Abingdon Floods in The House of Commons

Debate on Abingdon Floods
Congratulations to Layla Moran, our local MP, for securing a debate in the House of Commons last Thursday on the decision to mothball the River Ock flood storage scheme.

In 2007 more than 400 homes were flooded by the River Ock. The proposed flood storage scheme would have been funded by a partnership of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the Thames regional flood and coastal committee.
Debate on Abingdon Floods
Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon) (LD) said “…The Environment Agency initially estimated that the scheme would cost £5 million, but realised more recently that the true cost was closer to double that ….”

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Dr Thérèse Coffey), replied “The original cost of about £5.2 million was the starting point, but the agency then undertook additional modelling and ground investigations, which allowed it to produce the more detailed outline designs for the flood storage area. The cost increasing to £10 million is due not to one specific issue, but rather to a number of activities. For example, the reservoir needs to be compliant with the Reservoirs Act 1975 due to its size, resulting in the need for additional safety measures such as safe access routes for operational staff and maintenance vehicles. After appraisal, the cost has been estimated at about £10 million”

Dr Thérèse Coffey went on to say

“Unfortunately, it was found that this proposal had a negative cost-benefit ratio and so was not eligible for any support at all from the £2.6 billion of central Government funding that has been made available over six years.

The cost-benefit ratio works out the cost of a scheme against its benefit (how much damage it will prevent financially during a given time scale).

The next step to prevent further Abingdon Floods on the scale of 2007 must be to look for ways of making the scheme cheaper (whether redesign or challenging it is a reservoir), or see if the partnership can find more money.
Debate on Abingdon Floods
The full debate can be read at hansard.parliament.uk. It also can be watched on parliamentlive.tv

Leave a Comment May 20, 2019

Edible Abingdon and new benches

Edible Abingdon
I was walking by the Edible Abingdon garden in the Abbey Gardens at lunchtime.
Edible Abingdon
A blackbird came close when I sat on a bench for a moment – much closer than I would expect. He flew up to the back of the bench before flying back up to his perch. He may have mistaken me for somebody who feeds him.
Edible Abingdon
In the Edible Abingdon patch, the chard looked good with the wavy yellow stems.
Edible Abingdon
The purple headed chives also looked good with the yellow herbs behind.
Edible Abingdon
Down near the other edible Abingdon garden patch, by the open air pool, there were a lot of geese cropping the grass among the daisies. There are two new benches, one dedicated to Alan Bryden (who found peace in nature), and another to David and Janet Morgan (who loved to walk by the river).

3 Comments May 20, 2019

Oxfordshire Mind art exhibition (during Mental Health Awareness Week)

Oxfordshire Mind art exhibition
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, from 13th-19th May. It was also the Oxfordshire Mind art exhibition at the Mind Centre at Abingdon Charter.
Oxfordshire Mind art exhibition
As well as the art round the walls, there were people playing guitars, refreshments and a raffle. There was also a table for drawing or painting for anybody who wanted to have a go.
Oxfordshire Mind art exhibition
The Mind art group meets on Thursdays. One person, who recently joined, told me that the last time they did any art was almost fifty years ago at school. Art helps them clear their mind and relax. Sketching for three hours makes time fly by. The group are of mixed abilities and very welcoming.

Leave a Comment May 18, 2019

Museum at Night

Museum at Night
Abingdon Counnty Hall Museum was open from 7-9pm this evening. There were exhibitions to look round, but most people were watching the musicians perform. There was a good turnout of people.
Museum at Night
The Oxford Waits were performing in 17th period costume.
Museum at Night
Scampy played acoustic music.
Museum at Night
The Alphorn Trio performed traditional Swiss Alphorn music. It is the first time I have seen an Alphorn band performing in Abingdon. The horns used to be used for signalling or rounding up cows, but are now adapted as musical instruments.

6 Comments May 17, 2019

Whats on this weekend + three ducks and some May Blossom

Whats on
Artweeks continues in the Abingdon area until Saturday. There will be all the venues that have been open for a week, and on Saturday, for one day only, The Mind Art Group in Abingdon in the Charter.
Whats on
The exhibition in St Nicolas Church has been put on by The Abbey Group and they were open late this Thursday evening for people who work.

Another event I often visit and write about on the blog is Museums at Night which is on Friday, 17th May, 7:00pm-9:00pm. At Abingdon County Hall Museum there will be music by The Oxford Waits and others.
Whats on
Ruby’s Vintage Fair will be back in the Guildhall in the centre of town on Saturday 18th May 10am – 4pm after an absence of four years. The Vintage Fair has been at Millet’s Farm and Our Lady’s Abingdon but not at the Guildhall, the original Abingdon venue.
Whats on
At the Vintage Fair you might be able to get the once very popular set of three ducks for the wall. I saw three ducks flying over the Guildhall today and it brought back that memory.
Whats on
Today was a lovely day: blue sky, hawthorn in blossom, and lots of buttercups in the meadows.

1 Comment May 16, 2019

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