On behalf of Henley Residents Group, I just wanted to say how very pleased I was that Henley in Transition took the initiative to raise the issue of the “climate emergency” (featured extensively in the Henley Standard in its 8th February issue).
At this stage, it is relevant to review what has been achieved on environmental matters by HRG since it took control of the Town Council in May 2017 – not a long time ago.
It introduced the new gas buses for local town services, reducing emissions. Through Cllr Stefan Gawrysiak, we have pushed the County Council for a 20 mph speed limit within the town, which will also reduce emissions when introduced. Similarly, he has gained the support from the District Council with funding secured to monitor air pollution, again which will reduce emissions. All good stuff.
Not to mention my small role of jointly founding the Henley Refill campaign in Henley, which will also have positive emissions effects through the move to reusables and away from plastics.
So far, so good, but where next?
We think it is absolutely right for the Town Council to take into account climate in the development of its future policies.
Although HRG will continue to be proactive in its approach, it is also a challenge, as the responsibilities for the town are spread across the County and District Councils. So, the Town Council needs to be persuasive with these bodies in order to tackle the “climate emergency” facing Henley.
Taking the decision to be zero carbon by 2030 is challenging, and it needs a considered and practical plan. Such a plan may almost certainly require new properties to include emission friendly installations in their proposals. However, we also have a lot of older properties in Henley and we need to consider what can be done for them, as well as considering how to reduce vehicle emissions further.
A zero-carbon town is something everyone should aspire to, not least for our children and grandchildren. HRG are happy to work with Henley in Transition and any other groups in developing appropriate plans to help achieve this. HRG always believe in working across political groups to improve Henley and this is especially important for climate change
Councillor Sarah Miller
Deputy Chair HRG