To the Editor of the Henley Standard
In November I announced that I had left the Conservatives. I would now like to announce that I have joined HRG and plan to stand as an HRG candidate in the elections on May 2nd.
In the year since my election it is obvious that HRG are the best choice for Henley. They work hard and get things done. I campaigned to save the bus service back in 2017, and it is only thanks to HRG, and especially Cllr Stefan Gawrysiak, that we have not only saved it, but made it even better.
We desperately need more social/affordable housing and HRG understands this. I tried to push this forward while in the Conservatives. When I mentioned this to Will Hamilton about 100% affordable he said “who would want to live there it would be like living in a ghetto” this made me so cross as it’s an insult not only to me but everyone who is hard working that wants to stay in Henley but can’t afford to buy or rent.
I also feel that HRG are a diverse group who truly represent all the residents of Henley. The Conservatives do seem to have a problem with sexism and bullying. For example when it comes to Female Mayors for I do believe that since 1974 (45 years ago and the year I was born) cllr Lorraine Hillier has been the only female Conservative Mayor. Lorraine, who is also chair of SODC, but has been treated utterly appallingly by the Henley Conservatives, and like me felt she could not be treated fairly by the Conservatives and now stands as an Independent Conservative.
I take my responsibilities as a Cllr seriously and have attended all meetings since my election. This level of commitment is also shown by HRG cllrs. I despair at planning meetings when one out of the 3 Conservative members on planning decides to turn up along with a substitute and another gives apologies at the very last minute. If they spent as much time working for the town rather than hobnobbing then more might get done. It seems that they just want to be seen socially but do not put the effort in when it comes to meetings and making decisions that are right for Henley
I am delighted to be joining HRG and working with other cllrs to improve and protect the town, and hope that the voters in May will appreciate that HRG really are the best choice for Henley.
Cllr Donna Crook
4 March 2019.