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Henley NEWS On-line

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

Campaigning for a better Henley

Edition 225 - 23rd July 2009
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Gold 2009
on Thursdays

Henley Wins 2 Awards in Best Village Competition

logoRay Holding, the Administrator of Henley Heritage Centre, his wife Ann and Peter Crathorne a trustee of the centre accompanied by Bill Leech of Henley On-Line made up the Henley-in-Arden delegation to the Warwickshire Best Village awards ceremony in the Council Chamber of the Shire Hall, home to Warwickshire County Council.

This year there were multiple entries from 40 villages throughout the County and the competition was divided into 7 categories: Best Kept Environment, Community Projects, Community Buildings, Communications, Environmental Projects, History & Heritage and Business in the Community.

Henley was one of only 4 villages to receive two awards. The Heritage Centre was placed third in the History & Heritage competition. Ray Holding, the Heritage Centre Administrator, collected the certificate from the Chairman of Warwickshire County Council, Cllr Brian Douthwaite.

Henley On-line, which comprises The Henley On-line Information Page, The Town Website and Henley NEWS On-line, received a Gold Award in the Communications Competition.

Peter Crathorne told Henley NEWS On-line after the awards ceremony that the TIC would be encouraging other participants for next year's competition so that the Town could also enter the overall Best Village Competition as well.

This year's overall winner and winner of the Communications Competition was Austrey, a village, which is situated at the northern most point of Warwickshire, and is within a short distance of the borders of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire. It lies mid-way between Tamworth in Staffordshire and Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. Close by are the National Forest and the Bosworth Field where in 1485 King Richard III was killed.

ADT Manager Recommends Prison Style CCTV Camera

At last Monday night's Joint Parish Council meeting Mr Trevor Askew, Strategic Manager of Stratford District Council, updated the Council and the public on the District Council's latest plan for CCTV in the Town.

He opened by saying "We got things wrong" referring to the installation of 2 massive motorway CCTV columns in a conservation area without consultation.

He went on to advise that the one remaining column outside the police station would be removed and a discreet "dome type" camera would be installed on the police station. Henley NEWS On-line believes that the removal of this column is due mainly to the perseverance of District Cllr Laurence Marshall. The date on which the column is to be removed was not known.

Trevor Askew went on to say the other camera would be installed above the shops between Somerfield and One Stop and would look down Beaudesert Lane. This was another improvement probably due to the high profile campaign by the Henley Society and Henley NEWS On-line. Mr Askew then introduced Mr A McNamara from ADT the supplier of the CCTV equipment.

Mr McNamara started by saying CCTV was a very technical subject but he would attempt to make it as simple as possible for the listeners. He confirmed that the equipment on the Police station would be a small discreet dome type camera. This would monitor the drinking establishments in that area. The other camera opposite the church would have have to be much more conspicuous as it would have to provide ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) information to the national bureau. This equipment would be similar to cameras normally seen outside prisons and along motorways.

During its formal council meeting, the JPC approved the proposed installations with only one councillor objecting - Cllr Bill Leech, who is also the editor of Henley NEWS On-line. This endorsement has little significance as the project now has to go forward for formal approval by the District Council Planning Committee. It is expected that there will be a large number of objections, including The Henley Society and many readers of Henley NEWS On-line.

Since the meeting, Henley NEWS On-line has made extensive enquiries with the head office of ADT, other CCTV suppliers and also manufacturers of CCTV equipment. All, without exception, confirm that ANPR installations can use either the prison style housing (below left) or the discreet dome style (below right). A camera used for ANPR has to provide high quality images so that a computer in the control room can retrieve the number plate information.


Rob Blair, Group Managing Director of the High Security Group, told Henley NEWS On-line, "It is one thing to have CCTV cameras protecting the NEIGHBOURHOOD but having the feeling that you are being watched at every turn by ugly, indiscreet cameras can do more harm than good. What does it say about a local town if it needs to have unsightly cameras protecting every inch of the highways and byways?

"A more discreet approach achieves better results but may cost slightly more. However, visitors to the town would be blissfully unaware that they being overlooked for the greater good of the public. All you need to do is try just that little bit harder to achieve both aims". The illustration right shows the 'Heritage' style recommended by Mr Blair and ADT's Head Office confirms it can be used.


Cllr Laurence Marshall shares Henley NEWS On-line's concern about the style of the ANPR camera opposite the church and has written to Mr Askew saying, "Now that we’ve managed to arrive at a solution that doesn’t require the ugly poles that’s a massive step forward. With regards to the actual cameras, I was only able to obtain a quick glimpse of the picture Mr McNamara had on his laptop screen and it was quite difficult to visualise how big they were without  dimensions. Now that we’ve gone this far it would be reassuring to have it confirmed that the actual camera types will not be larger than necessary to perform the required functions and that if there are options on the actual cameras these will also be made available prior to the actual planning application."

Cllr Marshall has since received a reply from Trevor Askew in which he says “I am happy to confirm that the cameras detailed at last night’s meeting will satisfy the functional requirements for the system but whilst we are obtaining the necessary permissions we are asking ADT to make further investigations and will endeavour to achieve a solution using cameras that will enable optimum functional and aesthetic satisfaction. These options will be presented to the Parish Council prior to the formal planning application.” He went on to say in his reply “ I am not an expert in CCTV cameras but Andy McNamara (ADT) is and that is why he had centre stage last night.” He continued  “From our point of view (SDC) we want to provide Henley with an effective CCTV service and clearly need to balance effectiveness with visual appearance.”
Cllr Marshall added “Trevor Askew has achieved more in the last few weeks than the previous Head of Service achieved in a year so for that he should be commended. It’s good news for Henley that all our efforts are heading towards a successful conclusion.”

Henley NEWS On-line asked Stratford District Council and The Henley Society for a comment but none were received in time for publication.

Bill Leech - Editor

Allotments' Committee To Resign On Block

photoThe Allotments Associations are holding an Extraordinary General Meeting meeting on Thursday evening with Anne Dorow in the chair, The committee will explain  to members that the relationship with the Parish Council has broken down. With the association having no opportunity to consult with the Parish Council over issues concerning the allotments, they believe they cannot represent allotment holders. Therefore the whole committee will be resigning.

If no members step forward to form a new committee, the Association will be wound up. Henley NEWS On-line has been advised by one of its correspondents that it is unlikely that anyone will step forward to form a new committee.

Jazz in the Garden


It wasn't hot but it didn't rain on Saturday when the Memorial Hall Committee held their Annual 'Jazz in the Garden'.

An enthusiastic crowd arrived with picnics to listen and dance to the Ad Hoc Jazz Band and their two singers  who were as usual excellent. They are all now like old friends, they have visited Henley so often! There were strawberries and cream and fizz on the tables and a wonderful rainbow was in the sky above. The evening finished with a short but lively fireworks display. Every one seemed to have a very jolly time and hardly noticed the cool weather.

Many thanks to John Earle and Son and to Lodders who yet again sponsored the event. Thanks also to those who helped in the pouring rain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday setting up and putting everything away again and in any other way.

The next event in the Memorial Hall's centenary year will be the Gala Dinner on October 24th at the Hall. Enquiries to Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge 01564 794987 or 01564 793539

Marijana Bainbridge reporting

Photos by Alan Robson


Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

How to get stuck in the loo!

Below are a few comments/reviews about a recently published book.

Thanks for the book. I took it to the loo and almost didn't come out again. Matthew Moss, Private Secretary to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge.

Started reading your book yesterday. Took the day off work today so that I could continue reading it. It is a fabulous, witty, no-nonsense, valuable piece of work and I am busy sending it to everyone I know. Matthew Sullivan, Carbon Advice Group Plc

This book uses language accessible to the general reader, tackles an extremely complex area of policy with simple clarity, and cuts through the prevailing rhetoric and ignorance about these matters. What more could you want? Centre for Journalism.

So much uninformed rhetoric is thrown about on climate change and energy systems that there is an urgent need for an authoritative study setting out just what can and cannot realistically be done to achieve sustainable energy. This hugely important book fills that gap both technically and highly readably. It should be a 'must read' not only at home and in industry but on each Government Minister's desk, and not just in the UK.  Michael Meacher MP, Former Environment Minister.

bookIt's a rare event, but every once in a while a book comes along that is so good, so comprehensive that it becomes 'the bible' for a discipline and a standard reference. I predict David MacKay's book, Sustainable Energy - without the hot air, will be one of those. Chris Tweed, Building Research Establishment, Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment

First response: brilliant. Second response: absolutely brilliant…… ... Third bit

I could quote more but if you are still not convinced that this is an entertaining, highly readable and informative ‘must read’ book go to for more reviews or to download a free copy. The 10Mb low resolution PDF is perfectly clear despite the description ‘low resolution’

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

Henley Inner Wheel Plaque Replaced


To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation in 2003, the Inner Wheel of Henley-in-Arden donated a bench for the newly landscaped riverlands walk along the Alne.

The original plaque on the bench had become damaged, very tarnished and almost illegible. This has now been replaced by a more substantial brass plaque.

Our picture shows Margaret Twigg holding the new plaque. Margaret was president of the club when the bench was initially installed.


'bellacappelli' Opens in the High Street

photoA new Italian Hair Salon, bellacappelli, has opened in the premises on the High Street which used to be occupied by David Cox.

Karim Almousaws, the head stylist, has refitted the interior prior to opening this week and has greatly improved the interior.

Karim trained as an italian barber and is qualified to international standards with the WAHL Academy.

Gents haircut £10, Pensioners £6 and Children's £6. To make an appointment call 01564 795031. Opening hours Monday 10am to 4pm. Tuesday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Saturday 8.30am to 5.30pm.

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Town Website at:

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


Henley Society Outing - The Stratford Walk

Thursday 2nd July 2009

Lesley Eastward organised this in conjunction with Stratford Town Walks for the Society members and friends as she knew how interesting they are and she knew Barbara, one of the guides, personally. We were not disappointed.

photoLiving so near to Stratford we all thought we knew everything there was to know about it but how mistaken we were. Barbara had a fund of interesting facts about the characters who inhabited it in the past, about the buildings and the origins of many of our current sayings. Many of the stories are about The Royal Shakespeare Theatre and William Shakespeare’s family and friends; these were fleshed out by interesting snippets of information, some humorous, some fascinating and some scandalous.

We realised that we had never really looked at Stratford’s historic buildings properly but our guide pointed out architectural features we’d never noticed, particularly above the frontages. She knew which buildings were Victorian fakes, made to look Elizabethan and she could tell us the history of many others. She had old photographs and pictures to show us how Stratford used to look.

Our language has many quirky expressions and she could tell us how some of them originated. It was such an interesting experience that I do not wish to steal her stories as I can thoroughly recommend it to you if you haven’t already done a Stratford Walk.

photoAs always Lesley planned the visit meticulously, even advising us to wear sunhats and take water to combat the excessive heat and humidity of our short foray into summer. We had met at the attractive Swan Fountain in the Bancroft Gardens and everyone remarked on the stark modern design of the gardens so out of keeping with an historic market town. We also remarked on the paucity of colour in the flower gardens. I asked Barbara if she knew what had happened to the historic lamp standards which used to line Waterside and which had been given as a gift to the people of Stratford from many European cities. She assured us they were in storage and we all expressed a desire to see them restored.

Once we were away from the Bancroft Gardens, the colours and charms of our lovely town were still there to delight us.

Pam Kearsley - Chairman reporting

White Swan reopens after Impressive Refit


The Management of the White Swan welcomes the High Bailiff and his party

On Tuesday evening, the White Swan reopened after a major refurbishment. The High Bailiff told a very witty story about an Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman before cutting the ribbon and declaring the premises reopen.

The bar area has been transformed with outstanding  new decor and now rivals any of the well known fine dining restaurants in South Warwickshire. Many Henley residents attended the opening and enjoyed a most convivial evening. The universal opinion was that the management had achieved a most remarkable transformation.

Henley has yet another high quality establishment, surely making it the dining capital of the West Midlands region.


Photos Bill Leech

The History of The White Swan Hotel

Eat, Sleep and Drink at The White Swan Hotel in Henley-in-Arden. This privately owned boutique hotel boasts a large main bar that elegantly combines exposed original masonry and timbers with contemporary modern furnishings; a large function room where live music can often be found and eight bedrooms, four of which are over 500 years old! In addition to the menu available in the bar, a separate restaurant will be opened in the old Inn during September 2009. Throughout this year the hotel will be undergoing phased, unobtrusive renovation of which the main bar is already completed.
When Henry III achieved victory at the Battle of Evesham (1265) the De Montford's castle at Beaudesert was destroyed because of the leading part they played in the revolt against the king. The village of Henley In Arden rose from the ruins. The castle site is marked today only by a large mound which lies near to the Church of St Nicholas, across the road from this hotel and some of the stones you will see in the main bar are believed to have once formed part of the castle walls.
An Inn has existed on this site since 1352 and The White Swan was first documented in 1358! The current White Swan was erected between 1550 and 1565. In August 1608 the tenant was a Mr Thomas Kirby and it was described as “A Inn called the Swan with barns and stables, orchards and courtyards”.
The poet William Shenstone (1714-1763) was inspired by the White Swan to write his famous lines :

“Whoever has travelled life’s dull round, Wherever his stages may have been, May sigh to think he still has found, the warmest welcome at an inn”.

Sometime after Shenstone wrote  ‘the warmest welcome at an Inn.’ The current fireplace was installed and you can still see the inscription of the year 1735 on it today.
During the time of stagecoaches the White Swan was a well known 30 mile staging post on the route from Lichfield to London. The White Swan was in the limelight again in 1776 when it was frequented by Samuel Johnson (born in Lichfield in 1709) who is said to have spent time here working on one of the most influential versions of the English Dictionary.
The ghost of an 18 year old lady of the night named Virginia Black used to haunt the corridor outside bedroom 17. She was said to have died after falling down the stairs in a quarrel with a gentleman in 1845. In 1855 the lawn to the rear of the hotel was a Bowling Green and in 1908 the adjacent walk through to the railway was created. The courtyard of the White Swan was used for public hangings and from 1845 to 1903; the local court was held at the Inn. When standing in the function room, to the right of the bar you will see a plaque showing the location of the hanging post!
During Georgian times it was the vogue to cover timbering, but during renovation works in 1935 (see picture in bar), the plaster was removed to reveal the original middle 16th century beams. More recently the actor Michael Elphick became the landlord of the White Swan. He will be best remembered for his role as Ken Boon in the hit series “Boon” (1986). He died tragically at the early age of 55.
Even today the White Swan still attracts celebrities with such stars such as John Lodge of the Moody Blues, Chris Tarant, Beverly Callard of Coronation Street and Paul DaVinci who sang the hit “Sugar Baby Love” with the Rubettes, frequenting the hotel.
After being under corporate ownership for the past sixty years, the hotel is today privately owned and is managed by Linda, Ian, Sarah and Steve and a team of passionate individuals who are always delighted to receive your feedback.

Steve Bennett reporting


Sports Awards Event at Warwickshire College

Students from Warwickshire College recently celebrated with members of staff and family at the third Annual Sports Awards Evening.


Many students received trophies and commendations for both sporting and academic achievement. Among the notable achievements was the Team of the Year award - the winning team had finished an impressive third in the British Colleges Tennis Championships this year. Oliver Sellers, Charlie Griffin, Tom Holmes, Chris Hinds and Peter MacDonald are pictured below with local coach, Neil Supperstone.


Kim Lacy, pictured above right, was pleased to receive the Volunteer of the year award, sponsored by Voluntary Action Stratford on Avon District and presented by Clarissa Roberts.

Henley Churches Alive & Well in August

photoSUNDAY AFTERNOON TEA in aid of the Church and its Charities. Please join us for an afternoon tea in the Church Hall from 2.30 – 5.00 pm on Sunday 9th August and help raise funds for the Church and its charities.

Ramble with the Rumbles – Anne and Robin will also lead a walk on 9th August starting at 1.45pm from the Church Hall and returning to the Hall by about 3.30pm in time to enjoy the refreshments. Call Robin on 794424 for more information.

There’s time to fiesta in Sabadell amidst the serious business of being an Anglican vicar in Spain. St. John’s church financially supports Rev Sue Woodcock there, helping her church to demonstrate practical Christianity in responding to the acute needs around her, including providing over 80 immigrant families a week with bags of food. A few of the St John’s congregation are joining the Sabadell church to fiesta with them in September and support them in their work.

Sunday 13th September – Sponsored Walk, time to dust off your walking shoes and get support from your family and friends. Further details available soon!

Friday 16th October – Quiz Night in the Church Hall Teams of 4 are invited from organisations in the town, groups of friends and/or families to join us. £6 per person to include Ploughman’s Supper. Tickets from Diane Bayley (01789 488209).

Sunday Services all at 11.00am are: 2nd – Miss Paddy Beardsall; 9th – Revd Robert J. Powell (Sacrament); 16th – Mr Telfryn Pritchard; 23rd – RevdCaroline Homan; 30th – Revd Frank Himsworth. The Baby Group meets every Monday 10.30am

Click here to read the latest Parish Church Newsletter

John Pudney - Religious Affairs Correspondent


Why Not  Join The Adventure?

The 1st Henley and Wootton Scouts needs someone just like you to join us as a Cub Leader.

Our dynamic troop has an opportunity for a new Cub Leader to join the experienced team. Cubs meet in term time on Monday evenings  at the Scout Hut, Henley Sports and Social Club.
The Henley and Wootton troop consists of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from the age of 6 to 14. Cubs are aged from 8 to 10 and a half and are a thriving and growing section of our Scout troop. The new leader will be well supported by the other cub leaders and the Scout committee. You will have the opportunity to undertake many exciting activities with an emphasis on adventure and group activities.
For more details please contact Sally Morgan tel: 01564 793645 or 07752 547558.   Alternatively John Johnson tel: 01564 792073

Gold Award for Warwickshire Clubs for Young People

photoWarwickshire Clubs for Young People (WCYP) is proud to announce that they have been awarded the ‘Warwickshire Award for Involvement’. The award is separated into three standards: bronze, silver and gold and WCYP has achieved the top level gold award. The award is about how voluntary youth organisations in Warwickshire engage young people in the day-to-day running of their events and activities.

WCYP Youth Development Officer Graham Norman said: “As a matter of course, WCYP involve young people in the planning, preparation, delivery and evaluation of our events. We are also trailing a ‘by invitation only’ social networking site whereby we seek young peoples’ honest views of our residential courses and other activities. We listen hard to what they tell us and make further improvements to our activities as a result. Also, young people who have achieved their ‘Community Sport Leaders Award’ go on to organise major tournaments and other events for themselves under the guidance of WCYP.

“We are very proud to have been recognised with this award and will continue to work closely with all of our club leaders and their young club members to make sure that we deliver the highest possible level of youth work in Warwickshire.”

For more information on WCYP and the activities they offer, please contact the county office on 01926 425191, visit the website at: or e-mail: WCYP is entirely reliant on grants and donations to deliver its valuable work. If you would like to help please visit our website or contact the county office.

Henley First for Dog Fouling Fixed Penalty

pictureStratford-on-Avon District Council has recently issued the first Dog Fouling Fixed Penalty Notice following the introduction of new laws in April to force people to clean up after their dogs. This notice was issued in Henley.

The notice, which has cost the errant dog owner a fee of £75, was issued after a member of the public spotted a man allowing his dog to foul the pavement near to their house and then walk away without clearing it up. The complainant was happy to provide evidence to council staff and to sign an official witness statement detailing what happened.

“All dog owners need to be aware that they have a responsibility to clean up after their dogs and the District Council will seek to issue fixed penalty notices whenever we can prove that an offence has been committed. We will not issue warnings in future. It is a disgusting and objectionable habit to let a dog foul without cleaning up afterwards and it’s clear that the general public in this district want us to deal with this.” says Steve Haresnape, Environmental Protection Manager.

“If anyone sees this happen please contact us at 01789 260839; we will do all that we can to take action. The message from this case is that the District Council does not have to rely solely on evidence from its own staff to take action. We will only issue these notices when we are convinced that we have a cast iron case and, if the receiver of the notice does not pay their £75 fee within 14 days, we will prosecute. If we do have to prosecute the fine could be as much as £1000.”


This Scouting Crazy Canoe Challenge Adventure on the River Wye

photoLast weekend the 1st Henley and Wootton Scouts took on the "Cheeky Monkey’s Marathon Challenge"  to raise funds for the national charity - Children with Leukaemia. Their task was to canoe 26km down the River Wye.

The scouts and their leaders, assisted by instructors from Stratford Canoe and Kayak Club, started on Saturday with a 17 km section of the river through the ‘Roaring Rapids’ at Symonds Yat and then on to a camp site where they pitched camp for the night in the Forest of Dean.  On Sunday they successfully completed the remaining 9km to finish with a well earned ice cream at Redbrook. The river was swollen, following  torrential rainfall  in the week before, but this didn't dampen their spirits and  their training and supervision ensured that all 21 Scouts, aged 10 to 14, completed the course safely, if not tired and a little wet!   

The event gave the scouts an exciting  and demanding  adventure weekend and at the same time they were able to raise  well over £1000 for Children with Leukaemia. The scout leaders added that the weekend would not have been possible without the support of  Stratford Canoe and Kayak Club who provided their time and all the  equipment  free of charge.

 John Johnson reporting

New Indian Restaurant Opens

NayaThis month saw the launch of a new Indian dining experience in the restaurant premises next to the Heritage Centre.

Naya opened on 6th of July offering quality Asian cuisine with a difference to Henley-in-Arden's food enthusiasts. Naya restaurant presents a taste of India allowing one to savour its clever blend of exotic spices, delicate herbs, meats and vegetables.

Both traditional styles of cooking and modern finesse are celebrated within the menu, allowing Naya to offer classic dishes to satisfy and innovative meals to delight. The authentic flavours of the dishes have been achieved through the use of the finest ingredients and cooking techniques.

The staff are exceptionally friendly and professional. Reports from eight of our correspondents have all been very positive and all speak very highly of the dining experience. You can view their extensive menu on their website.

Henley-in-Arden's Information Page

Click on the picture to view

Bookmark it or use it as your Home page.


John Garner's Business Column

Sugar – or spice?

John GarnerIn the euphoria of England beating Australia in the Test Match (yes!) you may have overlooked the news that  Alan Sugar has just taken his seat in the Lords.

He is now Baron Sugar of Clapton. For someone of my age (and his) the name Clapton can only mean the great Eric, but let’s not get picky even though Eric only has a CBE.

Apparently, when Sugar shook hands with the Lord Speaker Baroness Hayman at the end of the ceremony the usual cheer of support was muted as opposition peers stayed silent. He insists he is "politically neutral" and his role is merely advisory, but he did go and take his seat on the Labour benches. Being a friend of Gordon has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Leaving aside the politics, I’m interested in whether they will run ”The Apprentice” again on the BBC. I say this not because there may be a political conflict of interest but for another reason.

The candidates address him as Sir Alan at every opportunity (“Yes Sralan.” “No Sralan”), rather too often in my view. Will they now have to address him as “My Lord”?  Somehow it doesn’t have the same ring to it.

John Garner - Business Correspondent

Warnings from Trading Standards

HMRC Tax Refund
The Trading Standards Service warns consumers that the bogus email that purports to come from HMRC regarding a "tax refund notification" is still doing the rounds. Recipients are asked to click a link & complete the details requested. Once completed the phishers have all the information they need to steal your identity & money.

HMRC have been contacted and advised that they would never contact people in this way. Under no circumstances must recipients respond to the email or click on any links it might contain or risk losing personal or financial information or exposing the PC to malware. If you receive such an email, delete it.

Business Alerts
Trading Standards is warning Farmers to be on their guard from bogus telephone calls from the police. A farmer received a call from someone purporting to be a PCSO trying to raise money to run a "youth event". The farmer was asked for £150 donation. When challenged the caller rang off.

Advice on dealing with unexpected callers

  • Don’t provide any personal or financial information to callers you don’t know and trust.
  • Challenge caller’s claims – ask for their name and their company name and if you wish to speak to them, phone them back via a publicly listed telephone number.
  • If you don’t wish to speak to them, put the phone down.
  • To reduce the number of unwanted telephone sales calls you receive register with the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707.
  • If the caller is persistent, seek advice from your phone provider (e.g. BT).
  • If you are receiving abusive, threatening or obscene calls, malicious or otherwise distressing to you, then report them to the police.

The Trading Standards Service is warning people to be alert to an email scam offering employment as a Mystery Shopper. The email recipient is asked to complete personal details and email to Gertrude@msshop- It is likely that they will then be asked to send money to the company before a 'contract' is signed, similar to home working scams.

The email is from a GERTRUDE HILTON - the email text is shown below.

Thank you for your interest in the Mystery Shopper position.
Our company conducts surveys and evaluates other companies in order to help them achieve their performance goals.
We offer an integrated suite of business solutions that enables corporations to achieve tangible results in the marketplace.

We get hired by other companies and act like customers to find out how they are handling their services in relation to their customers.
Mystery Shopping is the most accurate and reliable tool a business can use to gather information regarding their actual customer service performance at the moment of truth.
This moment of truth is not when the staff is on their best behaviour because the boss is around - it is when they interact with customers during their normal daily routines.

This is where you, the Mystery Shopper, come in.
You pose as an ordinary customer and provide feedback of both factual observations (ex...the floor was free of debris) and your own opinions (ex...I felt that the temperature in the establishment was too cold).

Mystery Shoppers must remain anonymous. You must act as a regular customer and be careful not to do anything that would reveal you as a shopper.
An inexperienced shopper could tip off the staff to his/her identity by asking for the manager's name for no clear or appropriate reason.
If you are going to be bringing someone with you on the shop, make sure you educate them about the process as well.
Beware that even whispers can be overheard by employees. If anyone notices you are a shopper,
you can bet that word will quickly spread around the establishment and you will get some of the best customer service in town.

No company can afford to have a gap between the promise of quality and its actual delivery, that's why leading corporations look to us,the nation's premiere mystery shopping and customer experience measurement company.

In order for a business to effectively compete in today's economy, they must be prepared to meet the challenge of increasing sales by:
* Retaining existing customers
* Acquiring new customers
* Creating word-of-mouth advocacy
* Improving customer loyalty

Once we have a contract to do so, you would be directed to the company or outlet, and you would be given
the funds you need to do the job (either purchase merchandise or require services), after which you would write a detailed report of your experience.

Examples of details you would forward to us are:
1) How long does it take to get served.
2) Politeness of the attendant.
3) Customer service professionalism.
4) Sometimes you might be required to upset the attendant, to see how they deal with difficult clients.

Then we turn the information over to the company executives and they will carry out their own duties in improving their services.
Most companies employ our assistance when people complain about their services, or when they feel there is a need for them to improve upon their customer service.
Our company partners with you to implement proven mystery shop auditing and surveying strategies that provide critical information about customer experiences.

You will be paid a commission of $100 for every duty you carry out, and bonus on your transportation allowance.
Your task will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide variety of restaurants, retail stores, casinos, shopping malls, banks and hotels in your area.

Qualities of a good Mystery Shopper:
* Is 21 years of age or older
* Loves to go shopping
* Is fair and objective
* Is very observant and able to focus on details
* Is fairly intelligent
* Has patience
* Is detail oriented
* Is practical
* Types well
* Is trustworthy
* Explains well in writing
* Is discreet
* Loves to learn
* Handles deadlines
* Has full internet access (at home or at work)

Mystery Shopping is fun and exciting but also must be approached very seriously and is definitely not for everyone.

If you are interested in applying for consideration as a Mystery Shopper do send in your information: Gertrude@msshop-
Full Name:
Zip Code:
Phone Number:

As soon as we receive your information we will add you to our database and we will look for locations in your area that needs to be evaluated.

The possition is only available for United States and United Kingdom.
Thank you,
Michael McDowell

Student Accommodation Scam
The Trading Standards Service
are warning people to be wary if they are advertising on the internet for lodgers for student houses/flats.

Replies to adverts are made by email, often by a person calling themselves 'Susan'. They say they will make the first rental payment by cheque and it will be an overpayment. You will be asked to forward the additional funds, usually by Western Union money transfer, to a third party, keeping a small commission for yourself. This is a Fund transfer scheme, a money–laundering scam that tempts you to use your bank account by offering a commission, or leaving you out of pocket when the cheque doesn't clear and you've already transferred funds!

Sample text from a scam email, note the poor use of English and poor grammar.

Issue out Cheque to you,also i want to alert you that my personal assistant will issue out an over payment cheque to you, After you might have gotten the Cheque, you will have to take it to your bank and have it deposited into your account for clearance and get back to me with the clearing date, and have the excess funds Sent to my Daughter Through her travelling Agent vai western union money transfer same day the Cheque clears your bank,the cheque was surposed to be in the travelling Agent name but he travelled to asia for a course ok.and you will have to deduct your money for the rent which s(£400,being payment for a month rent as advance payment.) and also keep £80 for your runing around and the excess funds goes to her nececssary up keeping before coming over for her studies.She will be coming down to your end as soon as payment is duly paid and the travelling agents recieves her money to enable her obtain her tickets and some other things ok.

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Stratford District Council

Laurence Marshall
Laurence Marshall
S Thirlwell
Stephen Thirlwell

Councillor Marshall Reports

No decision yet on Middle Quinton Eco-town

The locations of four new eco-towns have been announced today, Thursday 16 July, with the Government publishing the Planning Policy Statement: Eco-towns, as a supplement to PPS 1 Delivering Sustainable Developments.

The locations which have been assessed as having the potential for an eco-town are:

•Whitehill-Bordon - Hampshire
•St Austell (China Clay Communities) – Cornwall
•Rackheath – Norfolk
•North West Bicester - Oxfordshire

This current list does not include the Middle Quinton proposal in Warwickshire/Worcestershire and a number of people have assumed that because of its exclusion at this stage the proposal has been rejected. The simple fact is that no decision has been taken on the Middle Quinton proposal by Government.

The Middle Quinton proposal is being considered by the independent panel who conducted the public examination into the revision of the Regional Spatial Strategy*. The Government assured the participants at the examination that no decision would be taken on Middle Quinton until the Secretary of State had considered the panel report.

The Location Decision Statement published by the Government today confirms this assurance and states the following in respect of Middle Quinton: ‘…no decision on this location will be made until after receipt of the report of the Examination Panel currently reviewing the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy.’

The report of the Examination Panel is expected to be submitted to the Secretary of State by the end of September, and it is still possible that Middle Quinton could be chosen as a potential eco-town location after that date.

Paul Lankester, Chief Executive, explained: ‘It is important that local people understand that the scheme at Middle Quinton is still being considered. Just because it is not in today’s announcement does not remove the possibility of development.’

New Quality of Life Score for Stratford District

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has achieved its Community Ambition - To improve quality of life locally so that by 2012 Stratford-on-Avon District is one of the top 10 places to live in the country.

Stratford-on-Avon District is now ranked 10th in the new Quality of Life Score, a rise of 6 places from the previous ranking in 2006.

National ranking
Local Amenities
National Environment

Council Leader Cllr Les Topham said: “This is another fantastic achievement for the District Council and this has been recognised by our residents in the recent Place Survey results with 92% of people satisfied with their home as a place to live and 88% of people in Stratford District were satisfied with their local area as a place to live. The challenge now is to try and build on these results and make sure people remain happy living here in Stratford District.”

The Quality of Life Score is based on a number of factors, as listed above, on a variety of component composite indicators including the deprivation score (IMD indexed to the England score), health score (average life expectancy indexed to the GB score), crime score (total offences indexed to the GB score), affordability score (house prices and income), prosperity score (average total income indexed to the GB score), local amenities and natural environment scores.

"Awards are a measure of success" says Laurence. ‘What gets measured gets done!’, that’s the old adage used in business circles and as your Conservative representatives we’re happy to subject Stratford on Avon District Council to any benchmark you care to name, that’s how we’ll keep on improving. Already nearly 90% of residents surveyed said that they were satisfied with the local area as a place to live and we like to think your Conservative controlled District Council has had a part to play in that statistic. We already achieve the highest satisfaction score within Warwickshire and continue to have one of the best records in this category. Political figures are forever being pilloried for blowing their own trumpet, but we’re happy to stand on our record, allowing others to judge what we’ve done. Here are some of the recent achievements, awarded by outside bodies, plotted against a timeline."

2007 Council re-assessed as ‘good’ under CPA – local Conservative councillors mark this as a starting point to ‘achieving excellence’.

September 2008 – winner of The Times 'Best Councils to Work For' award - Council ranks in the top 25 Councils to work for against a profile of practices, pay and benefits.

January 2009 - awarded Investors in Excellence confirming our business modeling and customer results compare favourably with the best in class in the private, public and voluntary sectors.

March 2009 - Commended at the Royal Town Planning Institute Planning Awards (2008) for the ‘Urban Design Framework for World Class Stratford-upon-Avon’.

March 2009 - Beacon Status is bestowed on us for our work in respect of Digital Inclusion and the development of the Virtual District programme part one and part two .

"All of this has been achieved with minimum staffing levels, low council tax and one of the lowest spending authorities nationally, as outlined in the Value for Money review" says Laurence. "As your local representatives, working on your behalf, we’re proud of how far we’ve come, but this is just the beginning; real success is built over time, which is why we’re committed to being the best in the future, by anyone’s measure."

District Council announces hardship rate relief for businesses

Financial support is being offered by Stratford-on-Avon District Council to businesses in the district affected by the current economic downturn.

The District Council has received £50,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) to support economic and enterprise issues arising from the economic down turn and £10,000 has been allocated from this to support hardship rate relief applications.  This additional funding will enable the District Council to provide financial support to a greater number of local businesses currently suffering as a result of the economic downturn.

“There are a significant number of small businesses across the district and many of these have been particularly affected by a reduction in trade.  Last year the widening impact of the economic downturn resulted in an increase in hardship rate relief applications to the District Council and this has meant that the current budget is no longer large enough to enable the District Council to maximise its support for businesses,” says Cllr Mike Brain, Community Services Portfolio.

“The financial plight of many businesses is further apparent when looking at the number becoming insolvent.   Faced with the prospect of no immediate upturn in the economy, the situation for businesses is unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future, so the number of applications for hardship relief is likely to continue to rise during the year.

“It is anticipated that this additional money will provide short term financial support for businesses who are struggling to remain solvent during this very difficult time. The more support the District Council can provide now, the better the prospects for businesses will be in the future.”   

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 at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to Diane Bayley at 6 Nightingale Close, Great Alne, B49 6PE. Email:

STRAWBERRY TEA on Thursday 23rd July at Alne House, Beaudesert Lane from 2.00 to 4.30 pm. Tickets £5 to include strawberries and cream, homemade cake and tea or coffee. Raffle and Card Stall. Tickets from Barbara Warmington Tel: 793640. Proceeds to St. John’s Church.

25th July Competition and Show Day. 2.00 – 5.00 pm entitled “Literally”. Prize giving by the High Bailiff at 4.30 pm.

HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY will be serving tea and cake in the Guildhall and/or Guildhall Gardens on Bank Holiday Monday 31st August between 2.30 and 4.30 pm to raise money for an information plaque for the Market Cross.

We are visiting the Jinny Ring Craft Centre on Tuesday 4th August. The coach will pick us up at the Market Cross at 10.30 am and there are some places left if anybody would like to join us. Please contact any W.I. member for details. Our President is hosting a Garden Party at 25 Brook End Drive on Saturday 15th August with tea and cake, Bring and Buy Stall and Raffle from 2.30 to 5.00 pm.

HADS, with the kind permission of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, are to perform Peter Pan, “A Fantasy in Five Acts”, based on the children’s book by May Byron and adapted for an outdoor arena by the writer. From Wednesday the 19th to Saturday the 22nd of August 2009 in the Memorial Hall. “Bringing the outdoors indoors – bring a picnic and a bottle”.

ULLENHALLGARDENING CLUB – Tuesday 25th August in the Village Hall, Ullenhall, 7.45 for 8.00pm. Our speaker is Don Everitt “Autumn the Forgotten Season”. Visitors (£2) and new members always welcome.

HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY will be serving tea and cake in the Guildhall and/or Guildhall Gardens on Bank Holiday Monday 31st August between 2.30 and 4.30 pm to raise money for an Information Plaque for the Market Cross.

AUTUMN SHOW on Saturday 5th September organised jointly by Ullenhall Gardening Club and Ullenhall WI. Show schedules and further details available from Diane Bayley (01789 488209).

JOHNSONS’ CHARITY FAMILY FUN DAY – Sunday 20th September 12 noon – 6.00 pm. 2009 is a special year for Johnsons – 100 years in business and still very much a family firm! In celebration, we are hosting family fun day at our depot in support of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. Highlights include a vintage vehicle display, miniature steam railway, horse and cart rides, air rifle range, arts, crafts and farmers market stalls, and a whole host of other games, stalls and attractions. We’d be delighted if you would be able to join us.

Celebrating 100 years of the Memorial Hall on Saturday 24th October. Details from either Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge on 793539 day or 794987 evening.

Saturday 7th November  - 1st Henley and Wootton Scouts Annual Bonfire Night at The Scout Hut, Henley Sports and Social Ground.

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

Open to members (juniors and adults) of any standard. Full time coach. 7 courts open throughout the year mean that there is always a court available. No need to book. Club and American Tournaments held during summer months. League matches summer and winter. For details of membership please contact Judith Mathias 01564 792378
Evergreen ClubMeetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane at 2.15pm. 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.
Are 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
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 fields two teams in the Cotswold Hills League on a Saturday and two teams in friendly fixtures on Sundays from mid-April to mid-September. We are always on the lookout for new players, irrespective of age or ability. Anyone interested in joining our club should contact Kevin O'Brien on 01564 794903.
meets on Monday evenings from April to September at 6.30pm and plays until it is dark. The club is situated next to the Tennis Courts at the Sports and Social club ground on the A3400 just outside Henley. The Club welcomes new members, whether beginners or established players. For further information contact John Townson 01564 792407.
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.
There are still vacancies in some areas of Henley-in-Arden for NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Coordinators. If you are aware that your area is not covered or you are willing to be a coordinator, please contact Annette Walker on 792837
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Each month the Henley Focus contains plenty for everyone with local business advertisements, reviews and community information. The Henley Focus could be helping you to promote your business or service to local people at affordable prices and also offers a range of design services at very reasonable rates. The publication is very happy to promote community and charity events free of charge.
Please call Karen on 01564 774748 or email for more information.

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

From our own Correspondents

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WRCCThe Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC) helps and encourages people living in rural areas to develop their communities. By aiding locally led and run projects it also hopes to strengthen social ties within Warwickshire's villages and small towns.

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Air Ambulance

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