Guildhall/Abbey Hall Meeting

By   16 January 2018
It was a fiasco…with half the people being shut out..and someone pomping it about spouting “elfnsaftee!” “No one else can come in!” (He even ejected one elderly woman whose friends had made a space for her by shuffling along their seats and seat sharing!).
The Mayor then came in..after speaking to the ones out in the foyer..and as one of her colleagues tapped her shoulder to speak..make a big theatrical shrug and shouted “NO”…. then at the end stated that she had been manhandled and groped..and someone SHOUTED IN HER FACE…and would we PLEASE not do that do her again! Now considering we were all inside…and i was just inside the door and saw all of this… i was pretty miffed about being accused of being a groper and shouter!
She pointedly wouldn’t answer any questions, and at the end stated that it was no point in speaking to her and “I am leaving first!” She also stated that “There is no point putting anything on social media because I will NOT respond to it!” (Well lady Mayoress, maybe it is about time you did?!)
I thought overall she was pretty rude! And a couple of others that i spoke to afterwards stated the same, without any prompting!
But onto the meeting. Basically they are going to spend shed loads of the available cash on archive storage for some of the museum pieces and the town archives…which will only be available for researchers..and a reading room for councillors and said researchers to read the archives.
There will be a lot of money spent on facilities for the disabled to be able to get to many of the rooms (although one wonders if these rooms are all open to the public).  The gardens outside will also be made nice, and possibly English Heritage will allow a lift where the stone steps are (but as someone pointed out, if they blocked the go ahead for the County Hall lift, which was at the back out of sight, why do the TC think they will allow one right in the entrance to the town in full view of any visitors to the town?!
There will also be commercial kitchens…and wifi. !
There was mention of the cinema deal..but the TC haven’t considered it yet… BUT there ARE exciting times ahead after discussions with the DC and Valle..but of course, us mere minnions aren’t privvy to such information…
There will be another meeting next Monday for the rest of the people that were excluded from this one due to poor planning and lack of foresight…and thinking that no-one is interested in what they do with the Guildhall.
If you are planning on attending the meeting on Monday 22nd Jan, you will need to pre-register your intention HERE

3 Comments on “Guildhall/Abbey Hall Meeting

  1. AbingdonFirst Post author

    I agree with you Hester, the meeting on the whole was polite and respectful. People got their points of view across, and there was no shouting or “Bunfight”. It was very respectful, considering that frustrations were running quite high at the start, with so many people being turned away, in what was a totally inadequate setting for a well advertised meeting that affects the town in general, and being told that there were to be no answers to any questions.

  2. Anon Coward

    wifi for goodness sake..
    have they not noticed that as the amount of data people get with their phone contracts, local wifi schemes will be dead and unused within a couple more years.

    by the time its installed, it will be redundant.

    yet more wasted money 🙁

  3. Hester

    I was also at the meeting and think it is worth clarifying that the meeting itself was polite and respectful – people were able to speak freely, without interruptions or insults and as far as I could tell, everyone who wanted to was able to speak. There were some very useful suggestions made and I really hope that the Town Council will listen to them. There was a clear consensus that people want the Abbey Hall re-opened asap, in whatever form, and frustration at the absence of information about the “exciting plans” for the longer-term – or even when the longer-term is. Opinions were more divided about the plans for the older part – some favouring inclusive access to all rooms, others suggesting a further look to see if a less drastic solution could be found even if this involved some compromise on inclusivity. There were also worries that the proposed alterations might not be cost-effective in terms of future use of the building and questions about the secrecy surrounding the deliberations and the various reports that have been commissioned.
    We will see what happens next…there is a Town Council meeting on 24 January so it will be interesting to hear what is said there.

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