Pole Position on Yahoo for Henley NEWS On-line
JPC Councillor George Matheou boasted to a meeting of the Town Improvement Committee (TIC) on Wednesday 2nd August that the JPC website was number one on all major search engines for 'Henley-in-Arden".
By Wednesday night, the pole position on Yahoo had been lost to "Henley NEWS On-line", with the JPC's website built to George's precise specification dropping to second place.
The Google page ranking for the JPC website is currently 2, whereas the popular Henley News and Henley Gateway sites are already scoring 3. Google explains page ranking as "Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search".
The Henley Gateway site was started to bring together all the Henley websites and now has an editorial committee with some of the most experienced website professionals in the town.
The most recent organisations to join the Gateway site have been the Henley Baptist Church, Ullenhall Village, Tanworth in Arden Village and Stratford Town Walks.
Commenting on these results, Henley NEWS On-line editor Bill Leech said, "I am sure that this success is due to the involvement of our whole community. We now have over 20 correspondents and Henley NEWS On-line is read around the World by about 750 people each week. I would like to thank all our contributors and supporters."
To check a web page's ranking go to: www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php We display our page ranking on the Masthead each week to the left of "Every Thursday".
Search For Healthy Children’s Meals
A survey of 70 “children’s meals” available in restaurants, pubs or cafes, conducted by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service and other Trading Standards Services in the Midlands region, revealed that 64 meals exceeded national guidelines, for fat, salt and sugar.
Trading Standards Officers visited restaurants, pubs and cafes across the region and purchased food which was then sampled and compared to the Food Standards Agency guidelines for fats saturates, sugar and salt levels. Results showed that 64 meals exceeded the Food Standards Agency Guidelines.
Mark Ryder, Head of Warwickshire Trading Standards said: “It may well be acceptable to occasionally treat our children to a special meal that is not entirely healthy in all respects, but when these meals are likely to be a regular source of nutrition it is of real concern that so many of the meals tested could not be classed as healthy food for our children to eat. We at Warwickshire Trading Standards recognise that diet and nutrition are key factors in determining the risk of obesity, heart disease, strokes and cancer and therefore are promoting the healthy eating message in Primary schools with ‘Cyril the Seal’.”
The Food Standards Agency has developed a traffic light labelling scheme for prepacked foods. Red means high, amber medium and green low. So, if you see a red light on the front of the pack, you know the food is high in something we should be trying to cut down on, such as salt or fat. This traffic light system is voluntary and only applies to prepacked food sold in shops but not catering establishments.
91% of the meals surveyed exceeded the Food Standards Agency guidelines and fell into the red indicator category. None of the meals surveyed were described as being healthy options, but were sampled as they were considered to represent a normal alternative to eating at home, and could not be classed as “special treats”.
The results of this survey show that the Food Standards Agency need to take account of this, there is little point in ensuring that consumers are well informed when they buy food for consumption at home, if when they eat out they have little or no information on which to base their purchasing decision.
The Eating Out market has grown by 7% over the past decade to £38bn. This growth is being driven by fundamental lifestyle changes. The UK's 26,416 restaurants served 734 million meals last year, up from 721 million in 2004, at a value of £5.27bn*.
Reports of rapidly rising obesity, particularly among children, have been linked with fast food, diet and nutrition are key factors in increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease, strokes and cancer.
For more information about Cyril the Seal healthy eating initiative, visit our website www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tsschools
Henley Residents Association Gala Day
This newly formed association will be holding a Gala Day on the playing field at Henley High School on Saturday 19th August from 12 noon until 4pm. Free attractions include a bouncy castle and fun obstacle course, face painting. There will be mini-fairground rides, refreshments, tombola, raffle, home produce stall, bric-a-brac and art auction.
A fancy dress competition with two classes aged 2 - 6 years, 7 years upwards will be judged on the day. Some local organisations will have stands at this event. The town crier Gordon Trinder will open the event.
Please come along and support what promises to be an enjoyable day!
Jayne Llewellyn - Secretary Henley Residents Association
Free leisure directory now available
Stratford-on-Avon District Council's 2006/07 Leisure Directory is now available and it's free.
This paper-based directory provides a comprehensive listing of sports and recreational opportunities in the District and includes parks, play areas and open spaces, leisure and community centres and a detailed sports club databases. With activities ranging from angling to roller hockey there are over 100 entries from across the Stratford District. As well as all this information there are also details of funding opportunities, advice on sports development from the District Council's Leisure Team and a section on health and well-being.
If you would like a copy please contact the District Council's Sports Development Team on 01789 260643.
Am I missing something? Take 2.
In last Sunday’s review section of the Independent, there was a brief item stating that the police were considering questioning John Prescott over the Olympic Stadium at Wembley.
This gave me cause for reflection on what made the front pages of our newspapers. “Two Jags” playing croquet on the lawn at Dorneywood. Somehow, I did not have a problem with this, after all politicians of all persuasions fly off to summer climes. What I do have a problem with, is the sleaze, corruption and incompetence.
True to our national love of ‘debate’ the concerns continue to be voiced but action is missing. Maybe one day, someone will get fed up with debating and do something.
Irene Robinson - Senior Correspondent
Fantastic Family Fun Day!
Our local Scout troop has asked that you make a note in your diary for their big summer fund raiser. Their ‘Fantastic Family Fun Day’ is on Sunday September 3rd on Henley
High schools playground and field. Open from 1pm to 6pm, this great fun afternoon will offer attractions for the whole family, from tiny tots to teenagers, and even grandparents!
Attractions will include a number of great fun inflatables, such as a Bouncy Castle, Gladiator Challenge, Bungee run and Bouncy Slide, plus side stalls entertainment too.
There will be a BBQ plus tombola, face painting and the like. Admission is free; there’s just a small charge at each of the attractions.
All proceeds are in aid of 1st Henley and Wootton Scout troop, to purchase better equipment for the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scout troops.
For further information please call John Johnson on 01564 792073.
Warwick Road Traffic Lights
A few editions ago, one of our readers suggested that a filter should be introduced at the Warwick Road traffic lights. County Councillor George Atkinson read the request and arranged for the the County Council to carry out a survey.
George has now received the results and has asked Henley NEWS On-line to publish them
A traffic survey was carried out on Wednesday 3 May 2006 and involved a 12 hour (7am and 7pm) traffic survey of all vehicles movements using the above junction.
The results showed that the number of vehicles turning right from High Street into New Road were low throughout the day and therefore there is no justification for altering the sequence of the traffic signals. Drivers approaching from High Street are able to carryout their manoeuvres with limited difficulties.
I appreciate your comment about vehicles waiting to turn right holding up the other traffic. Unfortunately, this is the main problem we have on a single lane approach to a traffic signal junction and there is no land available to widen the junction.
The operation of the traffic signals is satisfactory. On site observation indicate that the junction has minor congestion problems during the peak hours of the day or when there is a major incident on the Motorway network and the traffic has chosen to diverted on to the A3400 and/or A4189.
I have also checked the accident record and I am pleased to confirm that over the last three years there have been no injury accidents at this junction.
Should you require further information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mr. G.H. Din
Team Leader - Traffic Control and Information Systems
Traffic Projects: 01926 412810
Environment and Economy
Warwickshire County Council
Email : email@example.com
If any reader wants more details about this survey, please contact George on 793478 or email George Atkinson
Summer cycle training courses in Stratford
Young cyclists are being offered the opportunity to improve their cycling skills and on-road training during the summer holidays. Warwickshire County Council’s successful cycle training scheme has trained 14,000 children over the last five years with all Warwickshire schools being offered training courses. For children who miss out on these, courses are offered throughout the county during most school holidays.
In the Stratford area courses are based at Stratford High School. Training for young/new cyclists aged seven to nine will take place on Monday and Tuesday 21 & 22 August from 11.15am to 12.45 pm. While those aged nine years and over are offered on-road training on the same days from 1.15pm until 4.15pm.
Course fees are £12.50 and £20 respectively, and those successfully completing the course will receive certificates. For further information or to book a place contact Mary Holliday on 01926 412776
Stan Milewski, Senior Road Safety Officer says: “Cycling is a fun, healthy activity. With training children can improve their biking skills, learn road rules and observation skills essential for helping them to keep safe.”
Seeing Stratford on foot
Stratford Town Walk consists of a group of local guides with many years experience, specialising in Stratford upon Avon, Warwick and the Cotswolds.
There is a guided public walk every day of the year (including Christmas Day). Each Guide provides walks and tours that are interesting, informative and entertaining. The importance placed on quality of service and customer satisfaction is reflected in our customers' comments (scroll to the bottom of page).
For groups, private walks and tours can be arranged. These are designed to meet customer requirements and advice can be given on how to make the best use of your visit.
The popular Stratford Town Ghost Walk is ideal entertainment with a difference which explores tales of ghosts, witches, murder and mayhem. Be afraid, be very afraid!!
Visit their website at www.stratfordtownwalk.co.uk/
Rotary Clubs are first responders in Lebanon crisis
The relief team organized by the Rotary Club of Limassol-Berengaria Cosmopolitan, Cyprus, was expecting no more than one boatload of 500 evacuees from the fighting in Lebanon on 19 July. But the following day, the volunteers who had originally offered to help find hotel accommodations for the new arrivals in the port city of Limassol were suddenly faced with a much bigger challenge.
“The Americans decided to reroute their largest ships to Limassol, and we found ourselves standing in front of thousands of people in need in an instant,” explains Scott Givhan, leader of the club’s relief project. Military and chartered-cruise ships each carrying up to 2,000 people — most of them Australian, British, and U.S. passport holders — fleeing the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict were docking at all hours of the day and night, says Givhan.
At its peak, the operation brought in about 10,000 evacuees in three days. The club assembled an efficient multinational team of volunteers from 10 Western and Middle Eastern countries. Each time a boat came in, they were on hand to greet, comfort, and assist passengers. Nearly half of the Rotary club’s 25 members were on vacation. But those present and the non-Rotarian volunteers who joined them did an outstanding job providing food and refreshments and helping set up rest and play areas for evacuees and their children. They even offered evacuees use of their mobile phones to call loved ones and make travel arrangements.
“This project would not have been possible without the contributions from our non-Rotarian volunteers, many of whom worked through the nights to help the evacuees,” says Givhan. With the evacuations ending, the club is turning its attention to helping people internally displaced by the fighting. Already, it has sent two shipments of relief items — mostly donations of food and medicine — to Batroun, Lebanon.
Members of the Rotary Club of Batroun are receiving the supplies and distributing them in their own cars at great personal risk. “We contacted this club because it is competent,” says project coordinator George Kfouri, of the Limassol-Berengaria club, who is Lebanese. “The members in Batroun are trusted, and they are like our own brothers. These Rotarians are the real heroes,” says Givhan.
The city of Batroun, in northern Lebanon, is host to more than 10,000 people who have fled intense fighting and aerial bombardment in the south. Other Lebanese Rotary clubs are helping with the relief effort. Rotary clubs were the first to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Batroun, say Givhan and Kfouri. Because Rotarians are members of the affected communities, their aid distribution network is one of the most active in the region.
Kfouri says that the Limmasol-Berengaria Cosmopolitan club is now bracing itself for an influx of Lebanese refugees to Cyprus.
The club is receiving donations of money and goods to provide emergency relief in Cyprus and Lebanon.
Vukoni Lupa-Lasaga - Rotary International News
The Nigel Hastilow Column
Tories take the train back to the future
There’s a new Number One pet hate in my personal league table of railway operating companies. First Great Western leaps into the top spot ahead of the ludicrously expensive Virgin Trains.
I decided to give First Great Western a try, just for the hell of it. Recklessness reaps its own rewards. The train was 20 minutes late into Paddington; an hour and a half late, packed and sweltering, getting home again. Signal failure and a door which wouldn’t close were two of the reasons given for the long day’s return journey into night. There weren’t enough seats to go round and people were camping outside the loos like refugees at Beirut docks.
And it was hot. So hot the bloke next to me became fragrantly-challenged. So badly did he stink that I ended up spending half the journey in the corridor to escape the pungent odour. Our “express” was so slow that by the time we reached Oxford we’d been caught up by the stopping train that left an hour later. They abandoned that service entirely and “consolidated” everybody onto ours.
As a result we stopped at every station, took even longer and were even more sardine-packed. This is typical of life on the railways. Though, up to a point, I exclude Chiltern Trains because their little line from Kidderminster to Marylebone seems to be run on an entirely different basis from all the others.
Chiltern’s staff are friendly and helpful. They treat you as if they’re pleased to see you rather than as a great inconvenience to the smooth-running of the railway. They don’t rip you off or order you about. There are often enough carriages and seats. And it’s not expensive.
I vowed some months ago never to travel with Virgin again. I was sick of the sky-high fares, the couldn’t-care-less attitude and – the last straw – the complete absence of breakfast one very early morning. I now have to recant. First Great Western may actually be worse.
These railway operating companies can always duck the blame and responsibility for their failings. They don’t own the track and signals, let alone the stations. They can usually claim it’s not their fault and it’s difficult to prove otherwise. That’s because the privatisation of the railways was a mess. And it’s been made much worse by the unlamented ex-Transport Secretary Stephen Byers and this Government’s determination to rob blind the “grannies” who owned Railtrack shares.
Today the lines, signals and stations are owned by a massively subsidised quango called Network Rail. It’s no better than Railtrack and actually costs us all a lot more money – £4 billion more to be precise. It doesn’t really make sense for the infrastructure to be owned by one company – a quango or a plc – while the trains themselves are owned by others.
The system was set up because the Tories thought it was the best way to inject competition into the system. And with at least three ways to get from the West Midlands to London, for example, with three different companies, it has worked. Sort of. There is competition over fares but hardly to any over service and punctuality. The trains increasingly resemble cattle trucks.
Windfall fortunes have been handed to the few lucky fat cats in the right place at the right time. The taxpayer has been duly ripped off. The quangocracy has installed itself and lapped up the rest of the cream. The poor passengers, though, have to like it or lump it.
For years I have argued that privatisation should be revisited. Even before the Railtrack scandal, it seemed obvious we should create proper railway companies which own not just the trains but the track, the signals, the stations, the whole lot. That way they can be responsible for the entire service on their lines. They can be held accountable. They can be judged objectively. They can genuinely respond to the demands of their passengers. Of course it needs a watchdog with bite. Unlike most of the watchdogs supervising other privatised industries, notably water where the industry lapdog Ofwat is clearly a toothless poodle in a muzzle. Just ask Thames Water’s German owners or Severn Trent’s accounts department.
Now, at long last, the Conservatives have grown up enough to admit the original privatisation was flawed. The new “steam age” is on its way. The Tories want companies responsible for every aspect of rail travel in their areas. They won’t be the same as those which existed before nationalisation in 1948 but they will be similar. The old railway companies such as the LMS and the GWR – each had its own station in Wolverhampton – never made any money. If they hadn’t been nationalised, they’d have gone bankrupt.
But everyone accepts the taxpayer will have to continue subsidising the railways. The real questions are by how much, how do you get the best value for money and where is the accountability. Creating new railway companies will go some way towards answering these questions.
Though whether even that will persuade me to go First Great Western again remains to be seen.
Lock your Cars
Car owners in Warwickshire have been reminded to pay attention to security after a spate of vehicle crime in the area.
They have been told to lock doors and windows on their vehicles and make sure that they remove all valuables when leaving their cars unattended. The most popular items to be stolen include satellite navigation systems, car radios, laptop computers and camera equipment.
Sgt John Bell said: "It is often the case that owners of sat navs remove them from the cradle and simply place the equipment in the glove box. Leaving the cradle in place gives a clear indication as to what might be in the vehicle. The cradles are often attached by suction pads and once removed there is clear evidence that there may well be rich pickings somewhere in the vehicle due to the suction pad marks.Some criminals do not force entry into a vehicle - they simply walk around trying car doors until they find one that is unlocked. Time and again they obtain excellent returns."
During the past month (July 4-August 4) there have been more than 80 reports of thefts from motor vehicles parked in a variety of locations in Warwick and Leamington. In some cases the offenders have broken windows to get into the vehicles though a number had been left unlocked. Valuables have been removed from glove boxes, boots, footwells and from seats where they have been left in full view.
Sgt Bell offers the following advice:
- Remember to lock all doors and windows.
- Do not leave anything in the vehicle.
- Try to park your car near street lighting or, better still, put it in a garage.
- Report anything suspicious and if you do become a victim of car crime report it to the police and preserve all evidence until they arrive.
Henley in Arden Police Surgery
There is a 'Drop In' facility at Henley Police Station to discuss issues/problems within the community with your local policing team. The next Police Surgery will be Wednesday 23rd August 2006 between 11am-1pm
If you have any information or have witnessed any incidents, contact Alcester Police Station on 01789 762207.
Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet
Make Henley Greener would very much like to hear from anyone who would like to help develop this project. We are particularly keen to hear from people with experience and flair for business development, with local contacts or marketing experience who can devote time to devising and implementing ways of realising the project aim of moving Henley in the direction of smaller carbon footprint and one planet living. If you think you might be able to assist, call John Stott 792251 or Margaret Anderson 792138.
Make Henley Greener will be hosting a FREE Exhibition on Energy Saving on Saturday 21st October and Thursday 26th October 2006 at the Baptist Church, Henley-in-Arden.
For more information about the Make Henley Greener project, click here.
District & Parish Council Information
Alerts from Trading Standards
A resident has reported that his elderly mother received a phone call from an unknown trader with a 020 London prefix telephone number stating that if she allowed him to photograph her home, she could claim a free holiday. The lady is ex directory and is registered with the telephone preference service so was naturally concerned to have received a 'sales' call.
The Trading Standards Service are not aware of any similar approaches and are not able to speculate as to the real reason behind the call, but residents are warned not to allow anyone in to their home that they do not know or trust.
Mobile 'Sales' Call
A NHW member has reported receiving an unsolicited call from a company offering a free mobile phone and free minutes and requesting his personal details in order to qualify. The caller gave the impression he was phoning on behalf of all network providers, but a call to his own provider revealed that this was not the case. The trader was instead using this marketing ploy to pick up new customers. The service has had similar complaints whereby consumers thought they were being offered upgrades by their provider, when in fact they had actually been contacted by a completely unrelated company.
The trader in this case is believed to have been operating from abroad.
Business Alerts - Fraudulent Letter
Businesses are warned to beware of a letter that purports to come from the Office of Government Commerce, Procurement Department, Rosebery Court, St Andrews Business Park, Norwich, NR7 0HS. This is a genuine Government dept and a genuine address, but the letter is fraudulent. The letter asks that current or potential suppliers return an "authorisation to release financial information" form by fax to a telephone number with an 020 London prefix. The form asks businesses to supply their bank account details.
These letters are not being sent by the OGC and businesses are advised not to comply with such requests. The OGC will never request information of this type in this way.
And always remember - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
Senior Information Officer
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service
The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board
ROTARY CLUB OF
HENLEY IN ARDEN
WINE TASTING EVENT
HENLEY IN ARDEN GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB, MONDAY, 2nd OCTOBER 2006
THE EVENING WILL COMMENCE AT 6.30PM
FOR A 7.00PM START.
TASTING PROVIDED BY C.A.ROOKES, WINE MERCHANTS OF STRATFORD UPON AVON ( JOHN FREELAND - WINE AGENT AND CONSULTANT).
THE EVENT WILL BE FOLLOWED BY 3 COURSE MEAL AND WILL INCLUDE A RAFFLE AND A FORMAL ROTARY CLUB PRESENTATION TO ONE OF OUR NUMBERS.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM RTN. DAVID J BRAIN AT £14:50 PER HEAD.
CONTACT NOS. 01926 402404 OR
e.mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Henley Diary Dates
The following diary dates have been notified to Diane Bayley at 6 St John's Close. All diary dates for the next Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Diane at: email@example.com. Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
HENLEY METHODIST CHURCH
Coffee morning Saturday 12th August 10.00 a.m. to 12 noon. Sunday Services: all at 11.00 a.m. 6th – Miss Paddy Beardsall; 13th – Mr Philip Bayliss; 10th Mrs Elizabeth Harrison; 27th – Revd. Graham Spicer (Sacrament). All welcome.
HENLEY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATON
Saturday 19th August, 12 noon – 4.00 p.m. This newly formed Association is holding a Gala Day at Henley High School. Bouncy Castle, tombola, raffle, bric-a-brac, home produce, fancy dress, etc.
ULLENHALL GARDENING CLUB
Tuesday 22nd August at 7.45 p.m. in Ullenhall Village Hall. Talk by Arthur Phillips on ‘Fuchsias’. Visitors (£1) and new members welcome. Autumn Show Saturday 2nd September. Classes include fruit and veg, arts and crafts, cookery and flowers. Open to everyone. Schedule from Alison Pigdon on 793197.
FAMILY FUN DAY
Sunday 3rd September 1st Henley and Wootton Scouts at Henley High School from 1.00 pm - 6.00 pm Attractions include bouncy castle, gladiator challenge, bungee run, side stalls, BBQ, tombola etc. Proceeds to troop equipment. Further information John Johnson on 792073.
HENLEY WILDLIFE SOCIETY
No meeting in August.
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN EVERGREEN CLUB.
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane at 2.15 p.m. The Club has around 80 members and organises a varied programme together with various outings. If you are interested in joining, please contact Gordon Trinder.
HENLEY-in-ARDEN BOWLS CLUB meets on Monday evenings from April to September at 6.30pm and plays until it is dark. The club is situated next to the Tennis Courts at the Sports and Social club ground on the A34 just outside Henley. The Club welcome new members, whether beginners or established players. For further information contact John Townson 01564 792407.
There are still vacancies in some areas of Henley-in-Arden for NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Co-ordinator's. If you are aware that you are not covered in your area or are willing to be a co-ordinator. Please contact Annette Walker on 792837
THE WARWICKSHIRE BUSINESS CLUB holds its monthly lunchtime meeting on third Thursday of each month from 11.30am to 2.15pm at the Henley Golf Club. There is a one hour networking session followed by a quality lunch and a informative speaker on a business topic. Full details are at www.swbc.co.uk
THE ROTARY CLUB of Henley-in-Arden meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome. Please call: Robin Freeman on 01789 765411 or email email@example.com
The Henley-in-Arden Bridge Club plays Duplicate Bridge of intermediate standard on Tuesday evenings at the the White Swan Hotel and usually find time for a tipple, which may or may not improve our play!!. Play commences at 7.15 promptly. There are normally 5 - 8 tables and the club does not issue master points.
For further information please contact the Secretary - Christine Whitehouse on 01564 792993.
Events for future Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Diane Bayley at 6 St John's Close marked ‘Henley Diary’ email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Please tell all your friends about The Henley Diary.
From our own Correspondents
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