Summary Press release – 24th October 2017

Henley residents willing to provide an extra £6 per annum for grants

In September and October Henley residents were surveyed for their view on priorities for grant funding by Henley Town Council. Over 120 residents responded.

Sponsors of the survey, Henley Residents Group Councillors Ian Reissmann and Jane Smewing introduced the survey, saying “funding decisions made by Oxfordshire County Council (and other bodies) have meant some services for Henley Residents paid for by the County face being cut back”. They asked for views on how the Town Council how they should pay for the costs of these extra grants, if the Town Council decided to cover any deficiencies.

The overall response indicated a willingness to pay a weighted average increase[1] of £6.27 per household (12p per week), against the current precept on Band D households paid to the Town Council (£87 per household each year – £1.67 per week).

Respondents’ views on what should be the priorities[2] for funding from the Town Council over the next two years showed that overwhelmingly, the top two priorities were seen to be “care for disadvantaged local children and young people” and “provision for those local residents with mental health issues (all ages including dementia)”. The bottom two priorities were grants for “arts activities” and for “sports activities”. There were slightly differing views based on the gender and age of the respondents.

Respondents were able to make their own comments if they wished. These included “Henley is in desperate need of facilities”; “Unless they are helped, disadvantaged people will continue to be disadvantaged”; and “Provision for mental health appears to be limited but much needed”.

Councillors Reissmann and Smewing commented “We wanted to hear residents’ views about their priorities for grant making – there has been inadequate consultation with residents in the past. Their views are all the more important given the cuts in grants being made by the County which affect some organisations in Henley. The Town Council needs to consider whether it could fund some of the organisations suffering these cuts, and if it were to do so, how it could fund these grants. The survey is a helpful tool for us in making these decisions”.

Issued by David Feary on behalf of Henley Residents’ Group – contact 07813 400803
30th October 2017