Sarah Miller (South Ward)
Town Council Service 2015 – Present
Committees & current positions held
Current Mayor of Henley – 2023-2024
Mayor of Henley – 2021-2022
Ex-officio on all HTC standing committees
Events sub-committee (chair)
Previous positions held
Chair T&C, Chair R&A
Sarah has lived in Henley her whole life. She went to Rupert House School and Harpsden Parochial and then onto Gillotts, after which she studied in Henley and London. Sarah lives near central Henley with her partner Carolyn and their twin daughters.
Sarah project manages and produces events for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and in 2013 she created the now annual Henley Design Day, a fixture in both RIBA’s and Henley’s calendar. Design Days also take place in Brighton + Farnham.
Sarah is the current Mayor of Henley, in the six years prior to being elected into the role, Sarah was busy chairing various town council committees and leading on events such as the May Fayre and the annual Christmas Festival.
What are your top goals for the next year in your role as Mayor?
One of my main aims is that I want Henley to bounce back from lockdown in as strong a way as possible. We are a tourist destination, possibly never more so now as international travel is still difficult. I would like to see the retailers and hospitality venues have a thriving busy festive period into the new year. Tied to this, I want to tackle litter, in particular the discarded PPE masks that blight our pavements and green areas, Henley needs to be looking its best!
Secondly, I would like to see more people in Henley involved in the running of Henley. The Council needs new energy and fresh eyes if it is to stay relevant and in touch. I will be doing this by encouraging people to come to meetings, pose questions, get involved.
Finally, I want to see our town build on some of the great initiatives that we have in place; Refill Henley to reduce single-use plastic, the campaign to improve our air quality and the removal of HGV’s from the town.
As the events queen of HTC, what is your favourite Henley event?
How on earth can I choose a ‘favourite Henley event’? We are spoilt with a variety of fabulous events in the town. Of course I really enjoy the May Fayre now it’s back in the Town Square, that’s why I worked hard to get it put back there! But we also have the Literary Festival which has grown and grown into this amazing event that brings people to Henley from far and wide. We the have Eat! Food Festival which is a superbly put together event focusing on – you guessed it – food and drink. We have the Décor Fair which is full of vintage and antique treasures. I could spend hours walking around. The Henley Home & Garden show for all your Interiors, the Living Advent Calendar and of course our wonderful Christmas Festival which sees the Town sprinkled with Christmas décor, food and drink stalls, Carol Singers, the faint whiff of mulled wine and the best Christmas Tree ever.
Is being a member of HRG the same as being an independent?
I personally feel there should be no national parties around the table at a parish council – which is exactly why I joined and enjoy being part of HRG. Yes, being part of HRG is very similar to being independent because you are not told which way to vote. We are not aligned to any national party. And every decision we, HRG, make, is for the town first and foremost. And every member of HRG is local. Both make a huge difference.
What I love about being part of HRG is the people. We are all friends and enjoy each other’s company, not just around the Council table. I honestly had no idea who/what HRG were all about, apart from the fact they were not linked to any National Party. But joining them was by far the best decision I made. Well second best, the first was bringing the May Fayre back to the Town Centre!
HRG work hard for Henley because we love the town we live in. I’ve enjoyed so much being part of HRG, 6 years has whizzed by. I would like to say here’s to another 6 years, but I do hope in 6 years I will be enjoying retirement by the sea. But never say never…