastructure Committee
* Community Committee

There will be a special council meeting on September 1st to agree which councillors serve on which committees. Since this is a big change, a new governance committee was also set up to oversee the change. The Urgency Committee was set up to expedite council matters during the pandemic and will continue for now.

Reports for the Town Council included one on Covid-19. You no longer need to book for the museum. The Visitor Information Center re-opened on 19th July.

Work to create a new cemetery could be imminent. The Town Council have saved away nearly £1m towards any costs and are waiting the district council to agree the location. One place mentioned is Masefield Crescent recreation ground agricultural land.

Looking through the committee papers, the old ‘Museum Management Committee’ had started looking again at the feasibility of a lift to the sessions hall of the museum.

The old ‘Planning, Highways and Consultations Advisory’ Committee were asked about new street names for the Kings Gate development in North Abingdon. The three names suggested so far were Mayors of Ock Street:
– (Charles) Brett
– (Leslie) Argyle
– (Henry) Hemmings

On-street civil parking enforcement will commence on 1st November 2021 and the parking warden for the Abingdon residents’ parking schemes will transfer from the Town Council to the new County Council’s contractor. The parking warden will then not only check for wrongful parking in residents’ spaces but also wrongful parking on yellow lines.

13 thoughts on “Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council Meeting – 28th July 2021

  1. Daniel

    I am willing to go along with the current fashionable trend that there is a “climate emergency”, and we are all supposed to be doing our bit; however, I am a little confused…

    Is David Wilson homes*; in Abingdon building all their houses with triple glazing?
    Is David Wilson homes*; in Abingdon building every new house with solar panels on the roof?
    Is David Wilson homes*; in Abingdon building every house with an electric vehicle charging point?
    Is David Wilson homes*; in Abingdon building every house with grey water utilisation?
    Is David Wilson homes*; in Abingdon building every house with or without fossil fuel powered heating?
    Where is the carbon offsetting tree planting being done by David Wilson homes* in Abingdon?

    *please substitute for the developer of your choice

    Am I missing something? Why is the onus on me, and us to make tiny, infinitesimal, and arguably inconsequential changes…when it is not on them to make significant and substantial and tangible ones?

    Did I read somewhere that there are 100 global companies responsible for 71% of the CO2 output – I may have even read it on the BBC…so it must be true…

    I simply do not get it….

    On another matter…stricter (or indeed any) parking enforcement will only further ensure the demise of the high-street; if that still matters.

    1. Chris

      Agree with Daniel entirely on housebuilding, but cannot agree that illegal parking is key to the survival of shopping in Abingdon

  2. PPJS

    Delete solar panels and insert geothermal/ground-source heating instead (a preference based on a smaller aesthetic intrusion). Underfloor heating is well proven; the Romans were doing it during their visit here…

    Building regs are still a long way behind the curve and very few developers will add more than the law requires them to. They have no financial incentive to do so; and, since they are in business to make a profit, some other means of persuasion will have to be adopted.

    1. Hester

      How about using planning controls – LAs stipulating that new developments have to have certain of these things.
      And on the cost question, financial legislation to curb the ability of landowners to sell at exorbitant prices: if the developer didn’t have to pay over the odds for the land, they could afford to build to higher standards.

  3. Daniel

    How about this as a persuasive argument; there’s a climate emergency and while they may one day be sitting on a big fat profit it’ll all be while also sitting on a dessicated Earth?

    This isn’t my argument you understand, I’m just curious as to why I’m being encouraged to rinse my yoghurt pots yet millions and millions of houses can be built without a care in the world?

    In fact…developers (or big business in general) getting away with it thoroughly undermines any effort the “little person” might make in the first place.

    I’m not really one for passing fads, or fashionable band waggons…but I’ll happily jump on this one; when I see the people (industries or companies) that can actually make a difference stump up first.

    1. Daniel

      No. You should do whatever you feel is best.

      I had a bowl of rice krispies for breakfast….but I am on a diet, so I took one out. However, if you were on a diet I don’t think I would preach to you that you really should be removing a single rice krispie from your bowl each morning.

  4. Houdini

    Am curious about the mention of a new cemetery and one option being Masefield Crescent recreation ground. Does that mean the actual play area where the swings and zip wire etc are, as I understood one or other of the fields surrounding the play area was an option, not the actual recreational ground itself?

  5. Animarens

    Sorry, Backstreeter. Think the councillors may have mumbled at the wrong moment here and you didn’t catch what was said. I have been reassured that the Town Council are NOT thinking about the Masefield Crescent playing field but about agricultural land nearby.

    1. Houdini

      That’s a relief to hear, as the recreational area is well used by the community. Am happy with one of the fields being used as long as it doesn’t draw in steams of traffic through the family friendly housing area where children play.

  6. Daniel

    I just read (in a proper newspaper so it must be true) that if every South facing warehouse, office and factory roof in the UK had solar panels it would meet the UKs electrical generation needs. That’s ZERO carbon electricity for the whole nation!! Imagine….

    Ok, I accept that that is not feasible; but surely, what with the “climate emergency” every NEW factory, office block and warehouse is being built with solar panels…surely? Fairacres Phase II anyone….?

    Maybe I’ll remove a second rice Krispie, just incase…


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