Our Councillors 2023

North Ward

Tom Buckley

Tom Buckley

My wife and I moved from Yorkshire to Henley in 2017 and live on Greys Road. I’m a Retail IT Consultant and work mostly from home (as well as walking our little black and white dog Luna round town).

I was introduced to local issues when I became aware of the impending closure of Lovibonds. This was the first time I’d seen how local interests could be overridden by developers. The campaign (ultimately unsuccessful), brought all manner of people together in very positively, and demonstrated Henley’s fabulous community spirit.

Friendships made then helped me to become in 2021 the first independent councillor to be co-opted onto Henley Town Council in many years. I’ve enjoyed serving on both the Planning and Parking Committees, which proved to me how much stronger we are when we work together.

This will be my first election. If elected I hope to maintain the independent values, opinions, and ideas that I have demonstrated thus far. Challenges to address include residents parking, potholed roads, and as one of the most dog-friendly towns I’ve seen, cleaner pavements are essential.

Henley is a town I am incredibly passionate about and I live in the centre of town.

Gill Dodds

Gill Dodds

Born and brought up in Henley, one of the fortunate children to attend Friar Park school, I obtained a degree in Philosophy and English at Leeds University. I worked in marketing for a publisher. With my first husband Kru Zakss and other Henley Residents we founded the Henley Residents Group. All eight of us were elected in 1991 to both Town and District Councils. We worked for the good of the town and were unconnected with national political parties.

I have two children, Charlotte and Richard and three grandchildren. I am retired but prior worked for 17 years at Henley’s Hart Surgery. Latterly I have cared for my husband Malcolm, who had Parkinsons and Lewy Body Dementia. We sadly lost Malcolm at the end of 2021. He had supported me magnificently when I was Mayor 2008/9.

I am Chairman of the 60+ Club and one of the Trustees of the Thamesfield Youth Association, a charity supporting young people in Henley and surrounding villages. Recently moving into the centre of the town I have been helping to run the Ban the Premier Inn campaign.

I am a strong supporter of Greener Henley encouraging the Council to support the Green agenda. If elected, I intend to continue to help Henley thrive and flourish.

Sara Kandiah

Sara Kandiah

Previously living in London, I have lived in Henley since 2021 with my 6 nephews and nieces, brother, sister-in-law and a Ukrainian refugee. I am inspired by Henley residents’ generous response of to open their homes and hearts to Ukrainians. I’ve helped to set up welcome events and activities for Ukrainians. I organised a wider Henley Ukraine info-share and a candlelit service at St Mary’s church to mark the war’s one year anniversary.

I have worked in the international charity sector for over 13 years and am now a home-based worker for a UK environmental charity.

This means I’m able to give a lot of time to community initiatives. I volunteer and love being the events coordinator for Greener Henley. I have organised Great Big Green week and the Green Screen Initiative at the Regal Picturehouse. and am a member of Henley’s Climate Emergency Working Group.

My aims as a counsellor would be:

  • to represent Henley residents in protecting and restoring our green and blue spaces
  • to ensure our internationally recognised events are as sustainable as possible
  • to set up more opportunities for residents and businesses to work together for our common good
  • to showcase Henley as a place of welcome for all
Stefan Gawrysiak

Stefan Gawrysiak

I have lived and worked in Henley for more than 35 years. I am Henley’s Town, District, County councillor and Mayor in 2013/14.

I taught for 30 years at Gillotts School and assistant headteacher, once a governor of Badgemore Primary School, a past member of Henley Bridge Rotary Club, organising Henley’s half marathon and still on the Henley Show committee..

I believe in building Henley’s community. HRG has been a force for good, responsible for The Skatepark, Townlands, the 60’s Club, Regal Cinema and support for NOMAD, We initiated the wonderful Adventure Golf course and the Town Bus for which now we seek a 5 day service.

As county councillor, I achieved a 20mph zone and three pedestrian crossings in Henley. Always I prioritise pedestrian safety and commit to another pedestrian crossing in Bell Street. I secured £1.5 million investment for Henley’s roads, completed 25 major schemes.

As well as a 5 day bus and a Bell Street’s pedestrian crossing, my aim is to secure an 18t HGV weight limit for Henley with OCC support.

HRG is independent of national party politics and speaks only for Henley, which is why I became involved a decade ago. We only do what is best for Henley, putting Henley first for current and future generations.

Rory Hunt

Rory Hunt

I graduated in Accounting and Finance. I worked in the Civil Service since 2015, gaining experience in commercial and crisis management functions. I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

I live in Henley. I am a member of Leander and Henley Rowing Club, volunteering as a safety launch driver. Passionate about sport, particularly rowing, rugby and cricket, I care about the River Thames, and co-own a boat on the Henley reach – my pride and joy.

I want to ensure Henley remains economically strong, culturally vibrant, and an enjoyable place to live, and prepares for the challenges of the future. With experience of public administration I can help bring a fresh perspective and expertise to the council and I am confident this can be achieved. I will support all councillors to keep Henley the special place that it already is.

If elected my priorities are to;

  • Ensure Henley has a thriving local economy, particularly for small businesses
  • Work to reduce pollution in the River Thames
  • See that access to green spaces and the river are improved
  • Reduce the number of HGVs passing through Henley
  • Improve parking and traffic flow through the town
Simon Paine

Simon Paine

I live with my wife and our children in Henley, a town and area we know and love, and in which we are much involved day to day.

In my businesses career I have worked for myself as well as more recently within larger businesses– over the last 35 years, in the UK and Europe. My experience has been in team work, problem solving, getting the important goals achieved.
My wife runs her business from home in Henley, and our children have worked in various jobs around town also.

My effort locally over the last 3 years has been to get actively involved helping slow the speed of traffic through Henley and surrounding villages, for residents’ and visitors’ safety , to reduce traffic impact, noise and fumes, and enhance Henley’s quality of life.

Another top priority is to support and encourage all Henley businesses, so they prosper and flourish and benefit us all.

Through HRG I would like to listen carefully to the issues of importance to the Henley community, work on supporting Henley activities for all age groups, deliver sensible and sensitive housing especially re-purposing existing buildings and increasing the affordable sector, improve non-car travel facilities in & out & around town, and protect and foster the natural environment.

South Ward

Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller

I grew up in Henley, attending local primary school followed by Gillotts and Henley College. I live in this wonderful town with my partner and two children. I’ve been a Town Councillor for 8 years, and elected Mayor in 2021. My Mayoral year was a fabulous experience that allowed me to attend hundreds of events, I had the privilege of meeting a great many unsung heroes of Henley who have dedicated their lives to something other than themselves.

My working life has been in Advertising & Publishing. I’ve run commercial B2B and music events internationally. Most recently I worked for the RIBA as Events Manager. It was in this capacity that I launched the ‘Henley Design Day’ event, the essence of which has been, and continues to be, matching architects and designers with local business opportunities. I have a profound interest in supporting and promoting our local businesses and promoting Henley as a commercial hub.

In 2017 I brought the Henley May Fayre back into the town centre, I set up the ReFill Henley campaign and continue to hold events such as International Women’s Day. In addition, I Chair the Events sub Committee and look forward to bringing more varied events to the town, boosting footfall and the local economy.

HRG represents everything I care about and believe in without the political ties to any national party. I am committed to ensuring Henley remains a vibrant place for everybody, with a flourishing retail and business community.

Ian Reissmann

Ian Reissmann

I have lived in Henley for nearly 40 years and joined HRG in the early 90’s in order to make sure that decisions about our town are made by independent Cllrs accountable only to local residents. National politics has no place on a town council. I was first elected as a Cllr in 2003. I have particular interests in transport, pollution, health and the environment.

I have chaired the Finance committee for 8 years ensuring that the council is run sustainably and able to fund the services that residents expect. Under my chairmanship the budget deficit has been eliminated, investments are up, services enhanced and council tax rises have stayed below inflation. We have also established an Ethical Investment Policy and have (for example) disinvested from Oil, Gas, Gambling and Tobacco companies.

I work full time as a director of a software development company, which helps provide me with the skills and experience required to run a council.

I am a member of the following council working groups: Climate Emergency, 357 Reading Road redevelopment, HR and Legal, and Value for Money.
As chair of the Townlands Steering Group from 2003, I led the fight to save and then redevelop Townlands hospital, and I remain active in ensuring health services meet patients’ needs.

If elected I would like continue to work to improve the town for all residents.

Glen Lambert

Glen Lambert

I have lived in Henley for 16 years with my wife and two children and am proud to be a Town Councillor for 6 years.

In 2017 I led the campaign to save Lovibonds Brewery. I’m delighted that we secured the extra time needed. Henley’s only remaining brewery is still brewing and selling its beer in Henley.

In 2018 I was elected Mayor of Henley and gave it my all, attending hundreds of events and raising thousands for Henley Music School and Gillotts Learning Support. A particular highlight was the Remembrance Service marking 100 years since WW1, for which I organised a flypast.

In 2019 I founded Bluebells Day Centre for local people living with Dementia which I continue to lead and am immensely proud of.

In 2020 I was elected President of the Town & Visitors’ Regatta, continuing for three years, through covid and lockdown, helping raise funds and awareness for this historic event.

In 2021 I became Chair of the Town & Community Committee and launched the ongoing parking and signage review. I started by collating dozens of suggestions from local people online.

I am grateful for the support of my HRG colleagues, proud of what we have achieved for Henley and would love to continue working hard for our community.

Tony Hoskins

Tony Hoskins

Tony is married with 3 children and 6 grand children (with another due). A Henley resident for 7 years, he lived before in Reading. Born in Wales, he supports Welsh rugby (although recognises it is not in its glory years currently).

He chairs the Council’s Climate Emergency Working Group. Until recently, he was chair of Reading Community Energy Society, installing solar panels, and seeks similar opportunities in the Chiltern Hills. Previously a regional chair for the Royal Society of Arts, and volunteered for mental health and therapeutic gardening charities, and as being a trustee of Jobs 2000.

He ran a corporate responsibility consultancy for 17 years and chairs its successor consultancy. He wrote six books on office technology, corporate responsibility, and corporate reporting, and contributed of chapters on another seven including Enterprising Europe, Directors’ Roles and Environmental Investing. He worked for businesses in the finance, manufacturing, support services and employment sectors, specialising in marketing as a main board director.

At the beginning of his career, he studied at London Business School, being one of the youngest to achieve an MBA.

As well as focusing on climate change, he is keen to ensure the younger generations in Henley have their views heard and supports the establishment of a youth congress for Henley.

Kellie Hinton

Kellie Hinton

Raised and educated in Henley, I live here with my family.

Mayor of Henley in 2017/18, NALC Young Councillor of the Year (national award), an experienced Councillor for 12 years. Currently Chair of Recreation & Amenities, Vice Chair Events & Henley in Bloom. Vice Chair of SODC.

When first elected in 2011, it was apparent my interests and skills focussed on outdoor spaces, parks, playgrounds and conservation and I work primarily for those causes as a Councillor.

Since becoming a District Councillor 4 years ago, I am busy being a voice for Henley as Chair of the licensing committee and recently as Vice Chairman of SODC. I have worked with the administration to achieve better results for the entire district.

I have a particular interest working with residents’ associations and neighbourhood groups to revitalise often forgotten land around Henley. I am keen to tackle antisocial issues, including vandalism, litter and damage to land and buildings.

My aims are to improve conservation efforts as a town, represent Henley and raise our presence within South Oxfordshire, and implement ways to improve quality of life in Henley (relating to health and social issues and everything in between). Most importantly, continue to support/improve our Park Services team so that we can achieve those goals we already have to improve Henley.

Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas

After leaving University I moved to London and have worked in many sectors from the music industry to museums, IT and retail. I am a Chartered Marketer have worked part-time for Leander Club for 7 years. After a day trip to Henley we decided to raise our family here and have now lived in Henley for 17 years. Our son is sitting his A Levels and our daughter attends Gillotts.

I first became involved in local matters when I started the petition to save LA Fitness, co-founding Keep Henley Active and listed the facility as an Asset of Community Value. In 2017 I started a campaign to increase funding in education. Together with another parent I started Together for Education Henley which culminated in Parliamentary petition and a march in the centre of Henley which was televised by BBC South Today.

First elected to the Town Council in 2019, I became Chair of Planning in 2020, then Deputy Mayor in 2021 and Henley’s Mayor since May 2022. I have thoroughly enjoyed representing all of you and hope to continue on the Town Council to start work on the Banking Hub Sub-Committee and develop the Volunteer Network I founded last May.

Rob Romans

Rob Romans

I have lived in Henley since 2007 and a Councillor since 2019. I am a Norwich City supporter. I travel across Europe by train on holiday. I work as a Head of Talent Acquisition in the Intelligence sector.

I studied at the University of York before studying for a postgraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. I worked as a journalist early in my career before moving into HR and Recruitment

I sit on the Planning committee and am Vice Chair of the Finance Committee. My main success as a Councillor was helping to save the town bus service in 2021. Before becoming a Councillor, I was a member of Henley Round Table and contributed to local charity events including the May Fayre, Fireworks and the Santa Sleigh.

I am passionate to work with fellow Councillors to ensure Henley remains a great place to live and prides myself in contributing to activities adding value to the town. I am a supporter of the traffic calming schemes and opposed to the plans build a hotel by Premier Inn near the railway station. Additionally, I look to work with fellow Councillors to improve staffing and facilities at Henley railway station.