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To: Vale of the White Horse District Council

Save Abbey Meadows Outdoor Pool Abingdon

UPDATE: 22/05/15 - The Vale of the White Horse District Council confirmed cross party support for keeping and refurbishing Abingdon Outdoor Pool at the council meeting last night. Yeh!

Save Abbey Meadows Outdoor Pool Abingdon

Invest in this valuable public asset for Abingdon. Don't close it and build a restaurant.

Why is this important?

12,000 people used the pool last year in the four short months for which it was open. The council are representing the pool as a burden, but you cannot measure the value of a public asset in pounds and pence. What value can you put on the civic identity of Abingdon, living by the river, playing by the river? What value on the mental and physical wellbeing afforded by splashing about outdoors? What value on the happy memories of days out with the family enjoying the pool, the park, the relaxed atmosphere?

Wallingford, Hinksey, even a small village like Woodstock manage to have outdoor pools, why not a large and growing town like Abingdon. Why do we have to lose our pool? We're set to have new houses built on every margin of the town to add to the 10 years of in-fill (brewery, penlon, etc). Will Abingdon residents have to get in their cars and travel to access leisure and recreational facilities? Is such a scenario good for Abingdon socially or economically?

This is the last portion of Thames riverside with public recreational access, everything else has been sold off and built on. Can we afford to lose Abbey Meadows by letting the pool be turned into a 'riverside restaurant', only available to those that can afford it? If this happens, we will be paying to bulldoze over a public asset to set up a private commercial business. Another restaurant to add to all those in Abingdon and two new ones in the Old Gaol.

The outdoor pool is part of what makes Abingdon unique. The pool is an asset not a burden and a confident town should invest in the pool and make it as good as Hinksey, Wallingford and even Woodstock. Does Abingdon deserve less? I don't think so.
IMPORTANT: Please also go to and vote option A in the Vale of the White Horse public consultation. Options B & C will see the pool lost forever.

How it will be delivered

By e-mail direct to council members and if it is not too many pages to the council office as well.

Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • Life is not all about financial cuts, it's also about quality of life for goodness sake! I have been using this pool since 1964 and I believe it is a jewel in the crown of Abingdon's Riverside. What better way of keeping the towns teenagers off the streets and their computers?
  • Wonderful , healthy facility for local people to enjoy and attractive draw for tourists and visitors . Too special to be got rid of for the sake of saving money . It s irreplaceable .
  • I want my child to experience the fun of an outdoor swimming pool as. She grows up


2018-06-12 22:27:30 +0100

The refurbished Abbey Meadow outdoor pool opens on Saturday 16th June. Gates open to the public at 1pm! Just to re-iterate my thanks to everyone who signed the petition.
To re-cap: The VoWH district council ignored the consultation that overwhelmingly chose to refurbish the pool. They also rejected this petition, saying that although the pool would remain open, it didn't need to be refurbished. Appeals to the Town council were also rejected. However, when the side of the pool fell it, it was clear that the pool would either be closed permanently or would require major refurbishment.
I have no doubt that your support made it clear that Abingdon would not stand for the pool to be closed. Once the decision to refurbish the pool was made, it has been thoroughly 'done up' and will be a great asset to the town for years to come.
Thank you again for your fantastic support and for standing up for Abingdon!
I hope that you all enjoy the pool over the summer.
Naomi x

2018-06-01 12:04:32 +0100

Petition is successful with 2,544 signatures

2016-06-09 18:34:35 +0100

Petition is successful with 2,543 signatures

2015-05-22 09:47:53 +0100

Petition is successful with 2,535 signatures

2015-05-21 19:30:23 +0100

Last night I introduced this petition at the Vale of the White Horse District Council meeting. I had 5 minutes; there was a big red timer, but managed to make most of the points you had raised! However, the good news is that the council leader Matthew Barber confirmed cross-party support for keeping the outdoor pool and that investment would focus on making the pool an asset to the town again. Thank you all for your help and support; I'll keep you updated, but it looks like the pool with stay! YEH!

2015-04-28 09:33:19 +0100

Sorry about the multiple updates, there is a character limit on the message, Naomi x

2015-04-28 09:32:52 +0100

I sent out a letter to every candidate standing for a seat on the Vale of the White Horse District Council or Abingdon Town Council asking if they supported Abbey Meadows Outdoor Pool.
4. Who failed to reply to my letter
Alice Badcock (CON), Mike Badcock (CON), Marilyn Badcock (IND), David Bartlett (LAB), Charlie Birks (LIB DEM), Jonathan Bowden (ROAR), Katherine Burton (ROAR), Merv Chadwick (CON), Gina Darling (CON), Katie Finch (CON), Robert Hall (CON), Brian Hedley (CON), Darren Houlden (LIB DEM), Vicky Jenkins (CON), Mervin Knight (CON), Pat Lonergan (LIB DEM), Sandy Lovatt (CON), Monica Lovatt (CON), Hermann Matheson (CON), Anthony Mockler (ROAR), Bobbie Nichols (LAB), Lorraine Oates (LIB DEM), Chris Palmer (CON), Judith Penrose-Brown (LIB DEM), Natalie Quinn (LAB), Guy Rogers (CON), George Ryall (LAB), Jake Smith (UKIP), James Sweeten (ROAR), Andy Todd (CON), Daniel Wilkinson (CON).

2015-04-28 09:32:23 +0100

I sent out a letter to every candidate standing for a seat on the Vale of the White Horse District Council or Abingdon Town Council asking if they supported Abbey Meadows Outdoor Pool.
2. Who is pool positive but did not sign the petition:
Duncan Brown (LIB DEM), Richard Bullock (GREEN), Dennis Garrett (CON), Vicky Walker (LIB DEM).
3. Who replied but is neutral regarding the pool:
Tony DeVere (LIB DEM)

2015-04-28 09:32:00 +0100

I sent out a letter to every candidate standing for a seat on the Vale of the White Horse District Council or Abingdon Town Council asking if they supported Abbey Meadows Outdoor Pool.
1. Who is pool positive and signed the petition:
Jim Abram (UKIP), Samantha Bowring (LIB DEM), Halima Brewer (GREEN), Margaret Crick (LIB DEM), Michael Ellwood (GREEN), Neil Fawcett (LIB DEM), Alistair Fear (LIB DEM), Tobias Fett (GREEN), Mike Gould (LAB), Jim Halliday (LIB DEM), Jeanette Halliday (LIB DEM), Lionel Howard (CON), Angela Lawrence (IND), Rob Maddison (LIB DEM), Jan Morter (LIB DEM), Christopher Newton (LIB DEM), Paul Norton (GREEN), Tim Oates (NHAP), Helen Pighills (LIB DEM), David Pope (CON), Alison Rooke (LIB DEM), John Skinner (LIB DEM), Janet Walker (LIB DEM), Denise Watt (LAB), James White (LIB DEM). Of the parliamentary candidates, Helen Salisbury (NHAP), Layla Moran (LIBDEM) and Sally Copley (LAB) have signed the petition.

2015-04-11 11:37:00 +0100

Samantha Bowring, Abingdon Town Councillor also supports keeping the pool and signed the petition

2015-04-06 22:04:04 +0100

After contacting elected representatives for Abingdon on the town, district and county councils, and asking them to forward to any prospective candidates, these are the people that have signed the petition so far: Jeanette Halliday, Tim Oats (candidate), Lesley Legge, Helen Pighills, Jim Halliday, Neil Fawcett. I'll keep you updated on any others, thanks Naomi

2015-04-06 21:07:12 +0100

I've printed this out at 2203 signatures, though there have been a few more since I started the print. I'm submitting the petition as an interim measure to coincide with the end of the Abbey meadows consultation period (April 7th), but the petition will stay open until the future of the pool is secured so please continue to share and re-post to everyone you know. Thank you all for your support and I hope that it will be good news, though we won't hear anything final until the summer, byee Naomi

2015-04-06 20:15:33 +0100

Sally Copley, parlimentary candidate for the Labour Party has signed the petition.

2015-03-15 13:53:12 +0000

Layla Moran, parlimentary candidate for the Lib Dems has also joined the petition. I'll keep you updated on any other replies from the other candidates, Naomi

2015-03-13 09:25:03 +0000

Helen Salisbury, parlimentary candidate for the National Health Action Party has joined the petition and retweeted. I've not heard from any of the other candidates that I contacted directly as yet. I'll chase them up and keep you posted, Naomi

2015-03-12 20:13:17 +0000

Please also go to, and vote option A in the Vale of the White Horse public consultation. Options B & C will see the pool lost forever.

2015-03-12 09:14:40 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2015-03-11 21:58:36 +0000

500 signatures reached

2015-03-11 20:10:53 +0000

100 signatures reached

2015-03-11 19:51:44 +0000

50 signatures reached

2015-03-11 19:37:32 +0000

25 signatures reached

2015-03-11 19:27:57 +0000

10 signatures reached