General Comments

By   21 August 2014

If you have any feedback about the website, or anything you feel you would like to make a comment on, please let us know?  Do you agree with what we are doing? Perhaps you disagree? Could we do things differently? Do you have any suggestions about anything? Is there anything you feel strongly about that you would like reported on?

Tell us what you think!  (You never know…it might end up as the Latest Discussion topic)!

 

21 Comments on “General Comments

  1. Daniel

    Does anyone know about there being some Retro Music Festival this weekend, in Abingdon?

    Other than “it is happening” ( I assume?) I don’t know anything else about it….what it exactly is, where it is, when it is… Have I missed the adverts, the posters and the articles all summer promoting it? Sounds like it could have been good :(

    Bit late now, but would still be interested in any info….if there is any?

  2. Daniel

    I have been told that there are plenty of posters around town advertising this event!

    I must have missed them! It must just be me……

  3. Hester

    See reply I have just posted to the same question on the Abingdon blog!

  4. Julian Annells

    Hester, kindly see my comment too. Just in case you missed it, the jist of it was:-
    Maybe the Town Council cannot be blamed for “not publicising it”, but did they actively discourage the event organisers from doing so? I am talking from experience when I say that not only do the TC not assist in publicising any events that aren’t their “own”, but actively went round removing banners and posters that were put up a couple of weeks beforehand (the DAY after they were put up!) Surely ANY event is good for the town, NOT just the ones that they organise? (I have also heard some other event organisers that have found this to be the case as well, with the TC being downright awkward instead of assisting in any way that they can).
    You state that the Town Council helps in lots of practical ways…what is their stance now on banners, or “A” boards, or even posters on lamp-posts to advertise events? To get passing traffic to notice, you need these things, not everyone looks at the Town Council website?
    Still, it’s immaterial now, what could have been a fantastic music event for the town, growing year on year, has now pulled out, I would imagine, due to lack of ticket sales, but as you disdainfully put, it was a “commercial venture”, again, another thing the TC frowns upon, even though the organiser can easily make a loss rather than a profit.
    The trouble is, eventually, the biggest loser is the town itself, as people will give up arranging events.

  5. Hester

    Julian – now you are talking! I have been trying for 8 years now on behalf of community groups to get a sensible policy on posters, banners etc and am still trying (yes, I know I haven’t been very effective, but at least I am trying in a positive way). As always, the first step is to find out which Council holds the control on the matter you are pursuing – and most of the issues you mention are Planning Enforcement issues which come under the Vale, not the Town: if you don’t want to get everyone’s backs up it is best to direct your fire in the right direction!
    So thanks for the reminder, I will get back on the case – if you can help e.g by lobbying those responsible, please do.

    PS I don’t know why you find my reference to a commercial venture “disdainful” – I don’t regard that as a pejorative term, do you?
    PPS if I was organising an event – and I have been involved in a few – I would book the acts, participants etc and start publicising it more than a week or two ahead – but perhaps I am just old-fashioned!

  6. Julian Annells

    Hester, the event I used to organise was the Abingdon Firework Display, at Dalton Barracks, (and once over the Thames at Abbey Meadows). I would have loved to advertise it weeks before, BUT the Council sent someone round taking ALL posters and banners down…every single one of them, two years on the trot!
    Eventually (after complaining, and retrieving my banners and posters from a skip at the cemetery!), I was “Granted” permission to put them up “no more that 2 weeks in advance”. The event over the river was that bogged down with red tape caused mainly by the council (and also the police who actually wanted me to provide staff outside of toilets on “paedo-watch” [I kid you not!] ), that they finally gave me the go ahead FOUR weeks in advance of the event! It meant I had to organise the whole event in just four weeks. Yes I did arrange it all before that, but it meant everyone was on “hold” until i rang them with the final go-ahead. And all because the Council, couldn’t decide! And the Town Council did not like the fact that I was a “commercial venture”, even though it was ME who stood to make a huge loss if it didn’t go right.
    There are other events I have thought would be great for the town, but with the hassle I got, and others STILL get (even recently I have heard), it just makes it not worth the hassle/risk. It might be different if the Council backed these things but they don’t want too…apart from maybe offering a “Free advert on their website”. That ain’t a lot of backing!

  7. Julian Annells

    I have! Might be the last time though….there will be 200 houses on there soon…along with the 800 that the Vale have kindly agreed for us to have in North Abingdon!!! That’s potentially another 3,000 cars on the Dunmore road which is already congested due to the ludicrous roundabout/traffic “improvements”! Still, at least it won’t affect any of the decision makers…they don’t come from round here so they don’t care!!!

  8. Daniel.

    Julian – I get the impression you aren’t keen on the new houses…

    My ‘point’ though…was that the Circus seems quite good at publicising itself – I would suggest that “we all know it’s on” (or, a fair few of us)….so I thought a leaf could be taken out of their book for ‘publicising events’…? They seem good at it!

  9. Julian Annells

    Daniel, it’s not so much the new houses, though I think i’t’s far too many to build on greenbelt land, it;s the fact that there will be no more infrastructure added, (even though we will be promised the Earth before we get them, but watch those promises fade away by the time they are built!), the Dunmore road is already choc-a-bloc at peak-times, and no doubt we will get a diamond interchange at Lodge Hill, but we SHOULD have that NOW…not as a bribe for accepting 1000 homes in an already congested part of town? And what about the 2nd river crossing that we were promised to make the traffic in town work?? It ain’t happening! It takes me LONGER now to drive the last mile home, getting into Abingdon, than it takes the other 19 miles I drive daily from Thame!!! Another 3000 cars in the town is going to be a nightmare! And where are these people all going to work/kids go to school/what are they going to do for leisure….cos as you may have noticed, Abingdon has virtually NO leisure facilities…oh, but I forgot, we ARE getting a cinema, which 220 lucky people of the 33,000 population will be able to use…But that is only if the hall’s not booked, because then only 100 people can go to the cinema!
    Lets get the facilities that the town needs first, the 2nd river crossing, sort out the shopping centre/Charter area, THEN and ONLY THEN should we be accepting more homes for our town! Oxford have said that they cannot have any more, Radley have successfully said that they cannot have their full allocation…isn’t it about time that the people of Abingdon stood up for ourselves and said, “Enough is Enough….sort the town FIRST”
    Sorry, rant over.

  10. Julian Annells

    Ps, I agree Daniel, the circus is well advertised around the town,…..but there again, it’s not been organised by the Town Council, has it? :o)

  11. Hester

    Dear Julian and Daniel – very few of the events around town are “organised by the Town Council” – Fun in the Park is the big one, the rest are much smaller, then there are ceremonial-type ones like Remembrance Day Parades and one-offs like the Lights Out event in August. The other big ones (including Heritage Weekend, Christmas Extravaganza, Splash of Pink, Cycling Festival, Air Show, Dragon Boats etched) are all largely organised by volunteers, sometimes with some help from the TC and/or Choose Abingdon. So who is going to pay for the printing of the many hundreds of posters, who is going to put them up – and who is going to take them down? ##

    If you think the TC should use ratepayers money on a much-increased printing/publicity budget perhaps you should lobby prospective Councillors for this before the next election. Likewise I am sure they would be interested to hear your suggestions for employing people (presumably on zero hours minimum wage contracts) to go around fly posting them – and then hopefully go around a couple of weeks later to take them down. Personally I plan to continue to press the Councils to provide better infrastructure for those voluntary groups to use for their posted and banners…..haven’t had much success yet, but will keep trying – and maybe “retire” when I succeed!

    # by the way, I may be proved wrong on this, but would be pleasantly surprised if the Circus and Fair people go round taking all their posters down – suspect one or other of the Councils has to pick up the tab for that already. Voluntary groups on the other hand know that if they get permission to put up posters on lamp posts etc it is on condition they take them down again ASAP afterwards – and they do!

  12. Daniel

    Did anyone else see this:

    Look what’s been happening in Wantage:

    http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11505401.Town_team_is_praised_after_new_shops_fill_empty_units/

    Pop-up shops…that was suggested for Abingdon. Not done
    Indoor ‘market’. That was suggested for Abingdon. Not done
    A market on Saturdays (every Saturday).That was suggested for Abingdon. Not done
    And how does their ‘reward card scheme’ work that makes it successful?

    Iain Nicholson and Mim Norvell as “Town Team members” sound like they could be a good bunch of people working for our town too…? Perhaps we should have a “Town Team” as well?

    Is it because the decisions for this sort of thing come from “The Vale”? If so…the Vale decides these things by a “cabinet”….but there are no members of that Cabinet that represent Abingdon (but do Harwell, and Hanneys and places near Wantage)…?

    …please…please, tell us someone’s paying attention….

  13. Hester

    Just wondering if this site is still active? If so I am surprised that you haven’t told people about some important developments which have been announced recently: most important is the consultation on the revised Local Plan – last chance for us to have our say. There is a public meeting on Wednesday 19 Nov. There are also two other consultations affecting future planning for our town – details of all three are at http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-and-advice/planning-and-building/planning-policy/winter-2014-consultations
    On another topic, the combined efforts of Abingdon’s County Councillors have resulted in a further review of the Marcham Road pedestrian crossings – results awaited…

  14. Steven Green

    I can’t find anywhere on the link that Hester gave that mentions the public meetings… It is only because I am on the Abingdon Carbon Cutters email list that I knew about them:

    Local Plan public meetings

    To support the publication process of the local plan we have provided the following public meetings, which you are invited to. Details are below:

    Location
    Date (2014)
    Time

    Abingdon Guildhall (The Abbey Hall)
    Wednesday 19 November
    6-8pm

    Wantage The Beacon (The Ridgeway room)
    Friday 21 November
    6-8pm

    De Vere, Milton Hill House
    Thursday 27 November
    6-8pm

    Faringdon – Corn Exchange
    Tuesday 2 December
    6-8pm

  15. AbingdonFirst Post author

    Hi Hester, thank you for your concern; but the website is still active, as you have found by posting your comment and it appearing. However we have decided, for the time being, to take a bit of a back-seat and allow the populace to lead the site and the direction it takes. It was always designed to be self-populated by the Abingdon population, once it was up and running.

    Yes if we had concerns about anything we would (and still will) publish them, but the intention all along was for the site to be self-sufficient, hence the anonymity of the team. It was never about us, it was always about the issues. We do not want it to become biased with our views and opinions.

    We would love more people to comment and lead the site in the direction that they want it to be lead…unfortunately only a handful are brave enough to do so at this time.
    Please keep posting…

  16. Daniel

    Lodge Hill has just got funding.

    It is great to say that all the commom sense arguments about Abingdon needing infrastructure – desperately, have been heeded and listened to.

    Unfortunately, we can not say this, as this has not been listened to at all.

    All the reasons for Lodge Hill have been ignored. We are only getting it because of the 1000 houses at North Abingdon that we are getting.

    So…2 steps forwards,3 steps back!

    http://www.heraldseries.co.uk/news/11755988.Cash_for_A34_and_Oxpens_part_of___118m_bonanza_for_county/?ref=ar

  17. Pauline

    Having driven from Witney with two young children, parked and payed in the council car park I was very very disappointed and angry that the splash park in Abingdon was closed on Friday morning due to some jobs worth wanting to get rid of algae that supposedly was making the surface slippery. Surely it is not beyond the intelligence of those in the council to carry out necessary maintenance before it spoils the enjoyment of hundreds of people. Do the job when it is raining not when the sun is shining on one of the hottest days of the year when parents are having to explain to three year olds that it does not work because some numbskull cannot organise a ‘ squirt up in the park’!!!

  18. AbingdonFirst Post author

    We have been sent this. Anyone know anything about it?

    Training Flights over Abingdon.
    Dear sir, l and many others who live in and around Abingdon want to know why that annoying plane is performing aerobatics 4_5 days a week and up to 7_8 times a day. It is a training plane from Benson and is used to give Air Cadets flight experience plus pilot training, this is the same type of plane that 6 years ago clipped a glider while performing these manovours resulting in pilot and cadet crashing in Drayton killing both of them. The Air Accident investigation recommended this type of flying should not occur over this area as it is a high density flying area so why is it still happening? There are many Areas of open country side that could be used and give some peace to Abingdon.

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