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Henley NEWS On-line

Reporting On The Events In And Around
Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, England


Campaigning for a better Henley

Edition 214 - 19th February 2009
Warwickshire Village Ventures
Competition Winner 2007
Fortnightly
on Thursdays

New Plans Announced for Henley CCTV

Robert Walsh, Head of Community Service at Stratford District Council, told the JPC last year of his plans for providing CCTV in Henley. Following reports and comments in Henley NEWS On-line, many residents complained to the District Council about the massive poles which had been installed and work on the project was halted. Mr Walsh then promised the JPC that its views would be taken into account before any new scheme was implemented.

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The massive columns installed last year

Robert Walsh returned on Monday night to update the Joint Parish Council and to seek its views on how the District Council should progress. He told the councillors and 20 members of the public who attended that the key constraints were:

    1. The areas to be viewed by the cameras are pre-determined by crime and disorder patterns.
    2. The cameras must have Automatic Number Plate Recognition capability, which requires a high degree of stability in order to ensure number plates can be read with the required level of accuracy.
    3. Images have to be transferred in real time to the CCTV control room where the cameras are monitored.

He advised the meeting that most options could not be considered on either technical or cost grounds as £100,000 had already been spent on the project. The massive columns installed last year were as a result of health and safety expert advice about maintenance. The Council had changed its advisers and the new advisers did not consider the massive columns were imperative on health and safety grounds. Therefore, more slender columns would  now be installed which would be similar to lighting columns.

He said his CCTV contractors had said St John's Church tower was considered too unstable to provide the stability required for Automatic Number Plate Recognition (APNR) and that mounting these APNR cameras outside the conservation area would be too costly.A councillor told the meeting that a Google search revealed 8,230 pages for "anti vibration mountings cctv" and that UK Police have successfully tested a 160 MPH helicopter that can read licence plates whilst flying at 2,000 feet. It was suggested that a helicopter flying at 2,000 ft would have far greater vibration than 50 ft up St John's church tower. The Parish Councillors swiftly voted for the southern camera to be mounted on St John's church and he was asked to reinvestigate the church tower option.

Discussion then moved to the position and purpose of the northern camera currently proposed to be outside the police station. John Stott representing the Beaudesert and Henley Society questioned the need for a second camera if its position was to be determined by the crime pattern map. John Stott produced a crime map which showed that there was no identifiable crime cluster in this area of the town. Councillors then discussed the style of columns and the type of camera installation. Malcolm Coulter, High Street resident from the floor, suggested that any columns should be painted grey and combined with a street light.

Cllr Leech recommended that the decorative and aesthetically pleasing type 'FMV', which had been specifically designed for heritage sensitive applications and shown below right should be chosen. Countering this suggestion, Cllr Carsina Goodman proposed that type 'LPS' with an exposed pan & tilt mechanism and industrial style camera housing should be specified. The councilors then voted by a majority for type LPS. English Heritage will probably reverse this decision as type LPS does not conform with their guidelines being more usually seen around prisons.

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Camera type LPS requested by JPC

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Camera type FMV rejected by JPC

Robert Walsh said he would return to a future meeting with detailed proposals before submitting a planning application.

District Councillor Laurence Marshall told Henley NEWS On-line after the meeting, "As Ward Member, I was particularly interested in the option of having both poles removed and using the corner of the Police Station and St John's Church to site the cameras, thereby removing the need for any poles. Neither of these locations have the complications with regards to resale value etc as highlighted in the SDC report presented to the Parish Council; to the contrary, one of the locations has already agreed to the cameras being located there and I'm certain that the information provided by Cllr Bill Leech regarding stability of the installation, will be most useful in achieving this solution. I was rather surprised the Parish Council opted for the option of having a pole outside the police station and when this goes to planning, I will raise my objections accordingly."


JPC Top of the Parish Council Tax Increases

Stratford District Council has provided Henley NEWS On-line with a list showing all the proposed Parish Council Tax (precept) rises for the 112 parishes in the Stratford District area.

precepts

Click Here to read the full listing

An analysis of this listing shows:

Average Increase
£189
Average Increase %
0.83%
No. of parishes increasing precept
40
No. of parishes with zero increase
58
No. of parishes reducing precept
14
No. of parishes in survey
112

Benchmarking the JPC

mapAt its meeting on Monday 15th February, the JPC were scheduled to discuss Benchmarking at the request of Cllr Leech. As he was handing round copies of his notes, the chairman ruled that this was a breach of procedure and stated that this agenda item would be deferred to the next meeting. Henley NEWS On-line is printing below these notes.

Benchmarking, which is the process of comparing the cost, time or quality of what one organisation does against what another organisation does. The result is often a business case for making changes in order to make improvements.

Benchmarking is often used in the private sector but is rarely applied to the public sector. If the JPC were to be benchmarked, parish councils of similar size would need to be chosen, such as Swanland in East Yorkshire.

Swanland has a population of around 4,000 and is very similar to Henley. It is an old hill village on the edge of the Yorkshire Wolds and is a few miles north of the Humber Bridge. It can trace its history back to 1069.

Both communities have parish councils which are required to publish their budgets. Swanland's 2009/10 budget. was posted on its website before Christmas. Our JPC has yet to publish its budget and the figures quoted below are only draft and may be subject to change.

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Swanland, East Yorkshire

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Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire

Annual Budgeted Expenditure

 
2008/09
2009/10
% Increase
Swanland
£71,477
£72,955
    2.1%
Henley
£71,415
£82,487
15.5%

Henley's precept for 2009/10 is likely to rise by 34%, according to SDC. Swanland's precept will not increase.

 

2009/10 Budgeted Expenditure

 
Swanland
Henley
Personnel Costs
£9,506
£19,497
PR Budget
£600
£5,300
Village Projects/Grants
£36,774
£16,800
Other
£26,075
£40,890

Total Expenditure Budget

£72,955

£82,487

 

Questions needing to be asked.

Why will it cost so much more to run the Henley JPC in 2009/10, when the 2 councils had almost identical expenditure budgets in 2008/09?

Why is the Swanland Parish Council massively more generous towards their village projects than our JPC?

 

Communicating with the Community

Swanland Parish Council has an excellent website at www.swanlandparish.org, which costs only £100 per year to run. It is up to date unlike our JPC's, which is often months behind. The JPC will spend £800 on its website, of which a former High Bailiff when in office said, "I am unhappy about the attempt to make it an umbrella site for all the websites in the town. I think in a number of ways it falls rather flat. I am concerned that the Parish Council is in some danger of adopting a closed unilateral approach".

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Swanland Parish Council website

The Swanland Parish Council's website concentrates solely on council matters and links to the Swanland community website unlike our JPC, which runs its site in competition to the Henley Community Website This is Henley-in-Arden. In fact, the JPC could close down its website and save around £5,000, which is probably the true cost of what it takes to run if the parish clerk's time for maintaining it were included. This year after 10 months the JPC has already overspent its budget for the website by 2.5 times. The Henley Community Website has a more informative page About the JPC than exists on the JPC's own website and it comes at no cost to the council tax payers.

The JPC's PR budget this year includes for the first time expenditure of £3,000 for Business Development and Tourism.

"Which council would you prefer to have working for you?"


"Precepts: 22% cut in Wellesbourne, 30% rise in Henley"

imageSo ran the Stratford Herald's headline about the parish council tax rises in the district in a recent edition.

The Herald described Henley's increase as "whopping". Most council tax rises this year will be below 5%. County is 3.89%. Stratford District is 4.9%.

Two factors have contributed to the massive increase for Beaudesert and Henley residents. In the current fiscal year, the JPC has been spending more money that it receives and so it is having to draw on its reserves. Clearly, it should have raised more money last year or not spent so much this year.

Regrettably, 18% is probably the lowest increase which can be implemented if the council is not to go bust, and this can happen!

The remaining 12% of this year's planned increase is so that the council can continue spending thousands of pounds on its ineffective and expensive policies. These include increasing its PR budget by 228% and increasing the parish clerk's hours by 66%.

 

image"Henley NEWS On-line" is publishing an alternative budget, which would still see the precept rise by a horrendous 18% but that would be far better than the 30%, which we will all have to pay.

The clear message must be "Stop spending our money on worthless projects, which bring no benefit to the residents of Henley".

The alternative budget would require all expenditure on PR cancelled and all other significant expenditure frozen at current levels. Such a policy would show savings of £12,385 to the residents of Beaudesert and Henley.

"When the country is entering probably its worst recession for 100 years, it is irresponsible to carry on spending at this level without any consideration for the residents who will have to pay for this extravagance."

Please write to Henley NEWS On-line with your views.  editor@henleynews.co.uk

 

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Gateway Website at:

www.henley-in-arden.org

This website is sponsored by the TIC and receives no money from public funds

Website

Henley Maestro Wins Second Grammy

photoSimon Halsey, a Henley resident, has won a 'Best Choral Performance' Grammy Award for his work on EMI Classics' release of Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. The disc features Halsey's own Berlin Radio Choir alongside the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle. This is the second Grammy win in this category in as many years for the celebrated partnership of Simon Halsey and Sir Simon Rattle: they collaborated on the Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem EMI disc that won the 2008 award, as well as scoring wins at the Gramophone Awards and at Germany's Echo Klassik Awards.
 
Halsey and Rattle have been working closely together since Halsey took up his post of Chorus Director of Rattle's City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1983, a role Halsey continues to this day. The last decade has seen both Simons take prominent roles in Berlin: Rattle with the city's Philharmonic Orchestra, and Halsey with the Radio Choir. Future projects they will be working on together include numerous high profile concerts in Berlin, as well as opera projects at the Salzburg and Aix en Provence festivals.

Halsey's positions in both Berlin and Birmingham encompass extensive youth singing programmes and a wide range of education work. His education concerts have been acclaimed internationally, as has his Leader-Chor project, bringing Berlin politicians and high profile business figures together and developing collaboration through singing.

In March Halsey will conduct the German premiere of James MacMillan's St John Passion with the Berlin Radio Orchestra and Choir. Other upcoming highlights for Halsey include work on a major project around Schoenberg's Gurrelieder with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, as well as several projects with the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra and Chorus, where Halsey is Principal Conductor Choral Programme.


Henley Community Arts DVD "At the Crossroads"

On 21st January the Guild Hall hosted the premiere of the DVD “At the Crossroads.”

lotterySixty members of the HCA crew and cast, aged 6 to 76 yrs, assembled to celebrate. Congratulations were given to Henley Amateur Dramatic Society, Henley High School, their partner Primary Schools and the High Bailiff and the Court Leet who made valuable contributions to the project’s success. Funded by the Lottery and written by professional poet and playwright Fergus Durrant the films were revealed for the first time. The four short films demonstrate the advantages of using a professional film crew and at times, as you watch the films, the quality is so good it is hard to realise that the live filming was not produced in a film studio.

If you are interested in Henley, then this DVD is a must for you. There are four films. The Crayfish Army is a fun filled look at the traditions of The Court Leet as they meet with the Water People of the River Alne. It is written in a style that leads one to believe that this is a Henley Traditional Drama that has been played out at the riverside for many years. The themes draw on countryside traditional tales. It forms an ideal dramatic vehicle for the young of the town to interact with the more distinguished residents.

The second presents one of Henley’s most tragic stories, set in our 900 year old St Nicholas church, it tells the true tale of The Battle of Evesham (1265). The script uses actual words from a contemporary document recently discovered in the College of Heraldry. With brilliant camera work it presents the town’s commitment to the De Montforts and the devastating consequences for the residents when the King’s men came storming in to destroy the town.

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The Crayfish Army

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The Battle of Evesham

The third piece is drawn from documents and audio tapes held at the Heritage Centre. It poignantly depicts Second World War life through the eyes of Observer Corps, based on Beaudesert Mount.

Finally, relax and laugh as the Americans visit our Guild Hall and impart to you its history, while engaging you in a farcical set of circumstances. Filmed in the Guild Hall, this piece beautifully concludes a remarkable experience that thrilled the residents of Henley on Court Leet Day in June 2008. You can add to the enjoyment by seeing a slideshow of pictures from the day, which is included on the DVD.

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The Observer Corps

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Our American Visitors

If you are a local resident who missed the day, perhaps you just want a memento of what you enjoyed, or an ex pat “Henleyite” who misses the wonderful community spirit, you can order a copy of this unique DVD, the first major project from the newly formed Henley Community Arts, from Peter Crathorne. Price £6.00. Contact Details: 01564 795470 petercrathorne@tiscali.co.uk or order over the internet, post free, from The Obbe Media Centre at www.theobbe.co.uk

Alan Robson took all the excellent photos shown above and a booklet containing all the photos of the day with annotated titles is available for sale from Alan on 01564 794021.

Peter Crathorne reporting


Litter Litter Everywhere

photoLet’s be clear: I love Henley and I’m trying very hard not to be a complainer!

I don’t think I’m alone in being fed up with the amount of litter throughout the country but I really cannot do much about the motorway verges or the streets of towns I do not live in. But I CAN do something about Henley.

The High Street is kept reasonably clean. Somebody seems these days to clean up the station from time to time - two big improvements. But it’s the side streets, the paths, the parks and our country lanes that seem never to be cleaned, though the provision of bins is better than it used to be.

I’ve taken to picking up twenty pieces of litter every time I go out and I often meet others doing the same. But who should be keeping Henley clean?

There are three answers:

  1. Let’s try to educate ourselves not to drop so much rubbish in the first place. It’s all food and drink and cigarette related.
  2. Let’s try to get the agency charged with keeping Henley clean to do its work.
  3. Let’s have a day every year where we get together and spring clean our community. Is anyone out there interested?

High Street Resident


Advice from the Minister of Transport

photoI read with interest that Geoff Hoon the Transport Secretary says that drivers should use tyre chains. Maybe he can advise where to buy them?  I doubt there are 200 sets available in the UK to go around a few million motorists. Perhaps Mr Hoon favours a "National Snow Chain Lottery".  Those who don’t win a set have to stay at home or walk to work when it snows?

Has he any idea what damage would be done to our road surfaces if all the drivers in the UK used chains? The M6 would need resurfacing in about a week !!

On reflection, I feel that we can expect the Transport Secretary to be both ill informed and out of touch with the realities of motoring given that his boss the Prime Minister, who appointed him, cannot  even drive!

David Hadley - Henley Resident & Former Senior Executive in the Tyre Industry


Gain an advantage over your Teenage children

And save money into the bargain!

photoIn this wonderful world of Internet Technology an often overlooked yet brilliant little gadget is the Internet Phone. Using existing equipment all businesses and households with a Broadband connection can benefit from a very low-cost extra phone line. And the technology is not the least bit scary, just a small,lightweight box that plugs into your existing router. There's no software involved, no special headset and you don't even need your computer switched on! It really couldn't be simpler - an instant extra phone line connected in minutes.

What are the costs? Well there is a one-off cost of £50 for the box and the allocation of your new extra landline number. The line rental is just £2 per month and calls are charged at a very competitive low rate. Shrewd home users even bundle this service with other utilities in order to get free landline calls 24/7 to the UK and top 10 Global destinations.

And for the even more savvy home and business user the permutations and advantages are many. Remember this is effectively a portable landline. You could take it abroad, to or from your business or to your second home. With the “free calls” options it can be well worth it and beats mobile call costs any day. Oh and by the way the best bit is that you can still get to use a phone in your own house!

For further details contact Sue Hearn 0800 093 5088 or 07962 532 241 or sue@bills-4-less.co.uk


Quality Offices in Stratford for Rent

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500 sq ft High Quality, Modern Office Space to Let in Stratford
Timothy Bridge’s Road

First floor of purpose built office unit on Shottery Brook Development available on flexible terms. Open plan, fully carpeted. Lockable door and separate entry from common staircase, own WC. 2 car parking spaces.

The location is ideal for Henley residents being on the north side of Stratford.

£899 per month (+ VAT) plus share of power.

08456 181566 or 07899 792792


New TIC Chairman Elected

photoAt the Meeting held on Wednesday 11th February in the Memorial Hall 16 residents of Henley assembled to hear the reports of the Town Improvement Committee, the accounts of War Memorial Trust, to elect officers and the committee for the following year. The president, High Bailiff Roger Sutton, chaired the meeting.

The Accounts were presented by Roy Edwards the treasurer; he thanked the respective chairmen of the main committee and the Memorial Hall Committee and also thanked the Parish Council for their continued support. It was heard that in 2007 there had been an independent valuation of the Memorial Hall Site and the Playing Fields and it was agreed that a valuation should be done at least every 10 years.

The retiring chair, Brian Twigg, presented the formal annual report and then went on to say that he had served as chairman for several years and there were many problems at the start arising from earlier disagreements. It had been necessary to repair confidence in the TIC and produce financial regulations and working policies. He said that the winding up of the Sports and Social Club had removed the rights of Sports Clubs to have exclusive use of the Charity Land and, to overcome this, licences had been agreed and the sports clubs now operate happily within these licences. He continued that, having repaired confidence in the TIC, it was necessary to restore communications with the Club Chairmen and particular thanks was given to Judy Wilde, Pete Johnson and John Latham in achieving this.

The Memorial Hall was operating well under the inspired leadership of Duncan Bainbridge to whom much was owed for his support and help. A start had been made to improve conditions at the Sports Field with the construction of the new gateway and the tarmacing of the car park. However, there was still much to do. He thanked members of the TIC without whom there would have been little progress. He announced that it was time for him to hand over the reins to a new chairman. Brian concluded by wishing the future chair good fortune.

Duncan Bainbridge reported on The Memorial Hall saying that there was continued progress. The Appeals Committee had raised almost £4,000 from three events which included a nine bird dinner with a guest speaker - Caroline Bone from the Archers. The now traditional Jazz in the Garden was held on one of the few fine Saturdays in July. At the committee’s AGM meeting reports were received from the various organisations that use the Hall on a regular basis. The organisations reported on a successful year with stable membership and finances. Merrydays, the nursery school, achieved the ‘outstanding’ category in their recent OFSTED inspection, one of the few schools nationally to gain this result. The Drama Society’s production of Dad’s Army was hugely popular with each night being sold out. He continued that the coming year is the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Hall and a Gala Dinner is planned for the 24th October with Amelia Whitman, a talented singer, being booked to entertain. The tickets will cost £30.00. Douglas then gave formal thanks to the JPC for their support through the TIC and also the Management Committee for their continued teamwork. The High Bailiff thanked the Memorial Hall Committee and congratulated them on their success.

The Sports Clubs submitted their reports. The Scouts reported that they were thriving, with beavers, cubs, scouts and explorer scouts all running more or less to full capacity. All sections accepted girls now who mix well with the lads. All sections have enjoyed a fantastic variety of adventure and confidence building activities. The funds provided by the TIC were much appreciated. The main fund raiser was bonfire night, the event now being very much part of the overall town calendar. Once again over £1,000 was raised for troop funds and the co-operation of the TIC and all other users at the site at this time was very much appreciated. The Scouts were always looking for adult volunteer support to keep the troop fresh, well staffed and thriving.

The Bowls Club reported that, whilst needing to increase membership, they had eight teams playing league bowls throughout the season. Due to the hard work of the members they were regularly complimented on the quality of the green and the club remains solvent by fund raising events throughout the year.

The Shooting Club was running well and was financially sound. Membership was stable, with a good range of ages, all working to try to improve facilities. At the moment the club was looking to renew their heating system and improve insulation in order to reduce heating bills. They were pleased to see the TIC spending money on the drive, but were concerned at the lack of notice given before the work was started. There were also issues with rain water running off the new drive surface and dislodging the paving slabs in front of their building. Thanks were given to the TIC committee, for all that was done in the day to day administration of the sports ground.

The Cricket Club reported that it was another season devastated by dreadful weather which caused the cancellation of several games and the resultant knock on effect on finances. Despite this, and the disappointment of relegation from the Cotswold Premiership after only one season, morale remains high within the club thanks to an excellent and committed management team. The £5,000 investment in the refurbishment of the playing surface worked well and provided good wickets throughout the season – when not flooded! Thanks were given to the TIC for the investment in the splendid new entrance and car park and for Peter Johnson’s investment in the clubhouse facilities. Cricket in Henley appears to be in a very healthy state. The financial position remains healthy and plans for fundraising in their Centenary Year 2009 were well advanced with a Celebration Dinner on April 4th at the Golf Club - guest of honour Dennis Amiss, England and Warwickshire batsman, followed by a Centenary Cricket Week starting on July 19th, with President’s Day. Everyone was welcome to support the dinner and the cricket week and share in celebrating 100 years of cricket in Henley.

The Football Club reported on a generally successful year. This was because many members had given their time and energy to ensure progress. Extensive improvements were being made to the playing areas. These include a fenced pitch, new dug outs, new drains and refurbished goal posts. The report outlined objectives for the future. They were to assist managers to continue to develop all the teams, offering support with the most mundane tasks and offering extra coaching for players. The club planned to provide new training tops/tracksuits and target local business for sponsorship and financial support. Finally they hoped to construct an “all year” 5 a side practice pitch. They suggested that major improvements were needed to the pavilion.

The Tennis Club continued to thrive under the chairmanship of Judy Wilde who was named Volunteer of the Year at the WLTA Presentations last month at the Botanical Gardens. Four courts were floodlit, two now had Astroturf with two more planned. The junior coaching had grown and two more coaches had joined. Membership had grown by 10% and a grant from the Parish Council had been gratefully received. The refurbishment costing £65,000 had now been finished. There was still an issue over the car park and the club suggested that it would be helpful to hold a meeting twice a year for the users of the grounds. The TIC were asked to try to co-ordinate this.

The High Bailiff complimented the sports clubs on their achievements.

Peter Crathorne, pictured top right, was elected as the new Chairman and the remainder of the committee was confirmed. Peter commented after the meeting that the on-going sponsorship of the Community website “This is Henley-in-Arden”, would continue.

Finally tributes were paid to the retiring chairman Brian Twigg. Roger Sutton thanked him for all the work he had done. He said that several years ago the TIC was in serious difficulties but under Brian’s leadership the organisation had greatly improved. The meeting supported this with a vote of thanks.

Peter Crathorne reporting


LTA Boss To Visit Henley

photoHenley in Arden Tennis Club were amazed and delighted to hear that Roger Draper, the Chief Executive of the Lawn Tennis Association, has agreed to come to the small celebration to be held at their clubhouse on 17 March. The club, on the night, will be thanking all their members, supporters and sponsors who have helped make their refurbishment complete, with the finals of The Bunny Shepheard Tournament (a former founder member) and refreshments.

This is a huge boost for grass roots tennis, and Warwickshire, that such a powerful man should agree to come to such a small club. It is good to see that Mr Draper values every member of the sport. "We are delighted" says Judy Wilde Chairman of Henley Tennis Club.

Jane Palmer reporting


HADS Quiz Night

The Henley Drama Society held a  Quiz Night with a pie/peas supper at the Guild Hall on Sat 14th (Valentines Night).

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Around 30 members and friends enjoyed a  social evening with Sheena Ison and Carol Robson doing a great job with Beetle drive and Quiz Competitions.

Photo by Alan Robson


Henley To Help Break World Banana Eating Record

bannerHenley Fairtrade Group, with your help, will be munching their way through 50 or more Fairtrade bananas as part of a national attempt to break the world record for the most number of bananas eaten during a 24-hour period. The record breaking event will take place on Saturday 7 March 10-12 noon outside St. John’s during Fairtrade Fortnight (23 February – 8 March).

The Fairtrade Foundation’s annual awareness raising campaign brings together producers, campaigners, businesses and community groups, to highlight global trade inequality and promote Fairtrade, which benefits small scale farmers and farm workers and their communities in the developing world. Through Fairtrade, 7.5 million people – farmers, workers and their families – have more security and control over their lives. The theme of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is Make it Happen. Choose Fairtrade.

People from Henley will join forces with hundreds of Fairtrade Towns, Churches, Schools, and Fairtrade producer groups from all around the world to take part in the world record attempt between noon 6 March and noon 7 March. Fairtrade campaigners are asking people to “Go Bananas” and join in the world record eating attempt.

The event will be fun but also has a serious message. Two billion people live on less than two dollars a day and now more than ever, it’s important that people buy Fairtrade to support producers in developing countries who are faced with rising food and production costs as prices soar.

Fairtrade bananas were first launched 11 years ago and today one in four bananas sold in the UK is Fairtrade. There are 57 certified producer groups in eight countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa supplying Fairtrade bananas to 20 countries in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

The Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA) was established in 1982 to promote the social and economic welfare of small-scale farmers, and advocates on behalf of farmers who are struggling to make a living from bananas and other agricultural products. Among other community projects, the Fairtrade premium (paid on top of the fair price) has been invested in refurbishing community centres, materials and computers for local schools, and improving roads and bridges to give farmers better access to their banana fields.

Marcella Harris, a banana farmer from the Windward Islands, a member of WINFA, says: ‘We don’t want your charity, we want to earn a decent living without relying on handouts. For us to earn a living, we need people to buy our Fairtrade fruit. I hope people begin to see that they can make a real difference to the lives of thousands of real people by making a simple decision when they shop.’

Harriet Lamb, Executive Director of the Fairtrade Foundation adds: ‘While Fairtrade banana sales and overall demand for Fairtrade products soar, prices have plummeted, having a devastating effect on banana producers and plantation workers, many of whom do not earn enough to live and support their families. By buying Fairtrade, consumers are ensuring producers receive a minimum price and Fairtrade premium, which in turn enables them to continue to earn a decent living and support their families. That’s why during Fairtrade Fortnight we are urging everyone to Go Bananas.’

Come and join us!

Cilla Pudney reporting


Henley Society Continues Sponsorship of HNOL

photoThe Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Society voted at their last committee meeting to continue their publicity support for Henley NEWS On-line by having copies of each issue placed in the Library and at the Heritage Centre during its season.

Our photo shows Former President of the Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Society Maggie Twigg handing over to Sarah at the Library a folder for storing the printed versions of HNOL.

Bill Leech, Editor of HNOL, said, "It is most pleasing that two of the most respected organisations in Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden have continued their support of HNOL at a time when freedom of our local media is being challenged by a few local politicians. The Town Improvement Committee has already stated it will continue its sponsorship of the community website "This is Henley-in-Arden".

Printed copies of the latest edition of HNOL will be in both the Heritage Centre and the library on the day of publication.


Cricket Centenary Dinner on Saturday April 4th 2009

 

photoHenley-in-Arden Cricket Club is hoping that as many former players and supporters will want to help the club celebrate 100 years of Henley cricket.

Dennis Amiss, the legendary former opening bat of England and Warwickshire CCC, will be the guest of honour. Many will remember his brave, successful duals with the great Windies fast bowlers in the Seventies and his run-outs with Geoffrey Boycott. It should provide fascinating entertainment to hear it straight from the horses’ mouth.

It is an evening for ladies as well as gentlemen at Henley Golf and Country Club which costs £25 a head (£15 for young players under 18) with dress code of jackets and ties for men and stunning dresses for girls. The evening starts with a reception including a welcome drink at 7.00 followed by dinner at 7.30. For those living in Henley there will be a minibus leaving from outside the White Swan Hotel on the High Street from 6.30 till 7pm.

To order tickets please send your cheques, payable to Henley Cricket Club. Any questions phone 01564 795239 evening or 0121 627 5858 during the day. email johnlatham@cureleukaemia.wanadoo.co.uk


Recent Property Sales in Henley

• 15, The Yew Trees, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5BQ - Sold for £170,000 on 08-12-2008
• 16, Brook End Drive, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5JA - Sold for £325,000 on 18-11-2008
• Amrhil, Station Road, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5JP - Sold for £220,000 on 23-12-2008
• 8, Ashbury Court, Henley-in-Arden, B95 5AF - Sold for £625,000 on 23-11-2008

You can search all these sales totally free of charge by going to OurProperty.co.uk


John Garner's Business Column

New disciplinary procedures

John GarnerLast time I wrote about the new rules which will be coming into force on 6th April 2009. It does seem that things are being made much clearer which has to be a good thing. Here is a little more detail.

Until now employers must follow a three-step procedure when disciplining and dismissing employees or the resultant action may be deemed to have been unfair. 

Employees must submit a written grievance to their employer before bringing certain types of claim such as unlawful discrimination or constructive dismissal.  This has been a minefield for both employers and employees. Instead of simplifying the law of dispute resolution in the workplace the regime creates a lot of confusion and doesn’t work.

But it's about to change. Instead there will be a revised ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedure as I mentioned in my previous article.

A failure to follow the procedures will no longer mean that a dismissal is automatically unfair. However, failure to comply with the new Code of Practice could lead to any compensation being adjusted by up to 25% at the Employment Tribunal’s discretion.

Note that the new Code of Practice will not apply to dismissals due to redundancy or the non-renewal of a fixed-term contract. Both employers and employees must consider using an independent third party to resolve disputes and there is more emphasis on employees having to behave reasonably and consistently. Which is a good thing!

The main changes to disciplinary procedures are that in misconduct cases different people should carry out the investigation and the disciplinary hearing. When an employee is informed of the problem they should also be provided with copies of written evidence such as witness statements.

But don’t get carried away just yet. Until 6th April 2009 employers must continue to follow the current statutory 3-step procedure.

After 6th April, whilst a failure to follow the new code may not render a dismissal automatically unfair, it is likely to influence an Employment Tribunal’s thinking.

So be ready.

Download a FREE copy of the Small Business Guide to Employment 2008 (valid until March 2009)

John Garner - Business Correspondent


Decision on gypsy encampment at Darlingscott

photoStratford-on-Avon District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a gypsy encampment was heard by an independent planning inspector following an appeal by Ernest Wilson and Families and the appeal has been allowed.

Following the public inquiry heard between 16 and 18 December 2008, the Inspector has granted a temporary planning permission for the 16 pitch gypsy site on land at the crossroads at Darlingscott, Shipston-on-Stour, for a period of 4 years and restricted to named individuals. The temporary permission has been granted due to the existing significant shortfall of gypsy sites within the District and the personal circumstances of the families. There is a reasonable expectation that new gypsy sites will become available to meet that need at the end of the temporary planning permission. According to the Inspector a temporary permission of 4 years would “provide the opportunity for the appellants to search for alternative sites and for the children on the site to make as seamless as possible a transfer to alternative schools should this be necessary”.

In allowing the appeal the Inspector has confirmed that in view of the harm to the countryside the site is not regarded as an appropriate location for a permanent gypsy site. The Inspector also states that the granting of a temporary permission should not be regarded as setting a precedent for the determination of any future applications for full permission for the use of the land as a caravan site.

“We stand by the Inspector’s decision to grant temporary planning permission for those named individuals and remind the public that the District Council continues to take any planning breaches seriously,” says Councillor Stuart Beese, Portfolio Holder for Planning.

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Grumpy Old Woman Comments

GOMLetter to David Milliband MP

Poor old Jill Archer. It sounds as though her bees are in trouble with mites, or is it something else!

Listening to the Today programme, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's not that common enemy Pesticides, which poison everything and everyone in their  path. Perhaps it would be a good idea for the bees to leave their honey in situ for home consumption until the threat subsides. Like mothers' milk, it may give them an immunity of sorts!  Also heard on the same programme: farm subsidies paid in Euros over the next few years could make a profit for farmers of something like £80,000. Something a bit odd there!
 
I may be a grump - correction, I AM a grump, but I do smile every time I read the following text which I quote hereunder and am thinking of framing - A real letter sent to David Milliband MP on 16/5/07:

Dear Secretary of State,
 
My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs!

I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy. I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these?
 
As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven't reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this? My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1968; that is until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any.
 
If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing 100? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first year. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to say 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department. Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases? Another point: these pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don't rear?
 
I am also considering the 'not milking cows' business, so please send any information you have on that too. Please could you also include the current Defra advice on set aside fields. Can this be done on an e-commerce basis with virtual fields (of which I seem to have several thousand hectares)?

In view of the above, you will realise that I will be totally unemployed and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits. I shall of course be voting for your party at the next general election.

Yours faithfully,

Grumpy Old Woman


Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Obama takes first steps on Climate Change.

photoIn his inauguration speech, President Obama said that under him US policies would in future be based on facts. Denial of climate change by the federal government is now completely ended, evidenced by the establishment of a new position in the White House: the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. The position will be filled by former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Carol Browner, who is said to have brought the climate change issue to the forefront during her time at EPA.  In addition the President nominated a Nobel prize winner, Dr Steven Chu, as his Secretary for Energy. Dr Chu, in his current position as director of the Lawrence  Berkley National Laboratory, has promoted the finding of solutions to climate change. Under his guidance, the laboratory has focused on low carbon R&D, renewable energy, and biofuels.

During the election campaign Obama declared the following long range goals:

  • Reducing overall electricity demand by 15% from current projected levels by 2020.
  • Making all new buildings carbon  neutral by 2030.
  • Weather proofing a million homes per  year.
  • Making a ‘major investment’ in efforts to transform the American electrical grid to a smart grid, to create  substantial increases in efficiency
  • To spend $150bn over ten years to  create five million ‘green’ American jobs.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency have released an updated version of the ‘National Action Plan Vision for 2025’. It lays out a proposed energy efficiency action plan for state policy makers. The plan is said to have the potential to reduce energy use by 50% across the US by 2029. About one third of the states already have energy savings targets and it is likely that a combination of the new lead from Obama and the National Action Plan will lead to more states declaring carbon reduction targets. The Environmental Protection Agency has also mandated a 10.2% biofuel mix for 2009.
 
Despite the Bush government’s reluctance to tackle climate change, capital investment in US clean technology companies reached a record (estimated $1.6 bn) in the third quarter of 2008.  So, as I have mentioned before, the US was not ignoring climate change under Bush, but now with Obama giving leadership towards positive action we can see that the US is tackling climate change at all levels and progress will accelerate. They may be late starters but it’s great news that the world’s most powerful country now has a leader who is promoting the necessary action.

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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Stratford District Council

SDC
Laurence Marshall
Laurence Marshall
S Thirlwell
Stephen Thirlwell

News from Stratford District Council

On Monday 23rd February full council meet and one of the main agenda items will be the setting of the Council Tax Budget for 2009 / 2010. As a member of the Budget Member Working Group we’ve held discussions with Heads of all services and worked with colleagues to identify savings of over £1.5 million pounds but with levels of interest from capital investments plummeting and income from planning applications and car parking all dipping this is a difficult time for everybody. Fortunately we haven’t had any capital invested in any of the Icelandic financial institutions otherwise the position might have been much worse. Either way residents of the Henley & Wootton Wawen can rest assured that their Ward Members have been actively involved and ‘in the thick’ of the decision making process.

Other items on the agenda include proposals to replace the two Area Planning Committees with one.

Area Planning Committees are under constant scrutiny and their performance regularly monitored by the Planning & Regulation Committee to identify any adverse trends, even down to the time it takes to determine an individual application. Out of interest, the West Area Planning Committee currently takes 20.8 minutes as opposed to the East Planning Committee which takes 25.7 minutes per application – the joys of life & technology of the stopwatch!

There’s a lot of talk in the press at the moment about how much MP’s get as salary and expenses – one local Labour MP was reported as having drawn nearly 750k in expenses alone! Life’s not like that at the District Council where again one of the agenda items this Monday is Members Allowances. The Basic Members Allowance is £4,500 pa and out of that all office and administrative expenses plus telephone costs & motoring expenses for case work have to be deducted – not so much as a flat screen TV - only joking! The recommendation is that there be no increase and both your District Councillors support that recommendation.

High on the agenda over the next few weeks will be the Draft Core Strategy. This document will help give us all a clear vision of where we want Stratford District to be in 2026. Stephen Thirlwell and I are members of this working group and will shortly be considering the initial comments received following the public consultation exercise.

Laurence Marshall - District Councillor

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

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Henley Diary Dates

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

GO BANANAS FOR FAIRTRADE!
Bananas symbolise the challenges in international trade. One in 4 bananas sold in the UK is now Fairtrade. The objective of Fairtrade campaigners is to increase that to 50% by 2012. Help to celebrate the success so far and keep up the campaign by joining thousands of people worldwide in setting a world record for the largest number of Fairtrade bananas eaten over a 24 hour period. Join us outside St. John’s on Saturday 7th March 10.00 am to 12.00 noon to play your part. Supplies of Fairtrade bananas will be available but you can also purchase your own that week from Henley Somerfield. There will also be a Traidcraft stall and information on Fairtrade issues.

HENLEY W.I.
Joanna Oldfield is the speaker at our meeting on Tuesday 3rd March and visitors are welcome to join us to hear about “Diabetes and the Work of Diabetes UK”. We meet in the Memorial Hall from 7.30 pm on the first Tuesday each month and have groups meeting through the month for members to take part in play reading, patchwork, short walks or 5 mile walks, cross stitch and social gatherings. For details please telephone 792519 or 793640.

HENLEY FLOWER CLUB
We meet on Tuesday 10th March, 7.30 pm at the Memorial Hall when our speaker is Mr. Lee Berrill “Let’s be Different”. Competition “Blown Away”.

THE HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY
Thursday 19th March, 8.00 pm Baptist Church Hall. Our speaker is Dixie Atkins on “Edward 2nd and his Local Connections”. Visitors and new members are very welcome. Further details from Pat Kench on 795419.

HENLEY WILDLIFE SOCIETY
Next meeting is on Tuesday 17th March when Rosemary Morris will entertain us with “A Year in the life of Two Photographers”. Visitors are welcome to join us in the Baptist Church Hall from 7.45 pm – only £2.

ULLENHALL GARDENING CLUB
Tuesday 24th March at 7.45 pm in Ullenhall Village Hall. Our AGM with Cheese and Wine and “Something Else”. We also have a day visit booked for RHS Malvern Spring Garden Show by coach with pickup points in Henley and Ullenhall. Cost including coach and admission is only £24. If you are interested please contact Diane on 01789 488209.

THE TANWORTH SINGERS
Tanworth Village Hall Saturday 28th March at 8.00 pm.  Join the Tanworth Singers for a concert of light music and readings. Tickets £7 will be on sale in The Bell on Monday 9th March from 10.00 am. For availability after that date telephone Judith Allen on 01527 550499.

Details of all the local cinemas, theatres and exhibitions can be found on The Henley Gateway Website

www.Henley-in-Arden.org

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.
Evergreen ClubMeetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane at 2.15 pm 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 Hall, 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 BADMINTON CLUB
Welcomes players who may be interested in joining the club. Club nights are Friday and Sunday from 8.00pm in the Memorial Hall. Further details: Chairman 793320. Visitors welcome (£2).
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.
Bowls ClubHENLEY-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 A3400 just outside Henley. The Club welcomes new members, whether beginners or established players. For further information contact John Townson 01564 792407.

JOLLYTOTS
Jollytots meet every Tuesday morning during term time between 10am and 11.45am in the Church Hall on Beaudesert Lane, Henley.  It is open for all under 4 year olds and costs only £1.50 which includes a drink and a biscuit. There are toys, games, arts and crafts and singing. Any questions please ring Rachel on 01564 794470.

Neighbour WatchNEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
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
Business ClubTHE WARWICKSHIRE BUSINESS CLUB
Holds its monthly lunchtime meeting on the 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 an informative speaker on a business topic. Full details at www.swbc.co.uk

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.

ProbusTHE 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.
DE MONTFORT LODGE OF FREEMASONS
De Montfort Lodge is the only freemasons’ lodge meeting in Henley. It was established in the town in 1930 and holds meetings in the Guild Hall. Anyone interested in freemasonry should contact John Pollard on 0121 704 5140 for further details.
WRVS LUNCH CLUB
The WRVS organise a lunch club for the elderly of the district at Dell Court every Tuesday at 12.30 pm at a cost of £3.10. For further details contact Christine on 01789 209210.
Bridge ClubHENLEY-in-ARDEN BRIDGE CLUB
Plays Duplicate Bridge of intermediate standard on Tuesday evenings at the the White Swan Hotel and usually finds 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.

Details about tourist attractions and neighbouring villages can be found on The Henley Gateway Website

www.Henley-in-Arden.org

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 editor@henleynews.co.uk

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