Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency
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Abingdon-on-Thames is a vibrant market town with a population of over 33,000. Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council is a parish council under the Local Government Act 1972 and is the successor authority in terms of parish functions to the Abingdon Borough Council. The Town Council is responsible to the residents of Abingdon-on-Thames for a wide range of services. In this section of the Abingdon-on-Thames website we outline these services, as well as information about council meetings, committees, councillors, budget spending and the civic calendar.
The Council’s Vision is “to develop an inclusive community so that Abingdon is the place where everyone wants to live and where the wellbeing of residents is prioritised. In developing this community, the town will be one which is environmentally sustainable, vibrant, resilient and safe.” This is core to delivering and developing our services. The Council has adopted four key strategic objectives in order to acheive this Vision:
1 To respond effectively and speedily to the climate emergency.
2 To develop a resilient, sustainable town which will provide a home for residents now and in the future.
3 To manage the Council’s assets efficiently and effectively to meet for the needs of the community now and in the future.
4 To work with community partners to support those who are vulnerable and in need and to create opportunities to increase social inclusivity.
Find our contact details on the contact us page.
The Town Flag is flying at half-mast on Tuesday 28 June to mark the funeral of Brian Tonkin, Town Clerk of Abingdon 1985 to 2000. Brian died on 21 May at the age of 81. Brian and his wife Averil lived in a care home in Faringdon and Brian had been poorly for some years.
Brian was very well known in Abingdon. He worked at the Vale of White Horse DC before being appointed Town Clerk in 1985 and retired in 2000. He was active in the town including with Abingdon Town FC and the Rotary Club.
On 23 June Brian’s wife of 58 years, Averil, passed away at the age of 82 and so they had a joint funeral. Averil was also very active in the town including in the Inner Wheel.
Brian and Averil are survived by his daughter Faye, son Lee and grandchildren. Any cards/ letters may be sent via Edward Carter Funeral Directors, 107 South Avenue, Abingdon. OX14 1QS. Any donations in Brian’s memory to the RNLI.
Brian and Averil will be fondly remembered by all who knew them for their humour and their love of Abingdon; they will be greatly missed by all who knew them.
At its meeting on 26 January 2022, the town council passed a motion offering its support to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill. This bill is currently progressing through Parliament and is supported by a large number of MPs including the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, Layla Moran. The town council’s motion was as follows:
‘Abingdon Council to Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill
‘The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is a private members’ bill with cross-party support of over 150 Parliamentarians (MPs and Peers across all political parties) and over 100 local councils around the UK.
‘It would enshrine in law a commitment to deliver policy and action in line with the latest science – and with our Government’s own ambitions. It is the only proposed legislation which addresses the interconnected crises in climate and nature, with annual legally-binding targets to keep us on track.
‘This will also contribute towards preserving the future of children, young people and in essence, generations to come.
‘Abingdon also acknowledges the work the town and residents are already doing with support from local organisations and the newly formed Climate Emergency Centre
‘This Council resolves to:
- Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill;
- Inform our town, the residents and our local MP (Layla Moran) of this action through our website and social medial forums
- Inform the local media (press) of this decision;
- Write to Zero Hour, the campaign in support of the CEE Bill (email@example.com), and to the Zero Hour Oxfordshire (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Oxfordshire campaign in support of the CEE Bill, expressing our support.’
Ongoing support for the planet
The town council has as one of its key objectives ‘to respond effectively and speedily to the climate emergency’. This is reflected in the work of the town council including its sponsorship of plastic waste reduction, support for a green forum for the town and its support for the Climate Emergency Centre in the cafe beneath the County Hall museum.
“Move together” launched across Oxfordshire to help vulnerable residents
Embargoed until Tuesday 8 June 2021
A new county-wide programme “Move Together” has launched today and will support hundreds of Oxfordshire residents most affected by Covid-19 to move more and protect their health and wellbeing.
The Move Together initiative received a total of £362,975 from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund and Active Oxfordshire will be co-ordinating it. South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils will work alongside them and the other districts across the county to provide personalised support for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and who have been shielding and any residents whose health has been affected by the lockdowns over the past year.
A wide range of support and choices of activities will be available to residents through the councils’ Active Communities team, including home activity packs, phone calls/befriender services, community activities and exercise sessions for specific conditions.
The support provided will be personalised to each individual based on their specific needs and will be provided by physical activity specialists.
Move Together will reach vulnerable residents across the county, helping them to increase their physical activity levels in a way that works for them.
Cllr Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet member for Community Services in South Oxfordshire District Council said: “Many of our vulnerable residents have had to shield for a lot of the past year meaning that they hardly left their homes. Even when they were encouraged to go out the uncertainty of everything meant that they felt afraid to.
“This has had a detrimental effect on the health of some of those residents, both physically and mentally. The Move Together initiative offers great support to those who need help to feel confident about going out again.”
Cllr Helen Pighills, Cabinet member for Healthy Communities at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “Move Together is such a wonderful scheme. It’s a chance for us to help those who have really struggled since the first lockdown last year to get their “bounce” back through befriender schemes and activities to help them get moving and feeling fitter.”
“Initiatives like this are a really important way to support residents and enable us to build healthy communities which is one of our main priorities as a council”.
Paul Brivio, Chief Executive of Active Oxfordshire, said: “We’re delighted to be able to launch Move Together across Oxfordshire, with local authority and voluntary sector partners working together to ensure that physical activity can play a key role in our county’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. The benefits of moving more are significant and Move Together will not only improve residents’ physical and mental health but will help to reduce isolation and loneliness too. Move Together is set to transform hundreds of lives through the power of physical activity.”
On Tuesday 6 July there will be a webinar held for Oxfordshire organisations and partners interested in referring into the scheme. This webinar is open to any organisation working with people most affected by Covid-19 and will provide lots of information and advice about how to refer into Move Together.
For more information about Move Together and to get involved, visit: www.getoxfordshireactive.org/move-together
It is with much sadness and regret that we have heard that Mrs Rhoda (Sue) Crane has passed away at the age of 95. She served as a town councillor from 1987 to 1995 and was Mayor of Abingdon in 1993/94 having served as Deputy Mayor to William (Bill) Wivell in 1992/93. She had a particular interest in town twinning and served as Chair of the Abingdon and District Twin Towns Society.
A service is being held on Friday 18 June at 1pm and if you would like a link to view the service online please email email@example.com.
She leaves behind a loving family and will be fondly remembered by all who knew her.
As a mark of respect and in accordance with the town’s flag policy, the town flag will now fly at half-mast for a period of one week from Saturday 29 May (with the exception of Coronation Day on 2 June when the Union Flag will be flown) and on the day of the funeral.
Released from South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Council on 27 May 2021
The leaders of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have offered their thanks and gratitude to the thousands of volunteers across both districts ahead of volunteers’ week.
During the 37th annual Volunteers’ Week, which takes place from the 1-7 June, the councils will be taking the “time to say thanks” and highlighting the invaluable contribution volunteers make to community groups and voluntary organisations across South Oxfordshire and the Vale.
This time last year England had started to come out of its first lockdown. Voluntary organisations and community groups had stepped up to help in any way that they could with some people volunteering for the first time.
The councils Community Hub team worked with hundreds of volunteers as part of their Covid-19 response co-ordinating emergency food deliveries, collections of prescriptions and providing calls and a voice to speak to for those in need. Many council staff also took on new voluntary roles as part of their Covid-19 response throughout the last year.
The councils are supporting Oxfordshire’s Covid-19 Heroes awards. The new High Sheriff for Oxfordshire, Imam Monawar Hussain, is inviting award nominations to honour those who have played an important role in the county’s local response to the pandemic.
Residents can nominate people via an application form, and the judging will take place in June, with an awards ceremony in July.
Whilst the pandemic has put a spotlight on the work of volunteers and their positive impact on our communities, the councils have worked alongside voluntary groups and organisations across the districts for many years. They are a vital resource to help connect council services to those who are vulnerable and in need.
Cllr Emily Smith, Leader of Vale of White Horse District Council said: “We knew before the pandemic that there was great community spirit across the Vale. However, this year residents have really stepped up to help the vulnerable and those in need.
“I’m proud to live in such a great area where the volunteers have made such an incredible difference. I hope that the new and expanded partnerships go from strength to strength as we continue to work together to provide support for our residents.”
Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader with responsibility for Climate Change and Nature Recovery at South Oxfordshire District Council said: “Thank you almost doesn’t seem enough but from all of us at South Oxfordshire we send out biggest heart felt thank you to everyone who has volunteered during this incredibly hard year and to those who continue to do so.
“Without your time and dedication much needed good causes and charitable organisations wouldn’t be able to reach as many people as they do. Volunteers who give their time to work with heritage, nature and the environment to others that help children and vulnerable residents, you make such a difference. As a council we will continue to work alongside these organisations through our grant schemes and So Charitable Lottery.”
The Mayor’s Awards were first introduced in the year 1995/96, and have been awarded to those who have given outstanding service to the community of Abingdon-on-Thames each year since then. The outgoing Mayor of 2019-2021, Cllr Charlie Birks, presented The Mayors Awards to the following 7 worthy recipients:
Ali Blood: In recognition of the dedication to her duty to law enforcement in Abingdon and the courteous way she has carried it out for many years.
Frank Debney: In recognition of the contribution Abingdon Lions make to the Town, and the outstanding care he gave to the Town as a GP for 35 years.
Clive Elsmore: In recognition of his inspirational work on the Abimeds Group during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Jennifer Philippart: In recognition of her service to both the Community Fridge and the Town.
Julie Kemp-Harper: In recognition of their work on the Abingdon Community Response group during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Debbie Elwood: In recognition of their work on the Abingdon Community Response group during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Sarah Anthony: In recognition of their work on the Abingdon Community Response group during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
For a full list of Mayors awards since 1995 please see here.
Abingdon Carbon Cutters are hosting an event to promote the use of reusable coffee cups this Saturday 29th May in the Abingdon Market Place. They will be filling your own reusable coffee cup for free and… giving away home-made cakes!
In Summer 2019 Abingdon became the 65th UK community to be granted “Plastic-Free” status, and in line with the council’s key objective to respond effectively and speedily to the climate emergency, you are actively encouraged to ensure your litter is disposed of in a sustainable way. Come along to the event to find out more.
Released by South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse District Council on 25 May 2021
The last year has been tough for many residents across Oxfordshire due to the pandemic. Households have been hit financially by redundancies and furlough and have found themselves with a day-to-day struggle to afford food and manage the costs of fuel bills.
Throughout the year South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have been providing support via government funding to those who have been hit the hardest, and this support is still available.
If any resident is struggling financially the councils are urging them to get in touch and to do so before they reach crisis point. The Community Hub team are working alongside Citizens Advice and Vale Community Impact to offer help in the form of advice, supermarket and fuel vouchers or through the direct payment of energy or water bills.
The support is there for all households: residents needing help do not have to be in receipt of any government benefits and can be given financial support through this funding more than once.
Cllr Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet member for Community Services at South Oxfordshire District Council said: “We really want to help anyone struggling in our district. It has been such a hard year and if we can help to take the pressure off a resident whether they live alone or have a family. Everything we do is in the strictest of confidence, so I urge anyone that is worried about how they are going to manage over the next few weeks and months to contact us right away.”
Cllr Helen Pighills, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities at Vale of White Horse District Council said: “There will be residents in the Vale who have never had to ask for help before, and in doing so they may feel ashamed. They shouldn’t, the financial support we are able to offer is here for anyone that needs it. None of us have ever been through an experience like this, and none of us could have prepared ourselves for it. We can help to make life that little bit easier if you just pick up the phone or email to get help.”
If anyone does need help, they can call the South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Community Hub on 01235 422600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
They can also contact
- Citizens Advice – 0808 278 7907 (South Oxfordshire and the Vale)
- Vale Community Impact – 01235 765348 (Vale residents only)
The deadline for accessing financial support from the Covid Support Grant is Friday 18 June.