More scaffolding has appeared along Bridge Street today

August 27, 2013

Roysse Court Offices
More scaffolding has appeared along Bridge Street today – this time with yellow netting which matches the flower display.

After years of being ‘To Let’ somebody is moving into the offices above the Registry Office, with the view onto Roysse Court. That somebody is Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council who took over ownership of the Guildhall and Roysse Court from the Vale of White Horse District Council in April 2011.
Roysse Court Offices
The Town Council is planning to move from its leased offices in Old Abbey House to their own offices in the Guildhall and Roysse Court.

Filed under: building work

26 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. daniel  |  August 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I do hope that that scaffolding pole on the right isn’t in anyway impinging on the council owned footpath. If it is there’ll be council deliberations lasting weeks and weeks (no doubt held in a venue hired out in Farringdon) to debate and deliberate how much to charge the council for the use of that “access”! Could you just imagine…a councillor will turn to the councillor on their right to ask how much to charge, and that councillor would turn to their right to ask …and so on…and so on…until all the councillors are stuck in an infinite loop…and all the time the building work isn’t getting done…and no one on the council knows how much to charge the council for access…and all the time more and more sandwiches are being ordered…and more and more bottled water…and more and more fees are being racked up for the venue hire in Farringdon!

    …and if all the councillors are in Farringdon…what oh what will happen to Abingdon then!?

    If you ask me, they should just stay put.

  • 2. Newcomer  |  August 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Our favourite councilor, Iain-The-PeaceMaker, will tell us it’s all too complex.

    I think the councils – all of them – all the same nincompoops – should go ’single issue’ and get planning sorted out so strangers can’t waltz into town and do what they like. This would be one thing for them to concentrate on and shouldn’t stretch their tiny minds beyond the competence expected of an eleven-year-old.

    I feel sorry for the poor sods down Checker Walk who might have the white elephant of a cinema lowering over them. This council have ‘form’ with such things as they’ve allowed the architectural abortion of the Old Goal development to beetle-down on the once pleasant back gardens of East St, Helens. But as our leader Sandy Lovatt points out, the few must suffer for the many.

    I wonder how long he’d hold that view were his view to be spoiled. I think he’s a bit of a blowhard.

  • 3. Iain  |  August 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Insightful as always newconer!

    It’s not complex at all – we spend £30k pa renting the current offices. The move will eliminate this cost as we already own the roysse court offices and as backstreeter says they are standing empty.

  • 4. GJ  |  August 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    This doesn’t sound right.

    £30k pa seems reasonable, leaving the other owned offices empty for 2 years doesn’t . How much will the move cost? If the other offices couldn’t be used during those two years there must have been some maintenance cost plus a refurbishment cost prior to the move. I’m sure the detailed cost/benefit analysis and payback period will prove me wrong. Just doesn’t seem to stack up.

  • 5. Iain  |  August 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Lease of old building ends at end of 2013 too. Refit of roysse offices is approx £250k which would also need to be spent if we wanted to let offices out commercially (part of this cost would required anyway to maintain building). Pay back is approx 8 years based on current rents, probably less if we had to rent commercially. Fairly straightforward commercial case.

  • 6. JA  |  August 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Iain,
    How much is the refit, and what exactly is being done? Is it basic maintenance, or are we the taxpayers paying for opulent offices, with luxurious fittings/desks etc. again?

  • 7. Iain  |  August 29, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    The total cost is approx £250k. I’m afraid not mych could be described as opulent. Its a a very old building that hasnt had anything done to it for about 50 years so the bulk of the cost relates to mundanne items like roofing, sorting put cricks in walls, replacing windows, putting in heating etc.

    Possibly the least contraversial council decision i’ve encountered. Just a sensible thing to do.

  • 8. Iain  |  August 29, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    By the way – i dont thunk you could describe the current offices as opulent either so i’m not sure what you mean by again?

  • 9. Iain  |  August 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Sorry about bad typing – phone keys too small :(

  • 10. Newcomer  |  August 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Moving from the old town council offices to the refurbished offices in the Guildhall is hardly financial rocket science.

    The real ‘magick’ finance we’re waiting to see is how the Town Council is going to shoulder the running costs of the ugly part of the Guildhall without it becoming a massive burden on the town.

    I was at a meeting in the Guildhall a while back when backstreeter asked the killer question, which was how much would it cost to knock this terrible building down and some jobs-worthy answered ‘a large amount of money’.

    Well, so what, it’s a blot on the landscape and I can’t for the life of me imagine that there were people on the Town Council who were daft enough to take it on. None of the ideas mentioned, including the cinema, which will cost a fortune to run (prove me wrong, publish the operational costs), will make the project viable.

    The Crown & Thistle might have use for the space (at a reasonable price).

    I wouldn’t critcize the Town Council so much if they weren’t so inept.

  • 11. Iain  |  August 31, 2013 at 9:47 am

    If i remember correctly Newcomer – your solution was to persuade a mythical private sector cinema company who has not found a commercial case to set up in abingdon in 30 years, to invest to occupy a building in the precinctt we dont own, with the agreement of a landlord who wants to attract a fashion retailler.

    Good luck with the business case for that one.

  • 12. Newcomer  |  September 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Iain, you don’t remember correctly. This explains a lot.

  • 13. Iain  |  September 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    My view stands – cant be bothered debating with you Newcomer. You’ve taken an emotional dislike to the town council, even blaming it for stuff like the old gaol which had nothing to do with the town council and most of us weren’t councillors and probably not in the same party as the folks who made that decision. Nothing i can say will change your view.

    If you want to argue properly then come out from behind your cloak of anonimity and put your time into trying to do something for the communuty rather than just moaning about others who have sufficient gumption to try and do something

  • 14. Newcomer  |  September 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, Iain. There’s no point in debating with you as you just make-up the other person’s argument to suit the points you want to make. I just wish there was space on this Blog to explain the idea of a commercial cinema in the town centre in a way which wouldn’t allow you to misrepresent me.

    However, you do have a point about the Town Council as Abingdon is fiddled-about with by a strata of councils and this is always pointed out by excuse-makers when it’s really the same political parties and even individuals who are running the agenda on all strata. Or is that too complex? In future, whenever I use ‘council’ in any context I mean all of you.

    People ‘who have sufficient gumption to try and do something’ would sometimes be advised to do nothing especially when they are compromised by their commitment to party political dogma. Who would want to waste their time in meetings watching ‘the usual suspects’ act like schoolboys?

    Courtesy of backstreeter’s platform I think I’m doing a grand job ‘pissing into all your tents’. Don’t take it personally, though I do declare that Boden Boy’s embarrassment this last week just shows how the Tories have lost their grip on the zeitgeist. I thought his head was going to explode …

  • 15. Iain  |  September 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve made my view clear. If you ever want to discuss what are serious and well considered proposals then grow a pair and talk to me in person – i’m not anonymous and fairly easy to get hold of.

  • 16. Newcomer  |  September 1, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    You are tedious, Iain.

    You were quick to adopt backstreeter’s platform (chancer that you are) so use it to persuade us with the financial arguments and not the rhetoric.

    This ‘grow a pair’ you keep using … are we supposed to think you’re a ‘bit of a lad’?, or do you just like men with big balls? As far as street-cred is concerned you’re 100% bri-nylon (look it up).

    Just chatted to backstreeter and I know that he knows I’d like an open forum here to lay out my cinema proposal and I’ve requested space for you to make a total tit-head of yourself.

    How fair is that?

  • 17. Iain  |  September 1, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    It’s not nice when people who don’t know insult you is it newcomer?

  • 18. Newcomer  |  September 1, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Are you throwing a wobbly, Iain?.

    No-one knows what you’re talking about. At what point do you think I’ve been insulted? To insult me I’ve got to respect you and you don’t qualify. You’re just a small-town boy who looks like a likely-lad to the Tired Tories.

    Backstreeter told me that you are considered the Tories ‘Ideas Man’. This was over the ‘phone … I almost wee’d myself with laughter.

    Who’d say that Abingdon isn’t fun?

  • 19. Paul  |  September 2, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Beware of those who think they have turned the world upside down when all they have really done is to stand on their heads. Criticism is easy; action less so.

  • 20. Lyn  |  September 2, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Please stop it, Newcomer. The Abingdon blog doesn’t need such unpleasantness.

  • 21. daniel  |  September 2, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    It’s a shame really….as a resident, often trying to decide whether it’s worth having an opinion, all I really care about is the facts. I now know little more than before…and if anything else, am less interested in the whole thing.

    As I said; shame really.

  • 22. Iain  |  September 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Hi daniel – please get in touch if you want any facts – you have my email address. On the topic of this post the salient facts are as follows:
    Lease on current building expires end 2013
    Vacant offices alreasy owned by town council
    Unoccupied for many years
    £250k to get them back in servicable order
    Expenditure predominantly structural
    End offices will be functional rather than opulent
    Annual saving on rent to atc is c£30k (potentially higher if we had to source alternative accommodation going forward)
    Hope this helps
    Iain

  • 23. Newcomer  |  September 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Iain,

    Please accept we know this and Accountancy 1:01 is not news to the electorate and fixed and variable costs are sorta 1:01 and you’re making yourself a tad patronizing as a chap who takes a bit of time to explain his points in a plod, plod ploddy way.

    That said, as an elector, I’m pleased you’ve getting a grasp of the democratic system.as I was worried you hadn’t a clue.

    And Lyn …I’m too pious for my own good.

    I’m the guy who is REALLY angry about what the NUMPTIES are doing to OUR town..

    An apology to Paul … I just react badly to ‘pompous’

  • 24. Iain  |  September 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Newcomer – i refer you to my previous answer.

    My last post was in response to Daniel’s post – the clue was starting the post with ‘hi Daniel’. I’m afraid i have only a minor interest in the views of ‘newcomer’ . I’ve met Daniel, and i know his questions are intended out of genuine interest. I’m afraid i think ‘newcomer’ is just someone who wants to make a point and has no real interest in anything i have to say – which i find sad.

  • 25. daniel  |  September 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Hi iain, thanks for your response and clarification. When it comes to other things, like the cinema….i am all for lt. In the absence of “Odeon” or anyone else queuing up to open a multiplex at Fairacres (which i don’t think would be a good iidea as it happens), i am all for people with more get up and go, enthusiasm, time and where with all, to try and do things that help us all out! I am certain that if i had the qualifiications (and again, inclination) to look through and numerate and rumerate over facts and figures…someone, somewhere will alwys find issue with something.

    Ultimately, as long as something that is good for Abingdon is happening. Great! How lucky are we that we have people willing to do something, rather than moan about it.

    Believe me…i could happily moan with the best of them…but as i am unlikely to have the time (or really put the effort in) to actually do anything about it…best to shut up and be grateful, i reckon!

  • 26. John  |  September 5, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    I wish Newcomer would go back to where she (or he) came from. We don’t need such nastiness in our lovely and friendly town.

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