HRG Members Attend AGM and Review Achievements 2021-2022
The Henley Residents Group (HRG) held its Annual General Meeting recently at the Kings Arms Barn. Over 40 members attended the first in-person AGM since 2019.
HRG Leader Gill Dodds welcomed those attending stating that “HRG continue to be the party that residents trust. We have secured the election of 10 HRG town cllrs, 3 HRG District Cllrs, and the HRG County Cllr. HRG was formed around my kitchen table over 30 years ago. What we residents have achieved for Henley over those years has been transformative and helped make Henley the delightful town it is .”
Chair Cllr Glen Lambert provided a list of highlights from the last 12 months stating that “It is because of HRG that Henley enjoys genuine, independent, representation of the people, by the people and for the people. We have had a very successful few years at Town, District and County levels but there is no room for complacency and we need to look forward and plan for the elections in May 2023.”
Outgoing Treasurer David Feary reported a healthy financial situation and was thanked by the meeting for his years of service. The meeting voted in Cllr Ian Reissmann as the new Treasurer.
HRG Cllr Michelle Thomas, who is the current Mayor, has appointed three main charities: for Covid catch up for schools in Henley; to establish a climate and nature hub in Henley; and to start and nurture a Volunteer Network for volunteers, organisations and those wanting to Volunteer – which is called the Henley Volunteer Network.
Michelle led a wide-ranging discussion on the issues facing Henley which covered parking, transport, as well as a number of challenges in the age of climate change and threats to the environment.
The meeting was reminded that HRG was formed in 1989 in response to the closure of the Regal Cinema and the failure of the Conservative Town council to represent and lead the interests of Henley and its residents by electing ordinary residents onto the Town Council. After winning control of the Town Council in 1991 HRG Councillors have controlled Henley Town Council for most of the last 30 years. During that time the independent nature of the group as an authentic voice of residents has seen many improvements in Henley. An early success was the saving of the Regal Cinema, Over 60 Club in Greys Rd car park. We bought Gillotts Field and established it as a Town Green so that it is protected for future generations. Also the building of the skate park for young people and all ages of Henley. More recently the Town bus was saved after the County Council cut the funding.
The meeting looked to the future and considered HRG commitments including making sure all further housing developments in the town include 40% affordable properties, leading the project to design the new sports Clubhouse at Jubilee Park, and continuing to press for an HGV limit for Henley. HRG cllrs lead the activities to support Henley’s Britain in Bloom activities in order to add to the multiple gold awards received over the years. Every year HRG cllrs support local charities with over £80,000 of financial help in grant awards supporting those many volunteers who give up their time to help residents and Henley.
The meeting ended with members thanking councillors and the HRG Executive for their continuing hard work.
Picture above: Cllr Ian Reissman; The Mayor, Cllr Michelle Thomas; Gill Dodds – HRG Leader; Cllr Glen Lambert