Apology to the JPC
In our edition of the 10th April 2008, the Grumpy Old Man commented on the JPC discussing in secret session the unauthorised use of their logo and he wrote:
What I believe was, Dawn Leech originally designed a logo for the Henley in Arden Civic society. Then the JPC designed their logo which was very similar to the Civic society's, as the original concept by Dawn could not be improved on. (abridged version of events).
Then 5 years on Councillors are discussing unauthorised use of their logo. All discussions were held without the public being present. This sounds like spoilt children throwing their toys out of the playpen. Come on grow up. Or the outcome maybe more sinister?
The JPC could be planning to take the Civic Society court for unauthorised use of the logo? Did you know there is no limit to JPC spending? They could run up many thousands of pounds of legal costs which would have to be paid for by you and me the council tax payer.
I know there is much being said and written, but all of these issues can easily go away if the Councillor who started this nonsense realised how silly it is and withdraw their questions and comments. We should all be concentrating on making Henley a great place to live and work in, not petty arguments over a logo which was ‘copied’ in the first place.
I cannot wait until the minutes of the JPC (7th April) this week are published. Or will they be altered before being published? Or shall I expect a knock on my door?
After discussions, the Grumpy Old Man advised HNOL that he would be discontinuing his column and he issued a public apology in the following edition saying, "I would also like to add, if I have offended anyone or if anyone has taken anything personally, I never meant to implicate any individuals...."
JPC did not consider this apology to be sufficient and resolved at their last meeting by a majority vote to request that another apology be published.
Henley NEWS On-line acknowledges that it was incorrect to imply that the JPC would allow their minutes to be "altered" and we offer our sincere apologies to the JPC for any distress that this comment may have caused.
Henley NEWS On-line started as an experiment in the summer of 2004 to demonstrate that the internet could be used to provide a new form of town newsletter. Having published over 200 weekly editions since then and won the Warwickshire Village Ventures Competition in 2007, it is now time to bring the experiment to a conclusion.
We have established a loyal band of excellent correspondents and photographers, all of whom have endeavoured to report on the events in our town, and to amuse and to inform our readers. During these last four years, we have only received a handful of complaints.
In the week of the July 2007 floods, our readership reached 1,840 and we provided comprehensive advice from the relevant agencies. This was considered by many residents to be a valuable public service. More recently, our readership has regularly exceeded 1,000.
With one or two notable exceptions, our community has enthusiastically supported Henley NEWS On-line and its regular weekly newsletters. It has probably become the largest community activity in the town. It has also provided a very effective medium for many organisations including Stratford District Council, Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police, Environment Agency, Henley & Beaudesert Society, Johnsons Coaches and many many others, to communicate with a very large part of our community.
Finally, may I thank all our contributors, photographers, writers and readers for their support during the last four years.
Bill Leech - Editor
JPC Considers CCTV Columns
The petition, organised by Henley NEWS On-line, for the immediate removal of the CCTV columns in the High Street was presented to the Joint Parish Council by former High Bailiff John Latham. The petition had been supported by 150 residents with 75 writing comments.
John Latham said, "We believe the Traffic Enforcement Camera Column outside Barclays Bank is a traffic hazard as it obscures the primary traffic light of the pedestrian crossing. We also believe that The District Council is acting illegally in erecting these structures, which are over 4 metres high, as this is contrary to Statutory Instrument 1995 No. 418, of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995."
Pam Kearsley, Chairman of the Henley and Beaudesert Society spoke of the Society's concern for maintaining the quality of the heritage of the town and she emphasised the Society's objections, not as CCTV but in terms of design and location. She pointed to Stratford, which has them mounted on buildings ( some listed) and Warwick, where they are incorporated into lampposts. She cited Birmingham’s guidance on CCTV , which states that they should be on street furniture, wherever possible, or on buildings. “They should not affect the character, setting, architecture of listed buildings and conservation areas. They should not obscure sight lines for traffic”.
Pam attributed the above information to the diligent research of Jonathan Dovey and went on to ask “What is the point of having conservation areas if no one takes any notice?” She also asked if there is such a policy for this area. She went on to define a conservation area, set out the Henley and Beaudesert Society’s aims and to state that we have the support of two national organisations, ASHTAV and CPRE.
Jonathan Dovey asked about Stratford District Council's assurance in the Stratford Herald that the JPC had been informed of locations and plans. He said “If the JPC had not been informed then would the JPC urgently request that the Head of Community Services explain his actions and comments.”
County Councillor George Atkinson said that he could not recall any consultation and he read out emails from various members of the Council giving their comments. He also said that a road safety audit should have been made and he could not find evidence of that. He also said that neither local nor county police had been consulted. Annette Walker from the NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH said that neither the police nor NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH had been informed.
The Chairman of the JPC, Councillor Sheila Roy, confirmed that none of the County, District or our Parish Council members were consulted about the exact location or type of equipment that would be used. It had been agreed with the Parish Council back in August 2007 that a meeting would be held – this did not take place. Consequently, from the very first moment the CCTV posts were installed, Councillors have been in discussion with the Head of Community Service to seek answers to the following questions:
1. Why was there no follow up consultation meeting?
2. Have other agencies e.g. police, highways agency and conservation officer been consulted?
3. Is the proposed installation typical of an installation for a conservation area?
4. Are there alternative options that are less obtrusive and less detrimental to the street scene?
Henley NEWS On-line has learnt that work on completing the installation has been halted pending a review. It is expected that the JPC will be able to announce further information at their meeting on 2nd June.
"There are parts of this project we didn’t get right"
admits the Man Responsible - Mr Robert Walsh, Head of Community Services, Stratford District Council
District Councillor Laurence Marshall may have identified the man responsible to installing the columns. Laurence Marshall posed some very obvious questions to this official, Mr Robert Walsh. Mr Walsh's admissions call into question the ability of Stratford District Council to project manage even the most simple project.
From: Robert Walsh
Sent: 20 April 2008 21:19
To: 'Laurence Marshall'
Subject: RE: CCTV Henley
Apologies for using home email address. I’m away this week, but given sensitivities and your request for an early response, am sure you won’t mind.
You will recall from our discussion at the Parish Council meeting that we can legally only site CCTV cameras where they will have maximum impact on crime. I showed you the analysis carried out by the Warwickshire Observatory using crime data, which identified the hotspots that needed to be covered by these cameras. We have sought to reduce intrusiveness both by installing the minimum number of cameras (2 covering both ANPR and Anti-Social Behaviour hotspots) and through using poles that are less intrusive than alternatives (including mounting on a building).
The Police and Highways Agency previously confirmed agreement to the locations used. Planning Services confirmed in July last year that in order to reduce Crime and Disorder we are able to install these poles in Henley-in-Arden despite it being a Conservation Zone.
With regard to the further information to the Parish Council, I can only apologise that it took so long to get to the stage where the equipment could be installed, and so much else was on at that time, that this communication – both to the Parish Council and to residents - was accidentally missed out.
We have sought other options that are less intrusive to the streetscene, but have not been able to find any. In order to obtain the clear view needed for the cameras to be effective, we weren’t able to link to any existing street furniture. Our experience elsewhere is that people will quickly get used to their presence.
From: Robert Walsh
Sent: 21 April 2008 12:32
To: 'Laurence Marshall'
Subject: RE: CCTV Henley
I thought each of the questions posed in your original message has been answered. If it helps, I’ve laid answers against the questions.
1. Why there was no follow up consultation meeting?
The contract for this work was awarded in September, but delayed while a signed contract was sought. Yvette then couldn’t attend the Parish Council as we hadn’t got what was needed (a service provider) to progress the work.
In order to meet the Corporate Strategy target of the scheme being operational April 2008 we pushed contractors to work as fast as they could, and got taken by surprise ourselves. We will try to do what we can to improve things for the future.
This explanation may not be ‘good enough’, but it’s the truth. There are parts of this project we didn’t get right and this is one of them.
2. Have other appropriate agencies e.g. the police, highways agency and conservation officer been consulted?
Yes. The Police and Highways Agency previously confirmed agreement to the locations used. Planning Services confirmed in July last year that in order to reduce Crime and Disorder we are able to install these poles in Henley-in-Arden despite it being a Conservation Zone.
3. Is this installation typical of an installation for a conservation area?
Given the particular physical constraints at Henley, yes.
4. Are their alternative options that are less obtrusive and less detrimental to the street scene?
We have sought other options that are less intrusive to the streetscene, but have not been able to find any.
Using the Church it isn’t physically possible I’m afraid. The camera needs to be in the right location and at the right angle to view the areas it needs to cover, and also needs electrical power and fibre-optic cabling to transmit the images back to the control centre. Those can’t be provided to that location.
The position on the corner is deliberately chosen to ensure that the camera is able to view both roads – otherwise it is unable to follow and monitor cars that turn off the main road.
We did consider all possible locations and alternatives before deciding these. There has been a demand we install CCTV in Henley, and this is actually the best equipment we were able to find in order to provide it. We’ll continue searching, and will make any changes we can that help, but I can’t promise anything from that at this stage.
Many residents will probably think Mr Robert Walsh did not get any parts of this project right
Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Joint Parish Council
At the Joint Parish Council Meeting on Monday 12th May 2008 Members discussed four planning issues and seventeen items of correspondence and other matters for consideration, as well as its normal procedural business before the meeting concluded.
A considerable number of residents attended the meeting and contributed to the debate over the installation of CCTV in the town. A former High Bailiff presented a petition on behalf of residents, asking for the immediate removal of the CCTV poles that had been erected up to a height of 4 metres, and demanding that the proper legal process be followed.
The Chairman of the Henley and Beaudesert Society had no quarrel with the installation in principle of CCTV, but likened the poles to objects that would be seen on a motorway rather than in a conservation area. She pointed out that in Stratford CCTV was mounted unobtrusively on listed buildings, and in Warwick on lampposts. She also alluded to Birmingham’s guidelines which said that cameras should be on buildings or existing street furniture, should not affect the character or the setting, and that sight lines should not be affected. She concluded by asking who was safeguarding the beauty of Henley-in-Arden.
County Councillor, George Atkinson, aware that the poles were obscuring traffic lights for cars approaching from the north, had determined that no safety audit had been carried out and that even the County Council had not been consulted in the process.
The Chairman commented that options were being reviewed to see what action could be taken and proposed to present the petition of residents directly to the Chief Executive of Stratford District Council. Cllr Leech tabled copies of a pole from Henley News On-line reporting that 100% of respondents wanted the poles removed. The Joint Parish Council was opposed to the installation and would await the outcome of the options currently being considered to address the situation.
The next meeting of the Joint Parish Council is scheduled for Monday 19th May 2008. 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."
More on Youths and CCTV
Those readers expressing disgust at Henley's twin towers, yet adamant that CCTV 'must' be installed, just more sympathetically, are missing a point I think. The supporting reason most often stated for CCTV is to eliminate groups of youths congregating outside One-Stop and the church, conjugating the idea of collected youth and crime into one thought.
Preston Bagot; Meadow Road, Henley; Kington Lane, Claverdon; Brook Road, Aston Cantlow; Stratford Road, Wootton Wawen; Stratford Road, Hockley Heath; Birmingham Road, Henley. These are locations of crime listed in the latest edition of your august publication. Only one instance even potentially within range of the planned cameras, and even that not evident from the details. A quick scan of past cases reveals a similar low percentage of cases occurring in the Church - One-Stop area.
Are we sure that the groups of youngsters who meet in this area are thugs and miscreants, only lack of photographic evidence of their misdeeds preventing them being carted away by the police? Or are they perfectly normal teenagers, not there to commit any crime, but to meet their mates. Certainly, they can be a little boisterous at times, and I'm definitely not going defend kicking a football round on a pavement, but is this worthy of 24 hour surveillance? Would it, in any case, ever result in anything more than a ticking off, if that, or be deserving of more? I submit that these teenagers, generally speaking, are not budding criminals; they are our children.
The acid test is going to be when the cameras do go up, because the lads and laddettes won't stop hanging out at One-Stop. Why should they, just because they are on camera?
Congregating in a public place is not a crime. Nor is being teen-aged, sullen, ignorant or uncommunicative, however threatening such qualities may appear.
Will the cameras reduce crime? No, crime in the relevant area would appear to be no more prevalent than elsewhere, and any planned crime, such as a break-in of premises or car will either still occur with suitable precautions being taken, or occur out of sight of the cameras. Will those readers who feel threatened by the presence of the afore-mentioned youths feel safer? No, because the kids will still be there, and I doubt they'll suddenly be walking old ladies across the road.
What I suspect will happen is the status quo will remain largely unchanged, except that the odd person out walking their dog will be prosecuted for letting it foul the pavement, and the odd extra parking violation will be dealt with. Youths will still congregate, drunken oafish behaviour will still occur on Friday nights, scared pensioners will still be scared.
Oh, and another sanding of the veneer of our liberty will have occurred.
Henley Cancer Patient to Walk 10k for Charity
Cancer patient Jonathan Jones is determined to help the charity that looked after him by competing in a sponsored 10k race this month. The 18-year-old, from Henley-in-Arden, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July last year.
Before being detected, the tennis ball-sized tumour had badly affected his personality, causing him to be expelled from schools and get in trouble with police for public disorders. Following on-going treatment to control the tumour, the former Henley-in-Arden High School pupil plans to run the London 10k on May 26 with his mum, Alison, and a group of friends. They will be raising money for Penny Brohn Cancer Care.
Currently enrolled in a home-learning course in personal training, Jonathan described himself as the "luckiest boy around" and wants to make sure other cancer patients receive the support he was given. He said: "The charity helped save my life as without them I would have died. One day, somebody else could need the same care they gave me."
So far, Jonathan has raised almost £900 and is hoping the team reaches their £7,000 goal. "We've had great support from family and friends and also from people who don't know us but have sponsored us online."
Kirsty McLatchie, events and community fundraiser for the charity said: "It is absolutely fantastic Jon is finding the energy to run the London 10k and raise money for us after all he's been through."
To sponsor Jonathan visit www.just-giving.com/jonathanjones
Warwickshire Best Village of the Year Competition
I would be very grateful if you could advertise the fact that the deadline for the new competition organised by the WRCC has been extended to Friday 30 May, which is also the closing date for Warwickshire's Calor Village of the Year Competition.
From Henley News-on-line, it seems that there is an awful lot going on in Henley. I wonder whether you could persuade any of your groups to enter the Warwickshire Best Village of the Year Competition. There are eight categories to choose from:
- Community Projects
- Community Buildings
- History & Heritage
Entry is free and any group can enter, by downloading an entry form from www.wrccrural.org.uk or contacting me on 02476 217390.
Ariadne Uslu, Competitions Organiser
Warwickshire Rural Community Council
Stoneleigh Deer Park Business Centre
Abbey Park, Stareton
CV8 2LY Telephone: 02476 217390
Last year, Henley NEWS On-line was the outright winner of the Warwickshire Village Ventures Competition organised by Warwickshire Rural Community Council.
New Chairman at Probus Club of Beaudesert
The AGM of the Probus Club of Beaudesert took place recently at the Henley Golf and Country Club’. Chairman Arthur Gennard opened the meeting with a review of his year in office. This had included visits to the Coventry Transport Museum and Bonham’s Auction Rooms in Knowle. The Club had also organised a very successful Probus Midlands area golf day at Olton Golf Club.
This was followed by the election of John Rutherford as Chairman for 2008/9. After receiving the chain of office from Arthur (pictured right), John took over the meeting. Elections for other Club officers then took place and the meeting ended with a talk by a member, Ray Crabtree, about his experiences of building bridges in Iraq and the Middle East in the 50’s and 60’s.
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month, the next meeting being on Wednesday 7th May at the Henley Golf and Country Club when the speaker will be Paul Wright, Headmaster of Henley High School talking about ‘A Day in the Life of a modern Headmaster’. This replaces the previously advertised speaker from the Driving Standards Agency.
Membership consists of retired professional and business men residing in the vicinity of Henley. Visitors are most welcome and for further details please contact the secretary Andrew Yarwood on 794079.
Farmer Tristram qualifies at Lodders
The latest qualifier at Warwickshire law firm Lodders enjoys getting his hands dirty on the family farm – just like senior partner David Lodder. Twenty-seven-year-old Tristram van Lawick was recently lambing on his family’s 300-acre unit in East Sussex, where he helps to look after its flock of 200 sheep – a mix of pedigree Texels and Suffolk X Mules. Mr van Lawick joined Stratford-upon-Avon-based Lodders in September 2005 and qualified in March having done his training in various departments as a para-legal. He had no doubt he wanted to start his career as a qualified lawyer in the firm’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs team of six fee earners, which includes senior partner David Lodder and managing partner Rod Bird.
He said: "I was brought up in farming and like to work on the farm, which hopefully will stand me in good stead with agricultural clients."
Senior partner David Lodder has been a farmer near Henley-in-Arden since the 1970s and said: "We’re delighted to welcome a hands-on young solicitor like Tristram to our team and I note he enjoys getting his hands dirty like me."
Mr van Lawick, a former pupil of Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, is a keen sportsman. He plays rugby for Stratford RFC, cricket for Stratford Bards, and played polo while at St Andrews University where he obtained a degree in French and Spanish before taking his Legal Practice Course at York College of Law.
Getting Stratford District Active
Stratford-on-Avon District Council has been awarded £155,600 from Sport England West Midlands through the Community Investment Fund (CIF) to support leisure activities for older adults living in the District.
This grant will be used to deliver an extensive programme of Walks, Green Exercise and Replay 50+ sessions; specifically targeting women and the over 55’s. The census data has identified that the District has an ageing population; almost 50% of the population is over 45 years, with only 18.3% under 16 years old. The activity programmes will be delivered in the four market towns and other major settlements across the District.
“The District Council is the first authority in the West Midlands to have secured funding from Sport England through the CIF programme” says Councillor Chris Williams, Portfolio Holder for Community Services. “I believe that sport and active recreation can improve and change people’s lives for the better”.
Further information will be available when the programmes of events and officers have been appointed.
The Bluebell Recipe
Salmon and sorrel fishcakes with lemon crème fraiche and watercress
500g unseasoned mash potato
500g poached organic salmon
1 lemon, zest and juice
For the coating:
1 lb breadcrumbs
½ lb flour
For the poaching liquor:
½ glass white wine
5 parsley stalks
For the lemon crème fraiche:
1 lemon zested
250g good quality crème fraiche
Make sure the potato is finely mashed by passing it through a mouli or using a good potato masher ensuring no lumps. Place the salmon in a deep dish and cover with hot water. Add ½ glass white wine, parley stalks and ½ a lemon. Cook until firm, approx.15-20 mins in an oven on about 180 c. Allow to cool and drain off liquid. Mix salmon with potato, add lemon zest and juice, destalk the sorrel, finely chop and add to the mix. Check and season to taste. Mould into 125g rings. Leave to firm up in the fridge for about 1 hour. Dust fishcakes in the flour, shake off excess, dip into egg and milk mixture, then into the breadcrumbs. Deep fry until golden brown then finish in the oven for approx. 10 mins to heat through.
Mix the lemon zest and crème fraiche together. Take a handful of peppery watercress (ours is from a local market gardener for depth of flavour) and serve one or two fishcakes with a dollop of the lemon crème fraiche and a generous lemon wedge. The taste of summer!
You can substitute the sorrel for parsley or another herb if you prefer.
This dish is available now on our spring menu, try it with a glass of New Zealand Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc – Delicious!!!!
The Bluebell, 93 High Street, Henley in Arden. Telephone: 01564 793049 www.bluebellhenley.co.uk
Winner, National Newcomer of the Year, The Publican Awards 2008 - Awarded GOLD for hygiene standards by Stratford District Council
Johnsons complete £700,000 investment programme
Local coach operator, Johnsons, have now completed a £700,000 investment programme with the arrival of a brand new Scania Irizar PB club class vehicle. Other new arrivals, this year, have included three mini coaches, two transit 8 seater vehicles and two service buses.
Pete Johnson, Operations Director Johnsons Bus and Coach Travel said “We are delighted with our new arrivals as it is important we offer our customers the latest and most comfortable vehicles. Our purchase of the mini coaches means we have opened up a whole new area of business opportunity as these vehicles offer both 16 and 24 seat comfort class leg room, which will have appeal to the smaller group that cannot get the numbers for hiring a bigger vehicle. Our investment programme is set to continue as we enter our centenary year and we are already looking at vehicle options, ready for delivery in 2009”.
The company run a fleet of some 80 vehicles and is one of the leading independent family owned operators in the region.
The Manor of Henley-in-Arden Court Leet and Court Baron
Published by Authority of the High Bailiff
If this really is the last edition of Henley News on-line, I would like to record my thanks for your help, over three years with the Court Leet’s efforts to connect with the people of Henley-in-Arden. That we seem to have had some success is due in large part to the regular reporting of our activities, within News On-line.
As a final item, I should like to report an event held last week at which Ann and I were present. Henley’s Fire and Rescue service has had a long-standing relationship with their opposite numbers in the town of Poperinge, Belgium, close to the French border and not far from the notorious site of Ypres. Henley has routinely sent delegates to the Remembrance Day ceremonies at Poperinge.
On Friday 2nd May, the Mayor of Poperinge, accompanied by the Kommandant and Lieutenant of their Fire service, together with about twenty members of the squad (which includes ambulance services) came over and were hosted by Richard Butler, Henley’s Watch Manager, and Brian Brinkworth at a dinner in the White Swan, preceded by a reception at the Fire Station.
Ann and I felt very privileged to “fly the flag” for Henley town at this lively gathering and we resolved to make the journey to Poperinge at some time in the future to visit these long standing friends of Henley’s team.
Ray Holding - High Bailiff
To Read Previous Editions Back to 29th October 2004 Click Here
Lunchtime Clubs Award
Henley Primary School received an award this week in recognition of the work the school does in providing out of school activities.
The school has been recognised due to a wide range of after school clubs and lunchtime clubs they provide, including belly dancing, football, cricket, art, ICT and drama.
It also recognised the school’s important links with the on-site nursery, Pathways, that provides care for many children before and after school.
The award was presented to the Chair of Governors, Mr Phillip Tillman by Mrs Janet Strugnell, the extended schools coordinator.
Elaine Field - Assistant Headteacher
School website www.henley-in-ardenprimaryschool.co.uk
SITE NOW CONTAINS EMERGENCY PLANNING INFORMATION
Grumpy Old Woman Comments
Throw Away Society
Doesn't it rot your socks that every year the British public throw ten billion pounds worth of edible food into their bins, half of which is unopened, still in date and which represents per family, eight to ten pounds in good money per week? What an indictment when transporting out-of-season food across the world is no longer feasible, when children are starving, when water and oil is at a premium and when many of us are overweight or dare I say it, too fat.
I cannot imagine buying pots of yogurt, ready meals, salad, vegetables, bread and would you believe, whole chickens and then wasting them. If we get lumbered by the supermarket with a two for one offer because there is a glut, then we can always give one of them away or cook twice as much and then freeze the rest for later, thereby doing the planet a service as well as ourselves. I have it on good authority that this monumental waste is equal to one in five cars on the road and if that isn't a good enough incentive to do better, then I don't know what is!
Do we look into our freezers, our fridges and our larders intent upon being picky or do we take stock of the situation, use our noddles and become inventive? Some of the tastiest food is thrown together in a wok or made into a stew and bits which we simply cannot use are always appreciated by wildlife; nothing is nicer than to see them fall upon it with gusto and perhaps take a tit bit to their babies for a treat, always providing it is not still left cocooned in double wrapped superfluous plastic packaging which will kill them quicker than that.
From this grump, you will see that I am a paragon of virtue myself and always practise what I preach!
Grumpy Old Woman
The Nigel Hastilow Column
There's always someone looking at you
It doesn’t make sense: CCTV cameras are “an utter fiasco” – yet everybody wants one. We have more CCTV cameras than anywhere else in the world – but it seems nobody bothers to study their pictures. So why does demand for cameras on every street corner and shopping precinct exceed supply? Who do local councillors trumpet their triumph every time a new camera is installed? Who do the locals lobby and campaign for them?
The answer is simple: Because some attempt to maintain law and order is better than none.
CCTV is a poor substitute for bobbies on the beat. We’d all prefer real uniformed police officers strolling the streets but we don’t get them much any more.
Yes, of course, they turn out occasionally and it is also true we have been blessed with a small regiment of community support officers. But as these boobies (correct) on the beat have little or no power and tend to get laughed at by the local yobs, they’re not much cop at inspiring respect for law and order. So with the police behind their desks filling in forms or attending politically-correct focus groups on improving their customer outreach services, the rest of us have to make the best of a bad job.
In the absence of real eyes and ears on the streets of our villages, towns and cities, CCTV is the nearest mechanical equivalent. They see and record what’s happening –deterrent and detective. Unfortunately it turns out they’re pretty much a waste of time and money. London’s man in charge of the whole expensive charade, Detective Inspector Mick Neville, says the system is “an utter fiasco”.
A pathetic three per cent of London’s crimes are solved by CCTV. DI Neville says we have squandered billions of pounds on expensive equipment without bothering to think how we’d use it. Criminals know nobody is going to waste hours – days even – trawling through CCTV footage to identify wrong-doers (even if the pictures aren’t so grainy it’s impossible anyway).
DI Neville says police officers don’t bother “because it’s hard work”. No wonder criminals don’t regard the cameras as a deterrent.If they don’t deter and they don’t detect, why bother with them at all? Inevitably, the official answer to this dilemma is not to abandon the policy and put real bobbies back on the beat. No, it’s to develop new software to track “distinctive brand logos” on suspects’ clothes and start publishing wanted pictures on the internet.
They’re also planning to establish specialist CCTV squads all over the country because, as DI Neville says profoundly: "If criminals see that CCTV works they are less likely to commit crimes.” So, let’s get this straight. The CCTVs we have at the moment – all 4.2 million of them – may spy on all of us. But they do next to nothing to protect us. Suppose each of them costs £10,000 to install (actually it’s often much more than that) and £2,000 a year to monitor. That’s £42 billion plus £8.2 billion-a-year running costs.
Instead of saying this is a wicked waste, the police want to redouble their efforts to justify the vast sums of money wasted so far. True, CCTV has helped in putting together the details in high-profile cases like the murder of Jamie Bulger, the 7/7 bombings and the Hatfield rail disaster. But they didn’t actually detect criminals or deter crime. And none of this mentions the small question of civil liberties and personal freedom.
Do you really want a spy on every street corner watching your every move? Do you really believe the information is safe? Can you be secure in the knowledge that no official data about your movements will ever be misused? We know the Government can’t be trusted to protect our medical histories, our tax information or our defence records. How on earth can we trust them with more and more information about where we go, who we see and what we do? You may say that if you’ve nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. But that isn’t true. After all, how do criminals get hold of your PIN number, for instance?
Can you be sure that the CCTV camera watching over you as you take cash from a hole-in-the-wall machine isn’t giving someone a chance to nick your security code? In George Orwell’s book “1984”, the idea of Big Brother watching your every move was considered to be one of the worst aspects of a totalitarian regime. We have been duped into believing that somehow these cameras are there to help and protect us. Pretty soon they will be compiling data on everyone ever seen on CCTV screen and it won’t be used to detect or prevent crime.
It will be sold to marketing companies so they can exploit information about where we shop and what we buy. The State will know when we park illegally, skive a day off work, visit the “wrong” church or join the “wrong” groups.
And they claim the price of more bobbies on the beat is too high.
Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet
Are you putting money in the dustbin or black bag?
Apparently we do. The average family throws away over £600 worth of edible food each year. As well as being a waste of money, the production and transport of the food has created CO2 emissions. If the throwing away of edible food could be eliminated, the CO2 emissions saving would be the same as that produced by taking 20% of the UK’s cars off the road.
The environment minister John Ruddock said recently: "This waste is costing consumers three times over. Not only do they pay hard-earned money for food they don't eat, there is also the cost of dealing with the waste this creates. And there are climate change costs to all of us of growing, processing, packaging, transporting, and refrigerating food that only ends up in the bin." A recent study says that we throw away food for three main reasons: food gets forgotten and is left unused, we serve up too much and we don't use leftovers. In these days of plentiful food supply, it appears that we have lost the skills for estimating how much food we need for each meal. A spokesman for the WI recently said “We need to re-learn that skill, as nowadays we all tend to make too much food.” We have also lost the skill of using left over food.
So, to save some of the £600 and or reduce CO2 from food production, try to buy the right amount. It doesn’t matter if occasionally there’s not quite enough because, “you can have some bread if you are still hungry” as I was repeatedly told as a child. (Is this something that the Grumpy old woman might comment on?)
Leftover meat? Make it into this shepherds pie or cottage pie recipe which serves 4.
8 to12 oz minced cooked lean lamb or beef.
20 to 24 oz of boiled potatoes, (can be leftovers too)
2 medium onions peeled and chopped
2 Oxo or other stock cubes.
3 level tablespoons of flour
1 to 1½ oz fat
1 oz of butter
1 to 2 tablespoons milk.
If the potatoes need cooking, peel and put them on to boil, cover and simmer until cooked (about 20 mins). If the potatoes are leftovers bring to the boil and allow to stand for a couple of minutes to warm through. (If they are mashed leftovers heat in a microwave). Heat the fat and fry the onion until brown. Stir in the flour and cook gently for three minutes. Dissolve the Oxo in ¾ pint of the potatoe water and add to the flour and onion mix. Stir continuously until it boils. Cover and simmer on minimum heat for a couple of minutes. Season to taste, add the meat and bring to the boil again. Mash the potatoes with the butter and milk. Put the meat into a heated ovenproof dish with the mashed potatoes on top. Rough up the surface with a fork and immediately put under a hot grill until mouth wateringly brown on top. Other leftover vegetables can be included with the meat and gravy.
Cooked too much pasta or rice? Put it in a saucepan, add tomato puree (or tinned) then add mushroom and other vegetables and warm it up. Transfer to an oven dish, add a generous layer of gruyere and grill until brown. The kids will love it.
“Call me stingy if you will, but if I've paid for it, I eat it!” Tony Fisk.
Joint Parish Council
Joint Parish Council Beaudesert & Henley-in-Arden
Clerk of the Council
Tel (01564) 795499
150 High Street
Stratford District Council
The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board
Henley Diary Dates
Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS on-line should be sent to the firstname.lastname@example.org at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to Diane Bayley at 6 Nightingale Close, Great Alne, B49 6PE. Email: email@example.com
HENLEY LIBRARY A temporary mobile library service for the people of Henley has been agreed whilst ongoing work at the library is completed. The fire station has allowed its side entrance to be used for the mobile service. This will be available between 1.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. on Friday 4th April, 25th April, 16th May, 6th June and 27th June.
HENLEY WILDLIFE SOCIETY
Alban Wincott is the speaker on Tuesday 20th May from 7.45 p.m. in the Baptist Church Hall. As a volunteer at Brandon Marsh, he will be showing a DVD called “Brandon Marsh: A Reserve for all Seasons” as well as his presentation “Wildlife through a Camera Lens”. Visitors are always welcome (£1).
CHRISTIAN AID PLOUGHMAN’S LUNCH for town appeal at the Baptist Church Hall on Saturday 31st May 12.30 p.m. Everyone welcome.
AN EVENING OF MUSIC BY THE HEART OF ENGLAND SINGERS
A concert will be held in St. John’s Church on Saturday 28th June. All proceeds in aid of the church charities – St. Basils, Leprosy Mission, SAMS and the Church Army. Tickets £7 adults and £4 children to include a glass of wine. Further information from Anita Currie or Andrea Gardner 792439.
HENLEY’S HIDDEN GARDENS
Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd 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).
ULLENHALL GARDENING CLUB
A visit to Kew Gardens is planned for Saturday 19th July by coach from Henley and Ullenhall. Cost is £30 which includes coach fare and admission to the gardens. Please contact Diane Bayley on 01789 488209 if you would like to join our very friendly group on this day visit.
G & S IN TANWORTH 18TH & 19TH July 2008
The “Pirates” are coming to Tanworth and tenors and basses are invited to meet in Tanworth Village Hall on Tuesday 20th and 27th May at 7.45 p.m. Full chorus rehearsals start on Tuesday 3rd June and run through to the essential final one on 15th July. New singers welcome. Details of tickets sales will follow. Enquiries re singing, telephone Wendy Dillon 742464.
HENLEY IN ARDEN TENNIS CLUB
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
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN EVERGREEN CLUB
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane at 2.15 p.m. The Club has around 80 members and organises a varied programme together with various outings. If you are interested in joining, please contact Gordon Trinder
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN FLOWER CLUB
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
HENLEY IN ARDEN BADMINTON CLUB
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
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.
HENLEY-in-ARDEN BOWLS CLUB
meets on Monday evenings from April to September at 6.30pm and plays until it is dark. The club is situated next to the Tennis Courts at the Sports and Social club ground on the A34 just outside Henley. The Club welcome new members, whether beginners or established players. For further information contact John Townson 01564 792407.
There are still vacancies in some areas of Henley-in-Arden for NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH 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
THE WARWICKSHIRE BUSINESS CLUB
Holds its monthly lunchtime meeting on fourth Thursday bi-monthly 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
THE ROTARY CLUB of HENLEY-in-ARDEN
Meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome.
Please call: Robin Freeman on 01789 765411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
WOOTTON WAWEN FOOTPATHS GROUP
Meets the last Sunday of the month at Wootton Wawen village hall at 2.15pm for a conducted walk of about 5 miles over the local and surrounding area footpaths. The Group welcomes all walkers. There is no subscription. More details from Denis Keyte on 01564 792872.
THE PROBUS CLUB OF BEAUDESERT
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month. Membership consists of retired professional and business men residing in the vicinity of Henley. Visitors are most welcome and for further details please contact the secretary Andrew Yarwood on 794079.
HENLEY-in-ARDEN BRIDGE CLUB
Plays Duplicate Bridge of intermediate standard on Tuesday evenings at the the White Swan Hotel and usually find time for a tipple, which may or may not improve our play!!. Play commences at 7.15 promptly. There are normally 5 - 8 tables and the club does not issue master points.
For further information please contact the Secretary - Christine Whitehouse on 01564 792993.
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