Henley NEWS On-line

Reporting Each Week on Events In and Around
Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, England

Masthead picture - St Nichols Church, Beaudesert

Edition 159 - 7th June 2007
Every Thursday
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A Midsummer Night’s Ball, 23 June

Although well over 100 tickets have now been sold, there are still a few available for this event, being held in aid of the Guild Hall Garden Project. It is now seven years since the highly successful ball held at Uplands House in the millennium year and it is likely to be at least as long before the event is repeated.

This is therefore a rare opportunity to attend what promises to be an equally successful event in a very attractive venue. A chance not to be missed!

Sue Dalby is providing a three course dinner and further details are given in the advertisement towards the end of this issue.

Contact John Brealey (792487) or Sue Bridgewater (793633) for tickets.

The Gallery Upstairs - Summer Exhibition

Tuesday 5 - Saturday 23 June 2007 Open 10 am - 5.30 pm

I am very happy to report a very busy and successful exhibition opening last Sunday.

The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, ceramics, furniture and garden pots and sculpture. The gallery filled with visitors soon after 11am when we opened and art lovers and collectors came from far and wide, including 2 sets of visitors from Hay-on-Wye who had eschewed the delights of the literary festival in favour of our visual art offerings!

Paintings on the walls included work by John Piper from Cornwall - no relation to the famous John Piper (war artist and designer of stained glass windows for Coventry Cathedral, who died in 1992) - but well known in his own right as a contemporary landscape painter. He makes small sketches and written notes during walks across the Penwith Moors and uses these as a basis for paintings completed in the studio. His paintings have an exciting abstract quality and express sheer delight and exuberance in their use of colour but still have a relationship with the landscape and topography of their subject.

There are several other artists from Cornwall including Rachael Mia Allen with her seascapes executed in oil printing inks and oil paint on paper, Anthony Frost, David Beer, Simon Carroll and Geoffrey Bickley. We also have work by locally based artists such as Jill Jeffrey with her pastel and mixed media paintings of old barns, farms and cottages merging and seeming to grow out of the landscape surrounding them. Other local artists include Jayne Lucas, Nicola Richards, Nigel Fletcher, Sue Dyer, Clive Sheridan and Stanley Sellers.

The exhibition is open 10 - 5.30, Tuesday to Saturday and access is via the Torquil Shop on Henley High Street.

Carey Moon
The Gallery Upstairs, Torquil, 81 High Street
Tel. 01564 792174, email: galleryupstairs@aol.com

'What a Blooming Day'

Last Thursday, Henley in Bloom took delivery of thousands of colourful plants for this years displays.

At 8 '0 clock the first of 4 deliveries took place at rear of 191 High Street. The team awaited to off-load, under the supervision of Ginnie Matheou, who has masterminded the colour design and ordering of the flowers. All the blooms have been supplied by R W Adams & Son of Alcester.

By the next day Friday, the Market Cross (which must stay intact despite rumours about) was planted and also the the railings by the crossings. By Saturday a good proportion had been planted, with the help of many ladies and gentlemen who kindly gave up their time.

A further bulletin will be issued next week by Henley in Bloom.

Report & Photos by John Love -
Treasurer Henley in Bloom

The Cross - "It's Disgusting"

Dear Editor,

I do not understand the attitude taken in your section above on Henley-in-Bloom with reference to the Market Cross. In any other country in Western Europe, the cross would have been repaired or failing this, renewed.

The colour photo that you have published above looks very nice but the cross on inspection is not worth the photographic effort and as to the base the only description that comes to mind is disgusting.

The cobbles that surround it are intrenched in moss and the few paving stones are smashed. Any one who treads in this area, especially the elderly, are putting their limbs at risk. As to the flower troughs, since the end of the last season they have become an eyesore and should have been removed.

It is up the the JPC in concert with Warwick CC to make this area into something all residents can be proud of.

Writer's name and address withheld by request.

Action Against Unauthorised Advertising

Displaying unauthorised advertisements in south Warwickshire could land offenders in court with a fine. That's the message from Stratford-on-Avon District Council after another successful prosecution this year by its Planning Enforcement Team.

Magistrates recently fined Enterprise Inns, the owners of the Bell Inn at Salford Priors, £600 plus £600 costs for displaying an unauthorised sign in the a Conservation Area, and have subsequently handed down an Absolute Discharge to the Licensee for the same matter.

"This case recognises the importance of protecting the environment from unauthorised advertisements, and the importance of obtaining consents where necessary," said Cllr Stephen Thirlwell, pictured right, the District Council's Portfolio Holder for Planning.

"People who display unauthorised advertisements and threaten the character of the District, risk legal action and significant penalties. This case was particularly important because it centres upon a Conservation Area where such signage can have a significant impact. It is also important to recognise that the beneficiary of an advertisement is as much at risk of being prosecuted as the owners of the property."

Henley NEWS On-line recently mentioned the untidy advertising on the southern approach to the town. It is pleasing to note that this signage, pictured left, has now been removed.

The unauthorised display of advertisements is an offence, which is punishable by a fine of up to £1,000, with fines of up to £100 for each day the advertisement is displayed thereafter.

In 2005, the District Council required the removal of an illuminated advertisement that had been erected without consent on the forecourt of the Bell Inn at Salford Priors, replacing an original sign that was considered to have added value to the Conservation Area. The owners declined to remove the advertisement, and made an application which was subsequently refused. Negotiations to have the sign removed were not successful. Following the instigation of legal action by the District Council, the owner pleaded guilty to the offence on 22 March 2007, and removed the sign. The Licensee, Ms Carter, did not initially accept her responsibility for the removal of the sign, but pleaded guilty on 24 May 2007.

Henley's New Patisserie

Maison Mayci, which opened in May, has brought a truly stunning selection of high quality French patisseries and bread to its new shop in the centre of the High Street. Long queues are to be seen forming every Saturday morning.

In addition to the shop, there is a small tea room seating approx 20 people.

Maison Mayci has an established shop in Kings Heath and its bakery in an industrial unit in Hockley. The company is now one of the leading producers of fresh, hand made patisseries and sweets in the UK.

Solar Energy

I’ve been thinking of ways to reduce my household ‘carbon footprint’.

Three main reasons :

  1. be politically correct reduce my families carbon emissions etc,
  2. save some money, even if it over a few years and
  3. make the house more sellable if I ever want to move.

After trawling many websites for Solar Panels I came across www.solartwin.com that seems to have a novel system. Most systems use an mains electric pump to pump the water through the panel, but Solar Twin use a small Photo Voltaic cell (PV) which produces the electricity to do the pumping. Therefore it is a zero carbon system.

I have spoken to the sales guys and made a suggestion, if we, in Henley and surrounding area, could get a number of installations we would get a discount, depending on the number of systems installed. Also we could use it to publicize Henley : Warwickshire village goes green etc. Maybe Central News or Midlands Today would be interested.

What we need now is, if anyone is interested please let me know, I will collate a list of interested parties. Solar Twin will organize the grant through the council, but we may need help from our friendly councilors, (Stephen, Laurence, George, sorry to rope you in but you want our votes at the next election).

With enough takers I’m sure we can get a sizable discount and start saving the planet soon. Please let me know either at andy@adlelectronics.co.uk or I’m sure Mr. Editor can pass any details on, and if you know of neighbours that may be interested but don’t read Henley News ask them too. The more takers the bigger the discount.

Andy Langford

The Manor of Henley-in-Arden

Court Leet and Court Baron

Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff








Butter Weighing
Ale Tasting


Maison Mayci
Sue Dalby Catering


Ice Cream Parlour

Black Swan
La Dolce Pizza
Blue Bell
Three Tuns
White Swan

Nag’s Head


The Town Crier, seen left with Low Bailiff Roger Sutton, has been out and about on the High Street reminding passers-by that this Saturday, 9th June, is Court Leet Day. This Day is a departure from the Court Leet’s more familiar way of testing the ale in the pubs, the butter in the shops, the state of the river Alne, and so on. The difference is that it’s all being done in one event, and in daylight. The Day also revives the old custom of Beating the Bounds, as described in this column in the past two weeks.

This reflects the High bailiff’s declared wish that the Court should be more visible and better connected to the community than has perhaps been the case. It is to some extent an experiment and its success depends on the extent to which the people of the town can get some fun and a bit of history from the events. These activities start at 10.00 am at the Guild Hall garden. The schedule of visits to the various premises on the High Street is as follows: followers can join the show at any stage along the way.

We are truly grateful to the proprietors and licensees of all these establishments, for their sporting co-operation with the Day’s goings-on. Coffee will be provided in the Guild Hall garden between 10.30 and 12.00 for those who wish to spare their feet!

A reminder here about the afternoon’s entertainment: sit in the Guild Hall garden, have a cup of tea and listen to sweet mediaeval music by the duo “Fiddlestix” from about 2.00 pm, followed by the miracle play “Noah’s Ark”, presented as a joint community production by performing arts students of Henley High School and members of Henley Drama Society. 

Admission by ticket at the gate, price £3.00, children half price.  The garden gate opens at 2.00 pm.

To view the Court Leet website, go to www.henley-in-arden.org/court-leet

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden


Visit Henley-in-Arden's Gateway Website at:



Gateway Website Directory Updated

"This is Henley-in-Arden", Henley's official Gateway website sponsored by the Town Improvement Committee (TIC), is requesting all organisations to check their contact details in the directory and notify Henley NEWS On-line of any changes or additions.

The directory can be accessed at:


There is a link at the bottom of the page to the update facility.

This Gateway directory, unlike the excellent Henley Directory published by the Court Leet, does not list residential numbers. However, it does contain contact names and email addresses.

The publishers are also requesting all organisations in the town to check to see if they have a link from their website to the Gateway website and if it is correctly configured as:


To Read Previous Editions Back to 29th October 2004       Click Here

Over 50 and still got a pair of football boots?

Laurence Marshall is organising two Over 50’s football matches, the first is on the evening of Friday 6th July in Birmingham, with a return fixture around October time.

The opposition have mostly played in the Central Warwickshire Over 35’s League so, if you are fairly fit and fancy getting your boots out of the loft, please give Laurence a call on 07970 444363.

Joint Parish Council Meeting

At the Joint Parish Council Meeting on Monday 4th June 2007 Members discussed three planning applications received and fourteen items of correspondence and other matters for consideration, as well as its normal procedural business before the meeting concluded. Amongst the items discussed were the following:

1. Condition of the pavements on the High Street
Having expressed strong reservations to Warwickshire County Council about proposed works to the footways on Henley’s historic High Street, Members were pleased to learn in a letter from the County Council that they now proposed to carry out a scheme in alternative materials far more suited to the needs of the town. Members also took heart from the County Council’s stated commitment to make footways safer, following incidences of personal injury resulting from maintenance issues, and to provide general works to help in retaining Henley’s charm. The County Council also took on board the possibility of raising contributions from businesses which are causing damage to paving by parking illegally. Members were assured that Henley was not being short-changed and that everything would be done to halt the deterioration of the footways, much of which is caused by vehicles.

2. Henley Market
Members were informed of a letter just received from Stratford District Council concerning the sale of the market site to Taylor Woodrow Developments Ltd. The letter explained that the developers were working in collaboration with the South Warwickshire Housing Association to produce detailed proposals for the development of the site and, as part of the process, to mount a community engagement exercise prior to submission of a planning application. The Community Engagement exercise would comprise a public exhibition at an accessible venue in the town, an information brochure for local residents and businesses, and a website containing information about the proposals and a comments form. The Chairman commented that it was important for everyone in Henley to be made aware of the community exercise and that it take place before schools broke up and people went away on their holidays.

3. Scouts help in keeping the High Street tidy.
Members welcomed the Scouts offer to be involved in tidying up the areas around the many trees in Henley’s lengthy High Street. They understood that it was the County Council’s responsibility, but that it was unlikely that there was any budget for such “house-keeping”. They agreed ensure that there would be no obstacles to the Scouts’ public spirited venture.

4. Market Cross Survey.
Members noted the results of a survey conducted through the Joint Parish Council’s own Newsletter, which indicated a small majority in favour of their being no replacement or material alteration other than simple re-pointing repairs. They were disappointed at the level of response, however, which they felt did not give them sufficient mandate to take further action.

5. Stratford-on-Avon District Local Development Framework, Core Strategy.
Members noted that the District Council is preparing a Local Development Framework, which will replace the existing District Local Plan, and which will guide development and change in the District over the next twenty years. They agreed to consider their response to the Core Stategy of the Local Development Framework which they felt, at this early stage, was inevitably very general in content. Members’ initial reactions included their sense that the document was important given that it covered development in the region over the period 2009 to 2026. More particularly they acknowledged the importance of tourism for the area, and therefore the importance of improving rail links from Birmingham, and the need to explore renewable energy sources. Members also acknowledged that the Strategy’s emphasis should be based on the views of individuals and elected members, rather than unelected quangos. It was agreed that their response would be drafted for consideration at their next meeting on 18th June 2007.

The next meeting of the Joint Parish Council will incorporate its Annual Meeting and is scheduled for Monday 18th June 2007. Meetings take place in the Baptist Church Hall, High Street, Henley-in-Arden from 7.15pm and, as with all meetings of the Council, members of the public are welcome to attend.

Mat back on BTCC podium

Henley-in-Arden’s Mat Jackson again sprayed the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship podium champagne with a third place finish at the Croft circuit yesterday. Mat actually finished all three races competitively in the points and as a result has moved up to seventh in the outright championship standings.

Mat’s excellent third place in his family-run Jacksons MSport team’s BMW 320si E90 followed ninth and fourth positions in the day’s opening two races and marked the third time in four BTCC rounds that he has stood on the podium. His return to form has also seen him and his team progress up the Independents Drivers and Teams championships. However, Mat had to contend with a unique problem inside his car all weekend that cramped his driving style as he explains: “The new race boots I’ve got are too tight and my right foot kept going to sleep. This made braking and healing and toeing on the accelerator difficult at times and cost me time. I’ll be buying a bigger size for the next rounds!”

On Saturday Mat qualified a strong ninth, although wasn’t entirely satisfied with his car’s set-up. This was the same at the end of race one, even though he was able to rattle the factory Vauxhall Vectra of Tom Chilton for eighth position. Changes to provide the #48 BMW with greater traction were made and from ninth on the grid in race two Mat made an electrifying start to challenge the SEAT Leon of championship leader Jason Plato for fifth position into the first corner. But explains Mat: “A few corners later we were side by side and he forced me out wide and several others got past. If I was in his position I’d have done the same! But I could already see that it was going to become a physical race and it would be important to bide my time.” Indeed, Mat would eventually cross the line in fourth position thanks to wisely keeping clear of incidents in front of him.

Then came his third position finish. With the top nine finishers in race two reversed to form the front rows of the starting grid, Mat lined up in sixth position. After the opening two corners he was up to third and challenging the similar Team RAC car of Tom Onslow-Cole for second. Mat says: “The RAC cars probably had better race pace today so I knew I had to make a move straight away. I went for it but Tom defended well and I slid a little wide. After that it was a case of preserving my place. Gordon Shedden started closing on me in the last few laps but I’d got him covered.

Mat adds: “We’ve had three great results today, we’re back to the form we’re capable of and in there fighting with the big four teams. They have greater resources and have had the luxury of further developing their cars since Thruxton whereas we’ve had to concentrate on rebuilding our car back at our workshop. After the problems we had at Thruxton this is a great way to bounce back for everyone who works in the team, our sponsors and supporters.”

Mat’s next big date is his 26th birthday June 10th. He and the Jacksons MSport team will return to BTCC action at the swooping Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire on June 24th.

BTCC drivers after 12 rounds: 1st Jason Plato 127; 2nd Fabrizio Giovanardi 125; 3rd Matt Neal 8;. 7th Mat Jackson 55 etc.

Independent drivers: 1st Mike Jordan 118; 2nd Tom Onslow-Cole 97; 3rd Colin Turkington 94; 4th Mat Jackson 92 etc.

Teams: 1st VX Racing 190; 2nd SEAT Sport UK 187; 3rd Team Halfords 131; 6th Jacksons MSport 54 etc.

Independent Teams: 1st Team RAC 140; 2nd Eurotech 122; 3rd Jacksons MSport 94 etc.

Smoking Ban Starts 1st July

In less than four weeks, every public enclosed space including pubs, restaurants, churches, garages and offices in Henley, along with the rest of the country, will be forbidden from letting staff and customers light up as the national ban takes effect on July 1.

Venues which refuse to enforce the law will be liable for fines up to £2,500 with £200 fines for failing to display proper no-smoking signs. Smokers flouting the ban will be slapped with a £50 on-the-spot fines.

Across the country councils were granted £29.5 million to train employees to spy on premises to make sure the block is being upheld and to prevent police time being consumed. Stratford District Council was given £48,911 and now has a full time officer to deal with complaints and keep an eye on premises to make sure they are upholding the law.

According to a Government survey the majority of the country backs the ban and found a smoky atmosphere is the biggest reason for avoiding a pub. Over a third of people in the West Midlands told the Department of Health poll a smoke-filled pub was their biggest turn-off with the type of clientele second. Some 91 per cent said lighting up in a non-smoking area was unacceptable and 69 per cent of people would rather spend an evening in a smokefree venue.

The Government has also launched a national advertising campaign to remind the public where smoking will be outlawed, after recent research amongst business showed 41 per cent did not realise smoking rooms had to be closed and 53 per cent were unaware work vehicles are also classed as public enclosed spaces.

Click for the classics

Lovers of classical, jazz, folk and blues music will now be able to download their favourite titles at the click of a button thanks to a new service piloted by Warwickshire Libraries Service.

NAXOS, the country’s leading publisher of classical music, is to be made available to users of Warwickshire Libraries both through the People’s Network PCs at libraries or at home via the county council website. The new service will allow audiences to listen to, and download, over 230,000 tracks. The move follows a study which showed the public’s preference was to use their own computers at home. The county has bought six licenses allowing a maximum of six people to be logged on at any one time downloading tracks.

Anyone can go into one of Warwickshire’s libraries and log onto a machine and access Naxos. However, only library members will be able to do this from their own machine. They will access the site via www.warwickshire.gov.uk, the county’s website and then log onto Naxos by entering their library usercard number.  The initiative will come into place once your local library subscribes to the scheme.

Andrew Button, Virtual Library Project Officer, said: “This marks another significant development in the provision of public library services in Warwickshire – and another reason for people who can’t get into one of our libraries, to use and enjoy our services at the click of a mouse."

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John Garner's Business Column

Getting your money – part 2

John GarnerIn my previous article we discussed ways of getting money out of customers who don't want to pay you.

If all your personal attempts to get paid fail then your remaining recourse is to issue a claim through the county court. This is not as difficult as it sounds and even the threat of doing so can be remarkably effective.

You will sometimes hear people talk about the 'small claims court'. What they really mean is the special procedure for handling smaller claims in a county court. You can use this for claiming a fixed amount of less than £5,000 and you can make your application on line through Money Claim Online (www.moneyclaim.gov.uk). There is an excellent user guide on this site so you can get comfortable with it before proceeding with a claim.

A claim for a fixed amount is where you know the exact sum of money, including interest, that the defendant owes you; for example an unpaid invoice. You can't use Money Claim Online if your claim is not for a fixed amount; for example if you have suffered an injury and want to claim compensation from the defendant. Oh, and you can't use this to sue a government department, however much you might want to!

So let's assume you have an unpaid invoice and you have made several attempts to get paid but to no avail and you think the only thing left is to go to court.

Write a letter to the person who owes you money. You may have already done this several times – but this particular letter is very important. In it you must state your case in detail why you should be paid, list every event in chronological order but don't ramble. It needn't be a long letter, just make sure it lists all the facts of the case as you see them. In the letter state very clearly that, if you have not received payment within 14 days, you will proceed with court action. Send the letter by Recorded Delivery.

This letter has two purposes: firstly it leaves the person you are claiming from in no doubt as to what you are going to do and secondly it will be the first document the judge will read, should your case get to court. It's surprising what effect this letter will have on your debtor and they will probably just pay up.

However, if you haven't received your money within the 14 days make the claim through Money Claim Online immediately. The website is very straightforward to use. There will be a charge of course, the scale of charges being listed on the website.

Make sure you have all the relevant documentation to hand and notes of any telephone calls made or received. If there are lots of documents then put them in date order and number them so you can easily refer to them.

Upon receipt of your application and fee the court will write to the person owing you money asking them for a formal response to your claim. Again, they may well pay up at this stage as they can see you're serious.
Other websites you should look at are:


John Garner

The Nigel Hastilow Column

The price of progress remains unpaid

Nigel HastilowThe Wolverhampton Express & Star recently published the results of an investigation I carried out into what happened to people whose homes were blighted by the Midland Metro. And as the Government prepares to water down the planning laws, making it easier to get away with controversial developments like nuclear power stations, consider the following:

Up to 900 homes blighted by the Midland Metro have been denied any compensation, it has been revealed. In some cases, payouts ranging from £3,500 to £5,000 per household had been agreed between residents and Altram, the company running the Wolverhampton to Birmingham tram line.

But depsite pressure from local MPs and widespread publicity, no money was ever paid out. Estimates suggest claims totalled £3.6 million. Residents who complain of noise, rubbish, rats and anti-social behaviour as a result of the line’s development have no choice but to accept they will get nothing.

To challenge Altram’s refusal to offer any payout they would have to go to the High Court and face huge legal bills of four times any potential payout. The scandal over denied compensation raises fears that residents and businesses hit by the two new Midland Metro routs – from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill and through the centre of Birmingham – will also be denied compensation payouts.

A long-term campaigner for local residents said: “It is extraordinary that Altram and Centro have got away with this. “The issue was raised in Parliament. Several agents were involved. Altram even appointed a company to carry out negotiations and agree payouts on their behalf. Then nothing – a big, fat zero. Residents have been betrayed and received nothing for their blighted homes. It makes you wonder what Centro has in store for people and companies hit by the planned new routes. If I lived anywhere near them, I would start worrying now. Once work starts, it will be too late and Centro will again be able to ride roughshod over residents’ rights as they have done already.”

The offer to a couple living in The Bantocks, West Bromwich, is clear enough. It says: “I can confirm I have now received an offer of compensation from Nick Russel of DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, the agents acting on behalf of Altram LTR Ltd, the details of which are as follows: The sum of £3,430 shall be payable in full and final settlement of your claim. Interest will be payable on this sum from the date of claim. My firm’s fees will be payable by Altram LRT Ltd.”

The letter from the couple’s surveyors is dated January 2002, adds ominously: “This offer is subject to Altram board approval.”

It cost £145 million to build Midland Metro line one from Wolverhampton to Birmingham. But no money has ever been paid to the hundreds of households blighted by the development. The owners were promised compensation for the loss in value of their homes caused by the noise, litter, yobbery and general mayhem the Metro attracted. Eight years after the line was first opened, it seems not one of the 900 households to claim compensation has received a penny. And now it’s too late – they won’t be getting anything.

This is despite the fact that agents acting for the residents got as far as agreeing specific sums of compensation for some of these residents. The Altram board showed its disapproval of these claims by refusing to pay out. And because the law says claims must be settled within six years, it’s now too late.

The residents were left with a choice – accept nothing at all or take Altram to court. Suing Altram would incur huge legal costs so it is no surprise to discover nobody wanted to take that risk. Why gamble £20,000 in legal fees in a David-and-Goliath struggle over a possible payout of less than £3,500? I have spoken to several compensation agents in the past few days and they are indignant. Not so indignant they are prepared to speak out on the record. But indignant just the same.

One of them said to me: “The situation has been made impossible for us. I am amazed the press have not caught up with this already but the residents have been remarkably patient. What has happened is extraordinary.” Another said: “The vast majority (of compensation claimants) weren’t offered any money at all.”

A couple of years ago, Adrian Bailey, Labour MP for West Bromwich West, called on Altram to consider all the claims before the time limit expired. Altram promised to look at them all. But, of course, looking at them is very different from paying them. With 900 claims at and average of perhaps £4,000 including fees, they were facing a bill of maybe £3.6 million. No wonder they let enough time pass to weasel out of paying up.

Centro, the public body responsible for the Midland Metro, takes a relaxed view. A Centro spokesman suggests nobody’s got anything to complain about. In Manchester and Nottingham, homes increased in value if they were near the new tram lines, she says. In Dublin the rise was 17 per cent. As for noise, Centro claims tests showed it actually decreased when the Metro was built because there was less traffic on the roads.

It’s an interesting point of view. One of the blighted residents in The Bantocks says: “My house is directly in line with the Metro, it has been noisy and we put in double-glazed windows to reduce the Metro noise. This cost us about £4,000. We have been subject to two burglaries and have had to secure our premises. The fences were built too low and can easily be jumped over. Due to constant litter thrown by the public we also have to deal with many rats on our property.”

In a letter to another couple in The Bantocks, compensation consultants Guest Burgess revealed they should receive £3,500 from Altram. “We are satisfied this represents a good offer and compares well with others made for other properties in the NEIGHBOURHOOD,” the letter from 2001 says.

Two years later, though, Guest Burgess write to yet another claimant that, despite doing deal with DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, who were acting for Altram, in 2001, nothing had happened. “Outline agreement was reached on many of the claims and in a few instances we were able to confirm provisional offers to some of our clients. Where offers were made and accepted, these were reported to DTZ for routine processing and payment,” the letter says. “However, since then, we understand that DTZ has been unable to obtain authorisation from Altram for any of the claims to be paid.” The letter goes on to claim, optimistically as it turns out, that Altram was seeking a new contract from Centro and would be paying up when that deal was done.

These days DTZ flat-bat any questions. “We were just providing advice to our client,” they say, offering Altram’s phone number. The question now is whether Altram think they will get to run either of the next two Metro routes, which will cost the taxpayer £430 million. One line is to run through the middle of Birmingham, the other seven-mile route is from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill via Great Bridge, Dudley and Merry Hill.

There will be three separate contracts for the new lines: to supply and maintain the trams; to construct the routes; and to run them. Altram was a partnership between West Midlands Travel, Ansaldo Transporti Sistemi Ferroviari SpA and Laing Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. Last year, West Midlands Travel bought out the other investors as part of a stitch-up which gives TWM the right to run the two new routes when they’re built. TWM is itself owned by National Express, which is also responsible for Central Trains. TWM’s deal over future Metro routes is revealed by the Office of Fair Trading, which disclosed last year that losses on the existing line – estimated at £1 million a year or more – will not fall “unless and until the Metro network is expanded”.

The OFT said: “If expansion goes ahead Centro and TWM intend (but with no contractual commitment) that for the first three years of integrated operation, TWM will operate the expanded Metro network.” Asked about Altram’s non-payment of compensation to homes blighted by the Metro and its future plans, spokesman Phil Bateman said: “Information regarding the arrangements that the company have made with individuals and business must remain confidential.

“Compensation payments likewise are a matter for individuals and we are not breaking confidentiality. National Express/Altram are not the drivers of Line One extensions, this is in the ownership/duty of Centro-WMPTA. Therefore as National Express/Altram are not the promoters or the public authority charged with procuring extensions to Line One, provision is not an issue. National Express/Altram do not have a view on the number of homes/businesses that will be 'blighted' if any are by the metro extensions, as National Express/Altram have no role or responsibility in their planning or promotion.”

So, at the end of this saga, hundreds of families and businesses have been denied compensation they were apparently promised. It’s now too late and too expensive to do anything about it. But for the two proposed new lines, which are likely to get the Government go-ahead later this year, it’s a different matter.

Anyone who is anywhere near the route of either of these tram lines be warned now – you’ve got a long, hard fight on your hands. If your house or business is likely to suffer during the construction or afterwards, start making a fuss now – before any contracts are even awarded. And be very wary of any promises. Luckily, National Express now has its very own Corporate Responsibility plan. Group Chief Executive Richard Bowker says: “Corporate social responsibility is not just something we acknowledge at National Express, it’s central to how we run our business.”

Try telling that to residents in The Bantocks, Mr Bowker.

Nigel Hastilow      

Grumpy Old Man Comments


My last view on Parking !

Not many words this week but some examples of parking in Henley over the last 2 weeks.

On the drive to the FREE car park, (which is signposted off the High St)

Even with repainted yellow lines, maybe they all had disabled signs like the closest.

          Keep death off the roads, drive (and park) on the pavement.

Grumpy Old Man

For the most Comprehensive Information about Henley-in-Arden

Visit Henley-in-Arden's Gateway Website at www.henley-in-arden.org

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Use fine weather to dry clothes outside or on an indoor airer instead of in a tumble dryer. The electricity used drying a single load in a tumble dryer will cause the release of about 50 bucketfuls of carbon dioxide and cost about 20 pence.  2 loads a week in a tumble dryer costs you about £20 a year so if you don’t use the dryer at all it saves the £20 and  about 5000 bucketfuls of carbon dioxide.

For more information about the Make Henley Greener project, click here.

John Stott

District Council Information

Planning Applications - Search on-line at Stratford District Council
When you are on the Planning Dept site. Select 'APPLICATION SEARCH' from menu on left.
On the next page, enter the Parish as 'Henley' and put in the date range the last two months and press 'Search'

Stratford on Avon District Council Website


Alerts from Trading Standards


And always remember - if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Trading StandardsSimon Cripwell
Senior Information Officer
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

Vanity Box

Printed copies of Henley NEWS On-line are placed in the Library, the Medical Centre and the Heritage Centre each week. This service is sponsored by the Henley & Beaudesert Civic Society.

Click on poster for more information

Henley-in-Arden's - New Steam Train Service

Sundays only - 8 July to 2 Sept 2007

Click here for further information

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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: stjohnnews@btinternet.com. Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the editor@henleynews.co.uk at any time.

We are looking forward to our “Mystery Evening” on Tuesday 5th June – who knows what is in store for us? (Well perhaps the Committee members know!) Visitors are welcome join us and find out from 7.30 p.m. in the Memorial Hall.

On Saturday 9th June the Court Leet will re-enact all its ancient duties of Ale Tasting, Butter Weighing, Brook Looking and Beating the Bounds. Events will start at 10.00 a.m. and will be centred on the Guild Hall garden, where there will be a performance of a Miracle Play, “Noah’s Flood”, during the afternoon. More information 792512 (the High Bailiff).

Tuesday 12th June Open Evening “Hands on Nature” by Carol Firmstone
7.30 p.m. at The Memorial Hall. Visitors Welcome £6.00.

19th June - meet at 6.30 p.m. at the Market Cross for the first of our Summer outdoor meetings. If you require transport, please contact Secretary on 792555 or Chairman on 793260. We try to share cars to be “green”!

National Festival Circus is coming to Henley on 23rd June. 3 showings at 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm. Early Bird Offers available on tickets purchased before 21st May. Tickets available at Vanity Box, High St and Henley in Arden CP School office. Event takes place at Henley in Arden C P School playing fields. Please call 07789 906 475 for more details.

9th June from 2.00 p.m. at the Village Hall. Traditional and new attractions for all the family. Antiques Roadshow; Magician; Nintendo WII Competition; Skittle Alley; Face Painting; Football Target; Refreshments.

Tuesday 26th June Evening Visit to Wits End Garden 7.30 p.m. Contact 793903 for more details.
HENLEY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION are holding a Gala Day at Henley in Arden Primary School, Arden Road, on 30th June from 12 noon to 4.00 p.m. Many attractions including Five-a-Side Football, tombola, raffle, bric-a-brac, bouncy castle. Look out for promotional posters nearer the date.

MAKE HENLEY GREENER would like to remind everyone that the closing date for the free entry Smallest Carbon Footprint Competition is 7th June. Entry forms may be found at businesses, shops, library and the medical centre. This is a local competition and you stand a good chance of winning a prize.

Hanging Basket Competition – we have some wonderful floral displays in the town thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers. Can you provide additional colour by putting up a hanging basket? Open to all private residences, pubs, shops and businesses (and not just on the High Street!). Application forms available from the Vanity Box. Enquiries to 793903.

School Fete Friday 20th July at 5.00 p.m. Please note change of date.

20th & 21st July. The series of Gilbert and Sullivan concerts in Tanworth comes to a grand finale this year. Singers are reminded that full chorus rehearsals start on Tuesday 5th June at 7.45 p.m. in Tanworth village hall. Tickets at £8.50 each will be on sale in The Bell on 25th and 26th June from 10.00 a.m. to 12 noon. Cheques payable to ‘The Tanworth Singers’. For ticket availability after these dates, please phone Mrs. Quentin on 742424.

Jazz in the Garden – Saturday 21st July

Barn Dance and Supper – Saturday 20th October
Information on these events from Marijana or Duncan Bainbridge 793539/794987.

Henley and Wootton Scouts Bonfire Night – Saturday 3rd November 2007. Further details from John Johnson 792073.

Open to members (juniors and adults) of any standard. Full time coach. 7 courts open throughout the year mean that there is always a court available. No need to book. Club and American Tournaments held during summer months. League matches summer and winter. For details of membership please contact Judith Mathias 01564 792378
Evergreen ClubMeetings 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.
Meets Friday and Sunday from September to May in the Memorial Hall. Details contact Alan Barber on 793320. Thursday evenings from 7.30 –9.30 pm at Henley Community Primary School. Details please ring Pauline Barber on 793320.
Henley Cricket Club fields two teams in the Cotswold Hills League on a Saturday, and two teams in friendly fixtures on Sundays, from mid-April to mid-September. We are always on the lookout for new players, irrespective of age or ability. Anyone interested in joining our club should contact Kevin O'Brien on 01564-794903.
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-ordinators. 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
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 at www.swbc.co.uk
Meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome.
Please call: Robin Freeman on 01789 765411 or email robinf@ribi.org
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.
Please tell all your friends about The Henley Diary. Events for future Henley Diary Dates should be sent to Diane Bayley at 6 St John's Close marked ‘Henley Diary’ email: stjohnnews@btinternet.com

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