Jane Smewing (South Ward)
I moved to Henley with my husband in 1975, and our two sons were born and brought up in Henley, attending Trinity Primary, Gillotts and the Henley College. When they were HOPS (Henley Outdoor Play Scheme) age, I joined the HOPS Committee and later became Chair. Then when the boys were at Gillotts I became chair of the Parent-Teacher Association.
I joined HRG when it was first formed – and every time I go to the Regal I’m glad I did! Comparing Henley with Maidenhead or with Marlow shows how fortunate we are – my grandchildren are enthusiastic fans of the River and Rowing Museum and the Mill Meadows playground. It’s not luck, but hard work that has kept Henley such a good place to live. This is why I think it so important that HRG continues to champion Henley, and why I want to contribute. We need actively to safeguard what we’ve got, and support good new ideas to make sure they happen. At the Town Council level of local government, national political parties are not relevant, but a group of councillors can be much more effective than individual independents.
Most of my working life has been spent in IT. I’ve worked at home, and commuted to Bracknell and to Oxford. I’ve also worked in Local Government for a few years so have an understanding of the powers and responsibilities of the various tiers of local government and how they fit together. I’m now working part-time, and expect to retire later this year, so I have both the time and the background to become an effective Town Councillor.