Summary Press release – 24th October 2017

Henley residents willing to provide an extra £6 per annum for grants

In September and October Henley residents were surveyed for their view on priorities for grant funding by Henley Town Council. Over 120 residents responded.

Sponsors of the survey, Henley Residents Group Councillors Ian Reissmann and Jane Smewing introduced the survey, saying “funding decisions made by Oxfordshire County Council (and other bodies) have meant some services for Henley Residents paid for by the County face being cut back”. They asked for views on how the Town Council how they should pay for the costs of these extra grants, if the Town Council decided to cover any deficiencies.

Continue reading Summary Press release – 24th October 2017

“I’ll work my socks off” – Stefan Gawrysiak

Henley Residents Group (HRG) has announced that Stefan Gawrysiak, District and Town Councillor for Henley-on-Thames will be the HRG candidate for the county election on May 4th.

Stefan, a former Mayor of Henley and Assistant Head Teacher of Gillotts School, said that this election was “the most important election for the last 10 years.” Residents of Henley have felt for a long time that Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) is remote, unresponsive, and inept at dealing with Henley’s problems. Over the past 8 years we have had nothing from OCC.

Continue reading “I’ll work my socks off” – Stefan Gawrysiak

HRG survey – what matters to you?

Henley Residents Group want to hear your views on Henley’s most important issues.

Management of Henley is split between Oxford County Council (OCC), South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC), and Henley Town Council.

On 4th May 2017 there are elections taking place for Oxford County Council (OCC). We want to represent what’s important to the people of Henley in these elections.

Please help us to represent you by completing the questions in this survey. It won’t take you more than a few minutes.

Thank you

Click here to take survey

Councillor Martin Akehurst resigns

Councillor Martin Akehurst (Con) has resigned from Henley Town Council due to advice from his consultant and doctor.

Martin joined the Henley Residents Group party in 2009 and was elected as Town Councillor in 2010. In November 2014 half way through his year as mayor, he resigned from HRG and declared that he had always been a Conservative. In the May 2015 elections Martin was elected both Henley Town Councillor and District Councillor for Sonning Common.

There will now be a mid term election for the two Henley Town Council seats, the date is yet to be confirmed but it is thought that it will take place on the same day as the County Council elections on 4 May 2017.

Councillor Dylan Thomas resigns

Councillor Dylan Thomas (Con) has resigned as a member of Henley Town Council. Dylan who has been a Town Councillor for almost two years has accepted a new job in the public sector in Whitehall. It is important that he is seen to be politically impartial so he has therefore decided to vacate his seat on the Town Council.

A mid term election may now take place and the official vacancy has been advertised on the Henley Town Council website.

County council elections on Thursday 4 May

On Thursday 4 May 2017, all 63 seats on the county council will be up for re-election. Polling stations in the 61 divisions across the county will open at 7am for voting and close at 10pm.

Exactly who will be standing for election in each division will be known after the close of nominations at 4pm on Tuesday 4 April. The Statements of Persons Nominated will be published no later than 4pm on Wednesday 5 April.

In the 2013 election the Henley seat was won on a minority vote by David Nimmo-Smith (Con) with 912 votes, closely followed by Stefan Gawrysiak (HRG) on 789 votes with the UKIP candidate gaining 775 votes.

John Howell under fire

JOHN HOWELL seems to have had enough of the criticism coming his way recently.

The Henley MP has come under fire for the perceived failure of the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan to dictate planning policy.

He even disagreed with his fellow Henley Conservatives who messaged him on Twitter, saying: “South Oxfordshire District Council have told us in writing that our plan is out of date due to them not having a five-year land supply.”

Mr Howell replied: “I am telling you I discussed this with the minister and neighbourhood plans are not worthless. They still carry the same weight.”

No appeal for loss of LA Fitness

THE decision to allow the site of the former LA Fitness gym in Henley to be turned into an 80-bed care home will not be scrutinised by the Government.

Planning minister Gavin Barwell has refused a request by opponents for it to be “called in” and examined by a planning inspector.

The Keep Henley Active pressure group, which believes the site in Newtown Road should remain a leisure facility, said South Oxfordshire District Council should not have awarded planning permission last month as the land wasn’t earmarked for housing in the Henley and Harpsden joint neighbourhood plan.

They said the closure of the gym and swimming pool had put heavy pressure on Henley leisure centre, which now has the town’s only pool.

Neighbouring residents argued that the plans by Essex developer Henthames would cause congestion on Mill Lane, where the main entrance will be.

But Mr Barwell said the call-in procedure could only be used “very selectively” and he was satisfied that the LA Fitness decision should have been taken locally.

He said the Government “remained committed to giving more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues”.

It is the second time this year that the Department for Communities and Local Government has declined to call in a planning decision involving a development in Henley.