Our achievements since 2016
In Oxfordshire County Council
Approaching 30 years of achievements
The Town Centre Redevelopment
HRG was originally formed in 1989 to fight the over-intensive joint Waitrose / South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) Town Centre Development Plan. As a result HRG fought and took over the Town Council. HRG’s success led to the town centre development never went ahead, killed off by our protesting and the 1990’s recession. Waitrose built a much more modest scheme. The Day Centre for the over 60’s was bought by the Town Council and flourishes today. The Youth Centre was saved. The Regal cinema was saved and rebuilt. So many areas of Henley got a face lift.
This area was derelict in 1991 before the newly elected HRG run council set about refurbishing it. It is now a beautiful area to sit and enjoy the river.
HRG pushed for the purchase of this land to ensure it’s preservation as a recreation area for residents. When it was identified by SODC as possible for development, we pushed for its designation as a village green protecting it against this threat.
Kings Arms Barn
In 1997, HRG led a programme of purchase and design of this rundown area on and behind Market Place, which now provides prestigious homes for the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Henley Volunteer Bureau, plus a fine upstairs function room in the for public and private hire.
Pedestrianisation of Market Place
This was a very contentious issue – HRG lost the council elections in 1999 because of opposition to the plan. We stuck to our beliefs and most residents now are very content with the open space this vision has created in the middle of our town.
Henley Cricket Club
At the Millennium Brakspears wanted to turn Henley Cricket Ground into a car park. HRG led the campaign to stop the development, and authorised a loan from the Town’s assets so the Cricket Club could buy the land. The loan has been repaid in full. This secured the long term future of this successful club.
Eyot Boat Centre
HRG supported Eyot by awarding them a low interest long term load to rebuild the club, to ensure that Henley residents can continue to enjoy their sport with modern facilities.
Jubilee Park Outdoor Sports Centre
HRG councillors established this sports centre including an artificial surface for hockey and football, so that these sports can be played all year round.
Links with Business
Under HRG control, the Town Council established the Henley Partnership. This allows businesses, individuals and third sector organisations to work together on enhancing the social, cultural vibrancy of our town.
We fought to keep Townlands Hospital open when it was under threat in 2005. We were successful in this and then pressed for redevelopment to give us a state of the art hospital fit for the 21st century. Planning permission was granted in November 2012 and the new hospital opened in 2017.
Highway at Northfield End
HRG successfully fought to protect this public asset for many years and finally won our battle in November 2012 when the Government inspector ruled that the proposed layout by developers was unsafe and failed to protect this beautiful area of Henley.
Old Fire Station Gallery
HRG pressed for this unused building to be restored and it is now a flourishing and successful exhibition centre.
Henley in Bloom
HRG councillors have been active supporters of Henley in Bloom and have put in much work to keep our town beautiful. Henley won a second gold award in 2012, which recognises the all round attractiveness of the town and the work
Funding of PCSO
HRG councillors have been active to ensure the Town Council continues to fund a Police Community Support Officer (shared with the Thames Valley Police). This helps the residents of Henley to feel secure.
Investment in Recreation
HRG has pushed through a number of improvements to Henley’s recreational facilities: support for the River and Rowing Museum; the purchase of Gillotts Field for the town, support for the Skate Park Initiative; the development of Freemans as a play area; continuing improvements of the facilities at Makins for young people. At Mill Meadows we made a Sensory garden and refurbished the children’s play area, and are continually looking at way to improve parking at Mill Meadows.
Visitor Information Centre
When the District Council removed funding, HRG ensured the Town Council stepped in to keep the centre going to enable us to welcome visitors and help promote tourism.
Links with Business
In April 2012 HRG arranged the funding, jointly with SODC, of a Town Centre Manager who works closely with the Henley Partnership on an Action Plan for Henley.
HRG has fought hard for the provision of lowcost housing at the YMCA (Noble Road) and Southfields and to ensure that Henley people are first on the lists. We continue to insist that development within the town includes provision for low cost housing, to enable our young people to stay in Henley.