Should a riverside town give priority to teaching its children to swim?
LA Fitness was a popular gym with 2,000 members. It had a swimming pool where 365 children were learning to swim. It was listed as an asset of the community – an apt description.
In 2015 it was sold to a property company who wanted to build another nursing home and the gym was promptly closed. A petition signed by 1,500 people was ignored.
The planning application was rejected by Henley Town Council and so went to the Planning Committee of SODC. At the planning meeting a Conservative Henley Town Councillor, who also sat on the SODC planning committee, spoke strongly against the planning application. But when it was put to the vote he ABSTAINED. The vote was consequently TIED. Felix Bloomfield, the Conservative chairman of the committee, then used his CASTING VOTE to approve the plans and consequently the demolition of the Gym and swimming pool.
THE CONSERVATIVES SERIOUSLY LET DOWN HENLEY AND ITS CHILDREN.
Was this the end of the matter? NO!
Michelle Thomas, a member of the Gym at that time, singlehandedly, wrote and submitted a request to “Call the application in” – to the Secretary of State. She asked the Conservatives, who controlled the Town Council at that time, to support the request. They ignored her, and without support from HTC, the request was lost.
THE CONSERVATIVES SERIOUSLY LET DOWN HENLEY AND ITS CHILDREN – A SECOND TIME.
So that was that?
Not for Michelle. She then applied to have a footpath through the site to be added to designated maps. This will continue the footpath from the station to Mill Lane. That now has to be determined in the next six months.
Michelle, with all her energy and experience in planning matters is now an HRG candidate for the Town Council. We need her working with HRG, working for Henley.