Ken Arlett (North Ward)
Henley Town Council: 1991 – 1999, 2000-2007, 2017-2023
South Oxfordshire District Council: 1991-1999, 2003-2007, 2019 – present
Committees & Current Positions
Planning (Vice-Chair), Finance Strategy & Management, Joint Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan, 353–357 Reading Road (HTC – Chair) Planning, (SODC)
Previous positions held
Mayor of Henley (3 times) Deputy Mayor (2 times) Chair of Planning (HTC)
Ken was born and raised in Henley and one of the original 8 HRG councillors elected in May 1991, when he became HRG’s first Mayor of Henley. Ken lives in Henley with his wife Dorothy and is known to enjoy a good game of golf.
Before being re-elected in 2017, Ken dedicated a huge amount of time to the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Hood Plan (JHHNP) and has continued that work since re-joining Henley Town Council. Ken has also played a large part in the redevelopment of the sports facilities at Jubilee Park. As a District Councillor, Ken has spent time resolving waste issues in the town centre, campaigning to have local public toilets refurbished, a fairer scheme for residents in SODC Car Parks and supports the decriminalisation of parking enforcement.
Ken was Mayor of Henley when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and led the town in that role for two years, stepping down in May 2021.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently committed to the JHHNP and also setting up a Community Land Trust Charity. Both of these will give the town much needed ‘affordable housing’. With the Community Land Trust, we can set the rents and also the people we wish to live in the houses.
You were Mayor as the covid pandemic hit. What were the biggest challenges?
The Covid 19 pandemic was a real eye-opener for the Town Council, mainly through having the majority of its officers working from home and then setting up meetings via Zoom or Teams for Councillors. As Mayor and with the support from officers and Councillors the online meetings seemed to bring the council closer together and made it quite easy for decision making. The pleasure over the year was in the way local charities and other organisations set up for the pandemic helped out all the residents through the town, Henley can be proud of the way everyone worked together.
How do you think HRG has changed over the years?
HRG has just passed the 30th Anniversary of winning their first seats at Town and District level, this has now been added to by winning the County Council elections for a second term. HRG has never changed its ethos, local residents wanting to do their best for the town. The achievements of the past 30 years of HRG leadership is there for all residents to see and all this information can be found on the HRG Website