Michelle Thomas (South Ward)
I have lived in Henley since 2005 and I work part-time for Leander Club. My son and daughter both attend Gillotts school.
I first started working in the community by bringing people together to save the former LA Fitness swimming pool and gym. Co-founding Keep Henley Active the building was registered as an Asset of Community Value. A petition was launched and attracted 1,300 signatures. The campaign to try to save this very popular facility which had 2000 members took 2 years.
In 2017 I started campaigning for increased public funding in schools. I co-founded Together for Education in 2019, the campaign led to a Parliamentary petition (written signatures only) and attracted 1,000 signatures. I organised a March through Henley in protest, the event was televised on BBC South Today. This campaign is currently paused for Covid-19.
I became a candidate in the 2018 HTC byelection. Although not elected, I have continued to work for Henley as part of HRG, who fully supported my campaign and myself as a resident wanting change.
I was elected to Henley Town Council in 2019 and hold the following positions
- Chair of Planning
- Member of Town & Planning Community Committee
- Member of the Neighbourhood Plan working group
- Trustee of Henley Educational Trust
- Associate Governor of Badgemore Primary School.
Henley needs to be future-proofed and I want to work with Town, District and County Councillors to ensure the residents of Henley have the right infrastructure and amenities for its growing population, otherwise, it won’t be too long before we are in trouble. We are already fighting against cuts to our services, our infrastructure and more. This cannot be allowed to go on or get worse.
I am also greatly concerned by the lack of funding for our only secondary school. As a town, I believe we should rally together to help.
My aims as Councillor continue to be to:
- Provide more swimming facilities & options to learn – important in a riverside town.
- Hold other authorities responsible for their actions that harm Henley.
- Future-proof Henley for generations to come.
- Protect our town and our heritage from greedy developers without Henley as their main priority.
- Support Gillotts School in the campaign for due funding.