Henley NEWS On-line

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


Masthead picture - St Nicholas Church, Beaudesert

Edition 184 - 29thNovember  2007
Warwickshire Village Ventures
Competition Winner 2007
Every Thursday

Henley Market Redevelopment - Latest Update

Market SitThose of us that registered our formal objection to the planning application will have received a communication from Stratford District Council, Planning Dept over the past few days.

Nevertheless the amendments, whilst still not available for public consideration, are purely cosmetic. They do not alter the fact that it still seeks permission to build high density social housing with inappropriate designs and inadequate regard to roads, drainage and public service needs.

Indeed, the Builders seem satisfied with an offer to create a patch of grass for a playground to answer any environmental or infrastructure issues.

Big deal. With that ill conceived concept in mind, have they stopped to consider who will actually use or benefit from it; who has responsibility for its upkeep or, the legal duty of care & maintenance for when something goes wrong or an accident occurs?

NIFMembers of our community are in discussions with the NEIGHBOURHOOD Initiatives Foundation ( to seek their assistance in ensuring that the un-empowered but adversely affected people of Henley can ensure we are consulted.

Another Government funded organisation charged with similar aims is being requested to provide the necessary funding immediately.

Rest assured dear reader, the proposals remain alive and a threat to us. Your vigilance is essential. We are moving ever closer to the vital Area Planning Committee meeting when the planning application will be considered and so we remain at risk of it going through.

Have our District Councillors been active in representing our concerns in this respect? I for one have not been kept informed.

Mike Faulkner - Planning Correspondent.

Latest News

The planning application (07/02794/FUL) has just been amended by the applicants to change some of the house types and make alterations to some of the parking courts.  The amended plans have been sent to the Parish Council and will shortly be available to view via the website or at Elizabeth House or Alcester Area Office.  All neighbours and persons that have objected to date of the proposed amendments have been notified.

The next possible committee date would be 3.1.08 but it is not yet known whether the application will go to this meeting.

Grumpy Old Man Comments

GOMThe market Redevelopment (Revisited)

I’ve just see the plans have been resubmitted to the District Council for the market. Various plots have been changed for a new type of house and some of the parking lots have been changed.

But when I went online the plans were not available. In this age of science and technology, a email can be sent out to all interested parties, but someone has forgotten to update the website with the new plans. Hopefully when you read this the site will have been updated so we can see what is happening.

Or is it a deliberate plan to keep us in the dark? - Probably not.

I did notice however names of those who have written in and commented about the plans. Approximately 55 people and groups have written in. What does this say ? Come on everyone, unless you want to see Henley changed beyond belief please write in and state your objections or support.

It’s easy just click on the following link (or paste it into your browser) and follow the instructions:    Register your Views On-line

Let’s keep Henley a market town !

Grumpy Old Man

Suggested Email to Planning Dept

Re: Planning Application Amendment 07/02794/FUL

Dear Sirs,

Please will you register my continued objection to the revised plans, for the following reasons:

  1. The number of dwellings has not changed.
  2. The drainage and flooding problems have not been addressed.
  3. The traffic problems have not been addressed.
  4. There has been no consultation with the community by the developers.
  5. The revised plans are not available on the Planning website.
  6. Members of the Community are in discussions with the NEIGHBOURHOOD Initiatives Foundation regarding seeking their assistance so that un-empowered members of the community can be consulted.

Henley Raises £570 for Firefighters

Prompted and organised by Rosemary Sharman and Beryl Butler, ladies of the Court Leet, and aided by others, a coffee morning was held in the Guild Hall last Saturday, 24th November. The aim was to give local people and visitors the chance to express their support for the families of the firemen lost in the Atherstone fire, by dipping in their pockets and by signing the Book of Condolences. Henley’s Watch Manager, Richard Butler, together with members of the Henley Fire and Emergency crew Mark Taylor, Kate Stevens and John Blakey were present.

The outcome exceeded everyone’s greatest hopes: a total of £570.55 was collected in less than two hours, from donations, a raffle and sale of cards. There was a steady stream of visitors including a couple on their way to Derby who just happened to see the notice by the Guild Hall door.

Fire Fighters

Rosemary Sharman, Hon. Burgess Derek Sharman, High bailiff, Richard Butler, Kate Stevens, Beryl Butler, Mark Taylor

The response showed just how much local people have been moved by the tragedy of the lost lives incurred by those who take on this dangerous duty. The Book of Condolences is available for viewing and signing at Henley’s Fire Station on Wednesdays between 7 pm and 9 pm. It will also be available at:

The Fire Station’s annual Christmas Grotto
on Saturday 15th December,
where Santa Clause will attempt to oblige his clients
between 10.00am and 1.00 pm.

Enforcement Notices on Claverdon Game Farming

Neighbours of the game farming based at “Heart of England Farm” are suffering due to unacceptable practices.

Mr. & Mrs. Roy Hopkins have lived on Kington Lane in Claverdon for over 30 years but since development of the neighbouring Game farm with intensive breeding and rearing of geese, turkeys, pheasants and other game birds their lives have been made an absolute misery. The field immediately backing onto their house, and their neighbours' houses, has been used to keep a huge flock of geese at night.

Turkey Farm

Roy Hopkins looks out at a field of glutinous offensive smelling mud.

Turkey Farm

This mud bath is night accommodation for the geese.

Besides the noise, which has forced Roy Hopkins to install triple glazing, the farmland is several inches deep in geese faeces and deep glutinous mud. The stench coming off the farmland into their garden is nauseating in the extreme.

In the run up to Christmas the flock of geese are herded around to the green field adjacent to Henley Road in the morning in order to present a charming site for prospective Christmas purchasers and are then brought back in the evening.

Turkey Farm

This isn't a farm it's a factory in the Warwickshire greenbelt.

Complaints to the local council from the farms neighbour’s have finally resulted in action being taken. Stratford on Avon District Council has served Enforcement Notices on the owner of Heart of England Farm, on Kington Lane, Claverdon. The notices relate to containers, caravans, metal game bird rearing containers and large mobile rearing houses. Mr Gronning, the owner of Heart of England Farm, has 4 months to comply.

View our special photo report

Author to sign new book at the Heritage Centre

Xmas LightsMany will be aware that Miles Macnair of Ullenhall has for a long time been researching the life and work of local man William James, famous as the sponsor of locomotive engineer George Stephenson. Commemoration of this remarkable man is visible on the side of the Yew Trees, where a plaque was placed a few years ago: James lived at this address. There is also a display devoted to William James’s extraordinary life and achievements, in the Trade and Transport room at the Heritage Centre.

Miles Macnair’s new book “William James (1771-1837) is now on sale and the author will be present at the Heritage Centre, 150 High Street, from 11.00 am on Friday 7th December, where he will sign copies.

The Heritage Centre currently provides a temporary home for the Henley Library, open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings, while repairs to the Guild Hall are put in hand.

Henley-in-Arden Heritage Centre

Christmas Lights "Switch-On" & Carol Service

Xmas LightsSaturday 1st December 2007 at 5.00pm

The Beaudesert & Henley Christmas Lights Working Party invite you to join them for Christmas Carols at 5.00pm before the Christmas lights in the High Street are officially illuminated at 5.30pm.

Congratulations to 10 year old Georgie Cambell from St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School, and to 11 year old Suzanna Luckman from Henley High School who are the winners of this year's Carol Sheet Competition. They will have the honour of switching on the lights.

New Music Venue Finds The Right Note!

Folk Music

The first meeting of the new Henley in Arden folk and Acoustic music club was voted a great success. Over 40 people attended enjoying a wide variety of music from some talented musicians and singers. The format was relaxed and provided anyone attending an opportunity to perform.

Some well known local singers supported the night, including Vo Fletcher who currently plays with Brent Ford and the Nylons and was previously a member of Tuxedo junction. Tommy Dempsey, who is well known locally and plays traditional Irish music, performed a few favourites in his own inimitable style.

Some new talent emerged and the evening set the right note for future success. It was the intention of the organisers to provide a music venue that is informal, friendly and offers musicians and the audience alike an opportunity to enjoy good music.

The venue at the White Swan in Henley in Arden could not be better, offering a large comfortable room and a warm welcome from the landlord and lady Linda and Ian.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 12th December 8.30pm everyone is welcome, admission is just £1.00 so affordable by all. The subsequent meeting will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.

For more information contact Barry or Barbara Jukes on 0121 706 1905

Why is upstairs older than downstairs?

Scaracen's HeadLogoThis was the question posed by Judith Shilston in her talk to the November meeting of the Henley and Beaudesert Society.

The talk was about the restoration of the Saracen’s Head (right) and the Old Grammar School in Kings Norton. The extensive work was funded by the national lottery and public subscription after the deteriorating buildings won the BBC “Restoration” program. Judith’s involvement with the project and knowledge about the buildings brought the project to life for the enjoyment of the assembled members and visitors.

The archaeologists believe the most likely explanation of the upstairs being the older part of the grammar school building (1450), is that it existed previously as a single storey building. A need arose later for more floor space, so a brick ground floor was built in 1660 and the old building dismantled and re-erected on top of the new one………an early prefab construction! The early building incorporated windows dating from 1300 and there is a desk with legs made from 1450 pew ends and its top dating from 1550.

SchoolIn 1547 the school had 120 pupils and in the 1600s it was widely known and respected, drawing pupils from far and wide. During this period, Thomas Hall was the teacher for over 30 years and when he died, his library was three times the value of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s library!

The Saracen’s Head building was never an inn. It was built for a wealthy sheep farmer and over the years became a dairy, a grocery, an ironmonger’s shop and an olde tea shoppe. At its birth it was a very expensive building, with close studded walls and an overhanging jetty, which remain to this day. There were stories of roman pottery and civil war goings on, visiting queens and many other things of interest. Clearly, these buildings and Kings Norton have many a tale to tell. Both buildings will be open to the public next year and many members expressed a desire to visit. In addition to the restoration work, a new building is going up to provide community amenities, such as a café, toilets and meeting area. This will allow the older buildings to be seen as they used to exist, whilst providing the local community with the facilities they used to enjoy within these old buildings……..and more.

The talk was followed by questions, tea, coffee and biscuits and the usual friendly chat amongst those present. Next meeting is the Christmas Party which is fully subscribed. In the new year we have Ann Donnelly on 24th Jan tell us about John Shakespeare, Glover and Brogger! Meeting as usual at the Baptist Church Hall 8pm. Visitors welcome; entry £3. Call 792251 (John) if you would like more info.

Heritage Centre celebrates Tenth Birthday

10 YearsHenley’s Heritage Centre opened to the public in 1997 and on Thursday 22nd November members of the volunteer stewards’ team assembled for lunch at Henley Golf Club, together with the Centre’s trustees and their guests. There were 98 present.

Marking ten years of continuous operation and service to education by the Joseph Hardy Educational Charitable Trust, which owns the Centre, the party heard short speeches from the trustees about the early days of the Centre’s life. Welcoming all present, David Lodder thanked the assembled team of enthusiasts for their devoted support. It was established that roughly a third of those present had been stewards for the whole ten-year life of the Centre to date. Derek Sharman, who with his wife Rosemary created the Centre in its present form, spoke about the coincidences which had helped it on its way. Notable among these was the “accidental” purchase by the Trust of the oldest formally-dated house in the town. Duncan Bainbridge then described the scientific researches into the building’s history and age, and reminded those present of what was happening at the time elsewhere!

10 YearsRay Holding reminded everyone of the sad loss during this year of trustee and steward Keith Ford and of long-term steward Vera Jackson. He said the Centre was fortunate in being able to attract new members to the team and that this was essential for smooth operation. At no time so far had the Centre had to close because of staff shortage – a tribute to the commitment of everyone.
Once again visitor numbers had been strong – about ten percent higher than in 2006.

A cake, made by Sue Price-Whittle and decorated by Ann Holding, appropriately bearing one of Keith Ford’s beautiful pen-and-ink sketches of the Heritage Centre and ten candles was duly cut by Derek and Rosemary Sharman.

Henley-in-Arden Heritage Centre

Bins Galore

Green BinsHenley residents will have to find their own solutions for storing the three new wheelie bins on their way - that’s the message from Stratford District Council. From August a majority of household rubbish will be collected fortnightly with bags replaced by colour-coded wheelie bins.

Every household will be supplied with a 180 litre grey bin for general waste, a 240 litre blue bin for recyclables and a 240 litre green bin for garden and food waste. Large families or ones with new born babies or with incontinence disposal needs will get a 240 litre grey bin.

One week the green and blue bins will be collected with the grey bin picked up the following week. All dry recycling will be allowed in the blue bins, including glass bottle and jars, paper, newspapers, magazines, envelopes, brochures, telephone directories, tin cans, plastic bottles and cardboard. Food waste will be allowed in the green and grey, meaning technically a weekly service remains, but it will have to be scrapped directly into the green because no plastic will be permitted.

Residents have reacted by slamming the ‘ill-conceived strategy’ for showing no consideration to those it will serve - and who pay for it.

The District Council also said residents would have to find their own solution for storing the three wheelie bins and rejected calls for risk assessment training claiming people were more likely to injure themselves lifting black bags rather then pushing a wheelie bin. The new rubbish collection contract will save the council £2.7 million over seven years.

Flexible Access to Mobile Services

SDCThe District Council’s services are taking to the road around the District including Henley-in-Arden.

This is a new project joint funded by Stratford District council and Warwickshire County Council. The project has been called FLAME which stands for Flexible Access to Mobile Services and is to ensure that all residents have access to staffed council services. It will be particularly useful for people who have difficulty getting into Stratford but still have a need to speak to somebody face to face.

The FLAME Bus will be in Henley in Arden on the High Street between the hours of 10.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. on the following dates:-

 4th December 07
8th January 08
22nd January 08
5th February 08
19th February 08
11th March 08

A personal view of Remembrance Sunday

CenotaphThe Glorious Dead that haunt the Silent Cities of the fallen are a stark reminder of the ultimate sacrifice given in the name of Freedom.

It was Rudyard Kipling who coined the words the Silent Cities as a token euphemism for the many graveyards around the world that lie in memory of the fallen. He sent his own only son to his death in World War One. He was killed only one month after enthusiastically joining up during one of the worst battles on the western front.

During this battle sixty thousand of our young men were killed on the first day.

If I should die, think only this of me.
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.

This quote from Rupert Brooke’s The Soldier is one of the poets most memorable of verses.

The cream of British youth lay buried beneath the arid soil of a foreign land.

Who said war was glorious.

The irony is that he could personally have avoided this disaster because of his ridiculously short sightedness. Myopia I think is the word for that unfortunate condition.

It reminds me of my own grandfathers reluctance to get involved in the Great War by playing on the fact that his supposed gammy leg was playing up at the time. He was presented with the customary white feather for his efforts. By the local well healed fashionable ladies of the time. You know the ones. They sip endless cups of Earl Grey tea and gossip for hours if not days.

However had it not been for his prevarication's I would not be writing this article and you would not have the dubious pleasure of reading it. Those of you who would now criticise please sign up for Afghanistan or Iraq during the next six weeks and join our brave troops for Christmas.

'My Son Jack" programmed on the same night was a brilliant portrayal of Rudyard Kiplings guilt at having sent his only son to a certain death and his difficulty at having to come to terms with his own failings for the rest of his life.…

One must never condemn peoples action taken in another era for unless you are there to experience the event you cannot possibly put yourself in that same position. I watched this years Remembrance service on BBC One. It was compared by David Dimbleby in the same reverent tones that his father Richard had used more than forty years before. I think I watched it this year because it happened to be a Sunday and the two minute silence seemed to have more significance at eleven o `clock on Sunday the eleventh than an odd day during the week.

The eleventh of the eleventh also has the added significance for me as my both my eldest son and my grandmother on my mothers side of the family share and shared that auspicious date for their own birthdays. I had until this year always thought of armistice day in connection with World War One and Two. However, there were representatives of the fallen marching past the Cenotaph in remembrance of Korea, Aden, Northern Ireland, the Falklands and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan.

This I found extremely moving especially as there were only five remaining survivors of World War One. It suddenly came home to me that the first hand memories are fast dying out. My own father fought in the Second World War and is now in his ninety fourth year. He was a captain in the Royal Artillery and spent five years fighting the Japanese all the way through Burma.

I think today he wishes he had stayed and helped hand over a more suitable form of government to those then lovely people. The Fourteenth or Forgotten Army as they were referred to. He talks more and more about his war time experiences than he ever did and although his short term memory is impaired his long term memory appears to have improved.

He was definitely not a great lover of war and was against our going to The Falklands. He said he didn't force them to live in such a far away outpost. His idea was to offer them a free trip to the U. K with six months to make up their minds. After that the Argies were welcome to them. Or words to that effect. He said it was a good example of the failure of politicians. As long as I remain alive he and many like him will never be forgotten neither should they. This is the main reason why Remembrance Sunday or Armistice Day should always take pride of place in the years events.

Only to remember that their sacrifice was worthwhile. There have now been more casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq than in there were in the Falklands.

My own uncle was a sergeant in the R A F in World War two and had the misfortune of being hosed out of a Lancaster bomber after returning home after a successful mission. (well, for the surviving crew members) He was only twenty four. It is ironical that some twenty four years later my father in law to be was a wing commander in the R A F and flew Lancaster bombers in coastal command during World War Two. He was awarded the D F C for sinking a German U-boat. A fact I failed to tell J A B international when I went for an interview for a representatives job at the age of thirty eight.

So I suppose a great many of us have a personal memories which are jogged into play once a year on Armistice day.

Anyone who has visited the beaches of Omaha and Sword on the Normandy coast cannot fail to be immensely moved by the site of the thousands upon thousands of crosses each one representing a lone member of that Silent City. It is the ages of the men that strike you eighteen, seventeen, twenty, twenty one twenty two and so it goes on and on. Omaha beach in particular stands out for there are nine thousand graves of young Americans who came from a distant shore to liberate Europe for a second time last century. A good sample of the cream of American youth gave their yesterdays for our tomorrow's. As did many hundreds and thousands from the commonwealth of nations. The great benefit of a united Europe has meant that I and my generation have not been at each others throats and the Germans and French are more to be seen cuddling each other now than tearing each other apart.

I ended up working for the Germans instead of fighting them.

Mind you that didn't mean they got away lightly from my scathing and rather sarcastic comments when referring to the war. Anyway let bygones be bygones I say as long as they don’t try it on again. But in the midst of all this European cuddling let us never forget who our true friends were in the last century.

The Americans. Those of you who would doubt it take a trip to the Normandy Beaches and see for yourselves the enormous sacrifice The American Nation shed on Europe's behalf.

Peter K.

Steam Through Henley After Christmas

TrainSomething for the whole family, a leisurely steam hauled day out starts at Shirley (approx 09.15) and steams through Henley to Stratford. Here there is a break whilst the locomotive (Great Western Railway 'Pannier' tank # 9466) runs round and takes water, ready for the 'gallop' back through Henley to Tyseley main line station. Here everyone has to get off (rail operating rules) and walk round to the Tyseley Locomotive Works on Warwick Road (approx 6-7 minutes) where there will be time to look around and photograph 9466 taking water / shunting the carriages.

The train is then reboarded at the Warwick Road Platform in the Locomotive Works area and the train will then steam off through Moor Street, Snow Hill and Rowley Regis to Stourbridge Junction. Here there will be another opportunity to photograph the locomotive as it shunts the carriages and takes water. (tank engines only have a small water carrying capacity!).

From Stourbridge Junction the train returns to Snow Hill via a stiff climb up the Old Hill bank, where the tour terminates at around 17.30hrs. There is car parking at both Shirley and Snow Hill stations, but why not use the Shakespeare Line service trains??? We are hoping that Govia may allow passengers to use the Vintage Trains tickets on their services between Snow Hill and Shirley, but we are awaiting a decision on this matter.

The standard class (seats at tables for four) fares are Adult: £39; children (5-15) £29; family ticket (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children) £125. Seats are reserved and there is also a buffet counter service of tea, coffee, soft drinks, confectionery, crisps etc. Passengers are welcome to bring their own food and drink so long as they dispose of the remains sensibly!

To book, telephone Vintage Trains on 0121 708 4960 (Mon-Fri 09.30-16.30) using a credit/debit card (not Amex or Diners) or post a cheque made payable to Vintage Trains Ltd, 670 Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham B11 2HL. Full details also on:

The Manor of Henley-in-Arden Court Leet and Court Baron


Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff

On Sunday 25th November St John’s Church was full to the doors for the annual Court Leet Service, led by the Rector, Revd. John Ganjavi, who is also Chaplain to the Court Leet. Several guests from neighbouring courts and towns joined the High Bailiff and officers of Court Leet and their consorts for the service and the Guild Hall reception following.

In his sermon the Rector challenged those present to consider whether their sense of priorities was really satisfactory and fulfilling for them and exhorted everyone to strive to “do good” in ways which reflected Christ-like qualities and sustained their fellow men and their communities.

The choir, led and encouraged by organists and choir leader Jayne Llewellyn led rousing hymns and the choir sang the famous anthem “Jesu joy of men’s desiring”. The multitude departed to the Guild Hall feeling both challenged and uplifted.

On the previous Friday the High and Low Bailiffs and their consorts attended the last showing of the musical “Oliver” at the High School. The school hall was packed and the audience enthusiastic. The players were so good that it was hard to credit their relatively young ages. An expert instrumental group led the songs – which the High bailiff found himself humming for the next few days!

Ray Holding - High Bailiff

Thinking of becoming a Parish Councillor

Election of 12 Councillors on 1st May 2008 - Information on the Henley Gateway website

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

Primary SchoolHenley Primary

PantoPanto comes to Henley Primary School

Christmas celebrations began early this week as children at Henley Primary School were treated to the great British tradition of a pantomime.

The children were enthralled with the performance of ALADDIN, all in the comfort of their own school hall!

The children’s favourite characters were Aladdin (pictured left) and the magic genie of the lamp.

Elaine Field - Assistant Headteacher

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John Garner's Business Column

Flexible working

John GarnerSo what is it then?

According to the website 'Flexible working' is a phrase that describes any working pattern adapted to suit your needs. Common types of flexible working are:

  • part-time: working less than the normal hours, perhaps by working fewer days per week
  • flexi-time: choosing when to work (there's usually a core period during which en employee has to work)
  • annualised hours: hours are worked out over a year (often set shifts with the employee deciding when to work the other hours)
  • compressed hours: working agreed hours over fewer days
  • staggered hours: different starting, break and finishing times for employees in the same workplace
  • job sharing: sharing a job designed for one person with someone else
  • home working: working from home.

The website says: "It's important to balance your work and home life. The right to ask for flexible working aims to help employers and workers agree on work patterns that suit everyone." It doesn't say anything about the work-life balance of self-employed people though………

Certain workers have a statutory right to ask for flexible working. Parents of children aged under 6 (or of disabled children under 18) have the right to apply for flexible working. Since April 2007 an employee also has the statutory right if they are a carer who cares, or expects to be caring, for a spouse, partner, civil partner or relative or who lives at the same address as the person being cared for.

As an employer you have a duty to consider very carefully any such requests from your employees but you don't have to agree if there's a good business reason not to.

However, the reason must be one of the following:

  • Burden of additional costs.
  • Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand.
  • Inability to reorganise work among existing staff.
  • Inability to recruit additional staff.
  • Detrimental impact on quality.
  • Detrimental impact on performance.
  • Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work.
  • Planned structural changes.

But you must follow the correct procedure and, if you refuse a request, give your reasons in writing. The employee has a right of appeal and, as a last resort, they could take you to tribunal and the tribunal can award up to 8 week's pay as compensation.

Having said all this it doesn't have to be at all one sided. Flexible working arrangements might well benefit your business. For instance you might be able to hang on to valued employees who might otherwise leave, and you might get employees to cover for each other if they can share their work.

This can work in small businesses too: in my own business we had two women who did a job share; it worked very well indeed as, if one was away, the other covered for her without us having to make any special arrangements.

There's lots more information at:

John Garner

The Nigel Hastilow Column

Between the Rock and a hard place

Nigel HastilowIf we can’t trust the Government with our bank account details, what can we trust them with? Our banks? It’s a question of competence. This Government doesn’t have any.

Successful Chancellors are always lucky. Alastair Darling isn’t. He’s had the misfortune to take over the job just as everything is going pear-shaped. In the long-term, the banking crisis is probably even worse than losing the data on everyone in the country who receives child benefit. But at the moment, the sheer enormity of managing to mislay the names, addresses, bank account details, children’s names and so on for 7.25 million people is astonishing.

This fiasco is the result of decisions made before Mr Darling took on the job. The blame lies with his predecessor, none other than Mr Prudence himself, Gordon Brown. It was Mr Brown who decided to shove the tax-gatherers into one mega-department and axe thousands of jobs at the same time. It’s claimed the department is hopeless: Incapable of answering queries; with rooms full of unopened post; issuing computer-generated penalty notices with no appeal.

That would be bad enough but now we find Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is so careless with our personal details they can get burned onto a couple of CDs before being lost in the post. If this was the first time, it might not be so bad. But it isn’t. Laptops with personal information seem to get nicked from taxmen all the time. Data discs have disappeared before. This Government preaches to us about the need to protect ourselves from identity fraud. Yet it can’t even protect our child benefit data.

How can we possibly trust it with on-line tax returns, the national DNA database, the national NHS database or – God forbid – the information needed to make a national identity card scheme work? If some criminal gang has got hold of the child benefit data it could, in theory, attack millions of bank accounts. If money goes missing then in the end it the Government – that means the taxpayer –would have to repay the banks. It would be a very costly exercise though not as expensive, perhaps, as pouring limitless billions into the failed Northern Rock bank.

The disaster of Britain’s fourth biggest mortgage lender is the result of the banks’ collective madness. Northern Wreck should be allowed to go bust. The Government should not throw good money after bad. Instead, Mr Brown and Mr Darling have guaranteed to compensate every depositor. That’s fine except how come they didn’t do the same for the victims of the Fairpak disaster?

The answer is simple – Fairpak was just a Christmas club owing 100,000 little people a mere £15 million so it didn’t matter. The Northern Rock is a big institution where individuals have deposited tens and hundreds of thousands of pounds. So the more money you’ve got, the more likely it is the Government will bail you out. The poorer you are, the poorer you stay.

In his decade as Chancellor, Gordon Brown stood and watched as our respectable High Street banks launched into the American “sub-prime” lending market. It was madness. Would anyone with half a brain lend enough money to buy a house to someone with no job, no income and no assets? Especially when the house wasn’t worth the asking price? That’s what the banks did. Then they’d package up some of these loans and sell the whole kit and caboodle as an “asset”.

Northern Rock’s dash for growth saw its lending rise 55 per cent in the first half of this year. Ambition turned to greed. It’s the shareholders who will really lose out, of course. In February, Northern Rock shares stood at £12.50 each. Now you can’t even get a quid for them. Several banks have lost billions in the sub-prime disaster. Serves them right. Unfortunately, the rest of us have to pay in higher mortgages, more expensive credit cards, even less secure pension schemes and economic slow-down.

As we will foot the bill for the cost of cleaning up the mess at HMRC. As we have to foot the bill for the Government’s incompetence in selling defence establishment Qinetiq to the lowest bidder, costing us millions. The Government doesn’t do business. It can’t run a bank any more than it can work out how much a company is worth. Yet some people think it should nationalise Northern Wreck.

Earlier this year the Home Office was “not fit for purpose”. Today, the Treasury – the very heart of our Government – is equally unfit. And while Alastair Darling looks in danger of being one of the shortest-lived Chancellors on record, not much of it is his fault. It’s the responsibility of the control freak who is now Prime Minister.

Gordon Brown took credit for ten years of economic growth. He may think he got out of the Treasury in time to escape the blame. He’s wrong. Everyone knows where the responsibility lies.

Now Mr Brown has to live with the consequences of his own decisions. And it’s hard to see how he can rebuild trust in an entire Government which is plainly not fit for purpose.

Nigel Hastilow

For the most Comprehensive Information about Henley-in-Arden

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Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Ideas for Christmas that are Kind to the Planet

If you need a Christmas tree get a real one; making plastic ones uses lots of energy. Make sure its British, preferably local grown before buying. The nearest local tree farms appear to be Oak Farm, Bill's Lane, Shirley, Solihull. Tel; 0121 733 2633 or Eastcote Christmas Trees, Hampton Rd, Barston, Solihull. Tel 01675 442 033. Finally, dispose of it by leaving it beside the green recycle bin (BIFFA says “If its more than 7 feet, trim the top off to get it under 7 feet.”)
If you need new Christmas tree lights get ones with LED bulbs. They use 90% less energy than ordinary lights and last a lot longer. Available in shops or from . Also, we agree with the Children at Wootton Wawen school in their list of things to help the planet, when they say “Turn off tree lights (and any other lights) when nobody is there to enjoy them”.
For decorations try or  for tree ornaments made out of recycled CDs. Better still, make your own. For wrapping paper and cards check out  or 
To avoid unwanted gifts, buy experiences such as theatre tickets, meals out or local days out. In 2006 an estimated £4bn was spent on gifts that were unwanted and resided in the backs of cupboards or cluttered up the house until they were disposed of. As a slightly more unusual gift that does not clutter, Sponsor a Donkey at the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary  or  schoolbooks for people in developing countries  (0870 410 5030) or  (020 7794 8000). I also liked the idea of a Can of Worms from CAFOD (0808 1400014) or 
Places to look for eco friendly clothes, accessories and jewellery include M&S, Monsoon, and Topshop  and online at or .

John Stott

Henley Crime Report
This crime summary is a look at the crimes of public interest that occurred on the Henley, Snitterfield and Tanworth policing area over the last 14 days. We do not as normal practice include crimes of shoplifting, bilking, domestic violence or fraud.

Between 1845 hours and 2245 hours on 16th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Whitley Road, Henley in Arden and gained entry through the front window.
Incident 698 of 16th November 07 refers.

Between 2300 hours and midnight on 16th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Whitley Road, Henley in Arden. They have then gained entry through an open bedroom window whilst the resident was at home and removed money from a purse.
Incident 5 of 17th November 07 refers.

Between 2300 hours on 16th November and 0730 hours on 17th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Whitley Road, Henley in Arden. They have then gained entry through a bedroom window whilst the resident was at home and removed money from a bedside table.
Incident 149 of 17th November 07 refers.

At around 1205 hours on 18th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Vicarage Hill, Tanworth in Arden. They have then demolished a side door and removed a 17” plastma TV from within.
Incident 205 of 18th November 07 refers.

Prior to 1730 hours on 18th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property in Danzey Green, Tanworth in Arden. They have then smashed the patio doors and removed the TV and some jewellery.
Incident 349 of 18th November 07 refers.

At around 1330 hours on 23rd November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Salter Street, Hockley Heath. They have then forced the rear conservatory door and stolen the 40” Sony LCD TV from the wall.
Incident 284 of 23rd November 07 refers.

Between 1900 hours on 23rd November and 1150 hours on 25th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Brook End Close, Henley in Arden. They have then gained entry through the patio doors and removed a TV and computer.
Incident 263 of 25th November 07 refers.

At around 0850 hours on 24th November 07 unknown offender/s have stolen a vehicle from Well Lane, Tanworth in Arden. The vehicle had been left with the engine running and keys in the ignition.
Incident 167 of 24th November 07 refers.

Between 27th October and 1400 hours on 16th November 07 unknown offender/s approached premises on Forde Hall Lane, Tanworth in Arden. They have then forced the padlock on a wooden shed and removed a quantity of garden equipment from within.
Incident 313 of 16th November 07 refers.

Between 1700 hours and 0800 hours on 23rd November 07 unknown offender/s approached business premises on Cut Throat Lane, Hockley Heath. They have then attempted to gain entry to a large metal container which is used as a store room.
Incident 111 of 23rd November 07 refers.

Between 1300 hours and 1655 hours on 27th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property on Bear Lane, Henley in Arden. They then cut off padlocks and bolt to the garden shed and removed fishing tackle, Stihl petrol disc cutter and Makita drill.
Incident 421 of 27th November 07 refers.

Between 0815 hours and 1020 hours on 24th November 07 unknown offender/s have stolen a grey Landrover Defender from a layby in Broad Lane, Tanworth in Arden. The vehicle had been parked up while the owner went for a bike ride.
Incident 205 of 24th November 07

Between 2000 hours on 26th November and 0700 hours on 27th November 07 unknown offender/s have stolen a Ford Fiesta Popular from Mayfield Drive, Henley in Arden.
Incident 67 of 27th November 07 refers.

Between 1000 hours and 1730 hours on 21st November 07 unknown offender/s approached a property in Ullenhall and caused damage to a set of solid wooden automatic gates. No entry gained.
Incident 465 of 21st November 07 refers.

At around 1900 hours on 17th November 07 a youth was seen to approach a car on Beaudesert Lane, Henley in Arden and run over the top of the vehicle, causing damage.
Incident 520 of 17th November 07 refers.

Prior to 1730 hours on 16th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a black VW Passat parked on Malthouse Lane, Earlswood. They then smashed the front window and carried out a search of the glove compartment.
Incident 475 of 16th November 07 refers.

Prior to 2020 hours on 16th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a white Vauxhall van parked on Malthouse Lane, Earlswood. They then smashed the front window and carried out a search of the interior.
Incident 595 of 16th November 07 refers.

At around 0325 hours on 22nd November 07 unknown offender/s approached a green Ford Galaxy parked on Malthouse Lane, Earlswood. They then smashed the rear window and removed a briefcase from within.
Incident 51 of 22nd November 07 refers.

Between 1900 hours on 22nd November and 0910 hours on 23rd November 07 unknown offender/s approached a vehicle parked on Forshaw Heath Road, Earlswood. They then smashed the front window and removed a bag from the front passenger footwell.
Incident 169 of 23rd November 07 refers.

Between 1715 hours on 23rd November and 0740 hours on 26th November 07 unknown offender/s approached a vehicle parked on The Dale, Wootton Wawen. They have then forced the lock and carried out an untidy search of the boot and glove box.
Incident 94 of 26th November 07 refers.

At approximately 1935 hours on 23rd November 07 unknown offender/s approached a vehicle parked on Henley Road, Claverdon. They then smashed the front window and removed a Nav Man Satellite navigation system and two Nokia mobile phones.
Incident 500 of 23rd November 07 refers.

Henley In Arden Police will be holding a ‘drop in’ facility at Henley Police Station for you to come and discuss any issues or problems, within the community, with your local policing team! The next surgery date will be:

Wednesday 12th Dec 07 between 1100 hours and 1300 hours
Wednesday 9th Jan 08 between 1100 hours and 1300 hours
Wednesday 23rd Jan 08 between 1100 hours and 1300 hours

If you did have information regarding the displayed incidents, but for whatever reason do not wish to contact the police directly, then you can ring 0800 555 111 and give the information to the Crimestoppers Charity. Crimestoppers will then pass the information to the Police without revealing any details of the caller. You may also receive a reward.

If you have any information or have witnessed the above incidents, please can you contact Alcester Police on 01789 762207.  Thank you.


Alerts from Trading Standards

Earn Money At Home Scam

The Trading Standards Service has been alerted to a work from home scam that is being offered by email. Entitled 'Work At Home Part Time?' the recipients are offered the opportunity to work from home and earn up to $10,000 a month. Your task is to coordinate payments from customers and help the company with the payment process.The work involves receiving payment from the companies customers either by bank transfer or cheque. The homeworker banks the payments in his own account, deducts 10% as his fee and then sends the remaining money on to the company via Western Union Money Transfer or Money Gram. The email ends: 'We are looking only for the Honest and Open – Hearted Individual who satisfies our requirements and glad to offer this job position to you.'

This is a new variation of the 'cashback' money transfer scam that has been around for a long time. If someone becomes a representative for this 'company' they will probably receive a cheque through the post which they are required to bank, take 10% for themselves, and forward the remaining money to the 'company' itself. Unfortunately these 'certified bank cheques' will be counterfeit or stolen. The cheque will initially clear, but in a few weeks when the bank finds out that the cheque is bogus, they will remove the funds from the individuals own account. If by this time they have already forwarded most of the money on to the 'company', that money - their money - is lost. Depending upon the size of the cheque they could find yourself seriously out of pocket.

Pay Pal Related Scams

One of the more recent 'phishing' scams involve bogus emails which falsely purport to come from Paypal. One relates to 'confirming your personal details' and requests that the recipient login to their account and provide personal and financial information.

The other, entitled 'You Have a Payment Pending' says that a person named Andrew Jackson has sent you 85.00 EUR and to complete the payment you must follow a link in the email.

Always delete such emails and never click on the links they contain. To do so could leave you at a heightened risk of fraud and/or your PC becoming infected with malware.

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

Tradind StandardSimon Cripwell
Senior Information Officer
Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Service


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Henley Diary Dates

Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to Diane Bayley at 6 Nightingale Close, Great Alne, B49 6PE. Email:

Wootton Wawen W.I Group is holding a Christmas Concert on November 28th 7.for 7-30 at Claverdon Church followed with wine and mince pies in the church hall. admission £4.00. The Silverlining Choir and Raymond Slee Organist will be taking part. Pay at the door. Visitors will be very welcome.

Tuesday 4th December – an evening of Miscellany at the Memorial Hall at 7.30 p.m.

11th December - Annual General Meeting and Christmas Dinner at Henley Golf Club at 7.00 p.m.

Tuesday 18th December is our AGM and Christmas Social.

HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY Thursday 13th December 7.30 p.m. (NOT 8.00 p.m.) Christmas Party and entertainment by The Shakespeare Mummers. Tickets - Members £6, Non-Members - £8 includes a light buffet supper and a glass of wine. Contact Iris Birch 792955. Now SOLD OUT.

Beaudesert and Henley JPC present “A Christmas Normandy Market” on Saturday 15th December. Plenty of interesting gift ideas and live street music. Rotary Club Charity Collection.

Saturday, 22 March 2008 – The Guild Hall Garden Committee are presenting a concert by the Bulava Chorus, an exceptional Ukrainian Choir.  This will be held in Henley High School and will include supper.   Tickets are £15 each and can be obtained from Sue Bridgewater (793633) or Marijana Bainbridge (794987).

Saturday and Sunday, 21 and 22 June 2008 – After a very successful day in 2006, Henley’s Hidden Gardens will again be open, on this occasion over two days.  If you would like your garden to be included, please contact Sue Bridgewater (793633) or Marijana Bainbridge (794987).

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.

Arc you interested in gardening and flowers or just spending a pleasant evening watching a demonstrator arrange foliage and flowers? We meet on the second Tuesday each month at 7.30pm in The Memorial Hal, Station Road, Henley-in-Arden so why not come along and see for yourself. Visitors are always welcome £3.00. You do not have to be an active flower arranger to enjoy watching our demonstrators but if you do feel you would like to 'have a go' we hold occasional workshops. For further information, Contact Secretary - Annette Walker - 01564 792837

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 Coordinators. If you are aware that  you are not covered in your area or are willing to be a coordinator. 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
Meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome.
Please call: Robin Freeman on 01789 765411 or email
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:

From our own Correspondents

Henley NewsHenley NEWS on-line is looking for additional correspondents to send in stories and pictures. Why don't you become one of our correspondents and send in stories about your area, your club, your school or events you have witnessed. Please always try to include a photo in jpg or png format. Letters, articles, pictures to the Editor are always welcome. Please do not use the following file formats 'Publisher" or 'Serif'. 'Microsoft Word' is the preferred format. Please send to

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