Henley NEWS Online

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

Campaigning for democracy in Henley

Edition 240 - 11th February 2010
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Gold 2009
on Thursdays

Media Coverage to be Debated by JPC

photoThe Curtain Shop Media Coverage will be discussed at a Special Meeting of the JPC to be held on Thursday evening (11th) and not Wednesday evening as originally advertised.

The Special Meeting is expected to focus on the Media Coverage by the BBC, The Stratford Herald and Henley NEWS Online and is expected to commence in public. There is a possibility that the public will be excluded from the main discussion if a majority of the councillors vote for a private session as they did at their previous meeting. However, debating media reports which are already in the public domain may mean that this procedure cannot legally be used.

The Agenda states a discussion. Consequently, no resolutions nor decisions can be made at this meeting because the agenda item does not say "and to agree actions". The rules are clearly stated in "The Good Councillor's Guide" page 43 and 44.

There will be an opportunity for members of the public to make 3 minute statements before the councillors' discussion commences.

What has been written and said recently about the JPC by the BBC, The Stratford Herald and Henley NEWS Online is no different to what is being written and said daily about life at Westminster. It is part of our democracy and freedom of expression as enshrined in the Humane Rights Act.

The often quoted, "Don't blame the messenger, blame the message", may be appropriate here.

Dear Editor

i have read the various reports regarding   the complaints of the "good people of henley"regarding the undemocratric goings on jpc meetings and sometimes it seems that various people have private agendas against the council full stop.

i have also lived and worked in henley for more than 20 years, in that time i have witnessed many changes and have no objection to colours of shop fronts, many objections like certain groups being able to partition off open gardens use the " lords waste" when it benifits them and disown it when it doesn`t most of those are the great and the good of henley.

Where were the good when the Henley in Bloom started all those years ago oh yes i believe that was Les and Carsina and some other hardy souls, the Xmas Lights thats also down to les and the guys he ropes in brian jackson,brian westmacott and others, who walks the town and notes repairs that require patching because of vandalism and arranges to be made good it`s les of course,who`s that removing weeds and rubbish from around the school entrances why it`s carsina, if the people who compain about  two of the gold nuggets and there are a few more but not many and they decide to throw in the towel Henley will be a sad place to be. and yes carsina may be fiery and les stubborn but both have hearts of gold and henley running through their veins.

Print it if you like though i doubt YOU will

Malcolm Wright  

Criticism is easy and comes fast and furious from those who may not understand the issue in question, or are motivated by other influences and generally comes from those who are absent from meaningful community work.

The issue of the curtain shop is, once again, an example of easy criticism jumped upon by the Editor and John Latham. The real problem is at the beginning of the shop’s signage ambitions and seeking, so it seems, an opinion from a member of the Court Leet. My understanding is that no objections were raised, but more importantly did not caution the tenant about conservation area sensitivity and consequent planning obligations. That is the cause of the unrest.

Public interest is welcome, but compared with the Stratford Herald, Henley News overstates the attendance at the Parish Council meeting by 40%, although this is its usual exaggeration as can be remembered from the campaign to fell the commemorative mulberry tree and the additional sports facility at Warwickshire College.

With such interest in the situation, I urge residents to write to Stratford on Avon District Council with their opinions, because it is that authority which will take any decision, not the Parish Council.

Parish Councillors work voluntarily and contribute much personal time to the community and to a greater extent than other town organisations. My hope is that Mrs Goodman will continue in her role, because for many years her dedication and commitment to the community is well known and appreciated. If it is lost because of this current tirade, she will be missed.

George Atkinson

I have long been aware and respected the work of Les and Carsina Goodman in our community. My reason for speaking at the open session of the JPC meeting was out of concern for what they have done to tarnish not only their own reputation but that of our town.

In addition I wanted to remonstrate with the previous speaker who talked about democracy in Henley. It is the opinion of many in the town that Henley News Online is our only opportunity of being part of the democratic process as we have a forum for proper debate, which is denied us by the JPC. Their decision to discuss the behaviour of Mrs Goodman in private being a prime example of why many are so concerned.

To counter Mr Atkinson's comment above, HNOL did not overstate the attendance at the JPC meeting nor was it guilty of exaggeration on the other occasions he mentions; it was, however, guilty of disagreeing with certain members of the JPC!

I also asked a question about how the spending of many thousands of pounds of Henley taxpayers' money being spent on marketing the town to attract tourists and traders could be reconciled with the language being used by Cllr Mrs Goodman to a new trader in the High Street. It would seem to make the investment a waste of council taxpayers' money. There has been no response to or even debate on this question either.

When none of these questions were answered by the JPC I felt, reluctantly, no other course of action was left to me but to send a complaint to the District Council Standards & Ethics Committee. If anyone on the JPC could have offered me any other solution to the problem of getting answers I would have been pleased to consider it.

John Latham

Both Cllrs Goodman do an amazing amount of good work in Henley through the JPC – liasing with local police, Henley Christmas Lights, etc. – and that should not be forgotten, but Carsina really has overstepped the mark on this occasion. My personal opinion is that she should make a full and open apology to the Curtain Shop, and in future focus her efforts on making Henley a better place to live and work which, surely, means giving these small businesses a break instead of subjecting them to small town politics.

Name withheld by request

I most certainly deplore the behaviour of some of certain members of the JPC over this matter and thank Henley News for bringing it to my attention.

It appears that some people believe that they can dictate what happens in Henley based on their personal taste and preferences. Where were they when Taylor Wimpey were looking to bulldoze the market and replace it with three storey social housing units? They were completely out of keeping with Henley on a massive scale?

Mike Faulkner

I lived in Henley for over 30 years, but moved away in 1984. I have always kept in touch with my old town by reading Henley Online and come back regularly to visit my mother and father's grave at St Nicholas Church.

I have to say that I am dismayed at the trouble a business man has caused by brightening up the High Street with a very tasteful frontage. There have been many, many changes to the shops over the years - no Hawkes butchers, an ugly One Shop, the list goes on, and I even remember how Henley residents moaned and groaned about the Chinese restaurant at the top of the High Street, the chip shop replacing Mr Huband's sweet and baccy shop. The curtain shop has replaced Gerald Smith's hardware shop. I think certain councillors need to thank their lucky stars that someone has filled a niche in the market and you haven't got another estate agent or hairdresser.

Henley has changed so much to the detrement of the town. Alleys and lanes disappearing to make way for over-priced houses. You can't please all of the people all of the time, but I do think this is not a good advertisement for what used to be a wonderful place!!

Pet Cotterell

With reference to the treatment of the Curtain Shop owners, I’d like to add two recent headlines from previous issues of Henley NEWS On-Line:

JPC Rejects CCTV Request from Henley Society – 11 June 2009
JPC Rejects working with Allotment Association – 6 Aug 2009

It seems to me that there may be an ongoing pattern happening here.  Who on earth do these people think they represent? Let them be assured that their behaviour does NOT represent my approach.

Maybe they should seek the views of the residents rather than express their personal views as it is us they are meant to represent and not merely express their own opinions and prejudices.  It’s thanks to Henley NEWS On-Line that we are aware of their behaviour.  Maybe the JPC can use the same vehicle to gain the views of the residents.

Bob Ayling

I was due to attend the meeting on Monday as it was something I found very interesting but I am glad I didn't waste my time after the farce that ensued! I am grateful that you are on the council so the residents of Henley are able to know the real story - keep up the good work!

Elaine Field

The Parish council need to resign now. It is time for a re-election due to the bullying and incompetence of this Parish Council. They can stand for re-election if they want to, but it will be up to the people to vote them in if they deserve it.  

This time the people of Henley need to be properly informed of when and where an election will take place and not allow the Parish council to post a small note on some obscure lamppost telling people of an election.

Name withheld by request

Henley NEWS Online's POLL

"Do you approve of the JPC's conduct over the Curtain Shop?"

Final Result for the poll





I have examined the computer records relating to the poll and find them to be well kept. There are no instances of multiple voting from a web site, other than from a very small number where two individuals share the same web site.  I am therefore satisfied that the count accurately reflects the voting which has taken place.

Dr Douglas Bridgewater
8 February 2010

Follow HENLEY NEWS ONLINE on twitter

TIC Evening at Naya


Peter Crathorne, Chairman of Henley War Memorial Trust

On Monday 8th February 59 enthusiastic and noisy diners gathered at Naya Restaurant to celebrate the excellent food and to raise funds for Henley Sports Pavilion. They enjoyed a three course meal and a glass of wine and in the process donated £700 to the pavilion development fund. As the great crowd of happy diners spilled out on to the bitterly cold High Street everyone was singing the praises of the restaurant, pleased with the knowledge that their part in the evening had given much needed support to Henley Sports Pavilion. Thanks to all who were so generous. As you can see from the picture below the building is in great need of restoration.

photoThe pavilion, built in the early 70s, was originally designed for the Henley Sports and Social Club. This was a partnership between the Football, Cricket, Tennis, Bowls and Shooting Clubs all of which used the playing fields. Over the years the Shooting, Tennis and Bowls Clubs set up their own independent club houses and the Sports and Social Club became unviable. This left the Cricket and the Football with a building they needed but could not afford. Without sufficient funds the pavilion deteriorated. The inside has been refurbished by the clubs but the exterior and surroundings of the building need urgent attention. This evening launched a huge money raising effort, which will last for a couple of years, to bring our pavilion into the 21st century.

In common with all charitable organisations the Henley-in-Arden War Memorial Trust has problems generating income. The property and lands managed by the Trust belong collectively to those who live in the town and are held in trust by the Official Custodian for Charities. During this year the Trust will be finding ways of persuading the residents to take a greater responsibility for these valuable resources. If you would like to make a contribution then contact Peter who will explain how your donation may be gift-aided for tax purposes. Members of affiliated clubs and societies who do this would see 80% of their contribution being returned to the club they nominate.


The wise men of Henley
The High Bailiff and friends
Peter Crathorne and Bailiff Ray Holding with friends
The Rotary Club of Henley-in-Arden

'Warwickshire Life' Compliments Henley

photo"The residents of Henley-in-Arden are justifiably proud of their small historic town" says Warwickshire Life in a feature article in this month's edition.

"The active Henley Society is bent on preserving its character and charm, while the mile long Tudor High Street is listed as a conservation area with more than 150 buildings of special historic and architectural interest.

"Each November the timber-framed Guild Hall plays host to the meeting of the ancient Court Leet, a relic of Henley’s feudal past, once concerned with the administration of justice in the Manor but now tasked with maintaining some of its buildings and Riverside Gardens and acting as guardian of its history and traditions.

"But while tradition is observed, this once sleepy town is slowly working to reinvent itself with a steady trickle of young and stylish businesses taking root."

Read the full article on their website

Real Ale Sales help wounded soldiers in Afghanistan


The Regimental Benevolent Fund of a crack infantry regiment serving in Afghanistan is to benefit from the sales of real ale introduced by a brewery this Spring in memory of a south Warwickshire barman who worked just outside Henley.   

The cask and bottled beer called Hero will be introduced in tribute to a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, Norfolk Regiment whose First World War story is told in a book called 'Not Quite the Gentleman' (Original Writing, Dublin Ltd) written by Dale le Vack, former news editor of the Stratford Herald, who was educated in Henley at Arden House Preparatory School. Frank W Clarke, a barman in the tap rooms of the Red Lion at Claverdon and the Crabmill in Preston Bagot in the 1950s and the 1960s, died in 1968 and his wartime romances and battlefield adventures are the subject of the book published this month.

It tells the unusual wartime story of the author’s grandfather who meets two beautiful women, one of whom dies and one who saves his life. Frank Clarke fought at the Battle of Mons and led a bayonet charge before being wounded and captured while trying to escape down the Edith Cavell network. The author’s cousin, Norwich landlord Dougie Clarke, persuaded his boss John Edwards, owner of Wolf Brewery in Besthorpe, Norfolk, to launch the new beer as a tribute to Frank Clarke and to today’s generation of infantry soldiers.

photoDale le Vack, pictured right at St Botolph's Church, Banningham, North Norfolk, said: “By drinking Hero in a pub or buying it at an off-licence store or supermarket, ordinary people can make a direct contribution financially to the well-being of some of our soldiers in Afghanistan.

“A percentage of sales at wholesale and retail points of sale will be donated to the Regimental Benevolent Fund of the Royal Anglian Regiment, the descendant unit of the Norfolk Regiment. The Norfolk Company of the Royal Anglian Regiment returns from a tour of Helmand Province in April and the soldiers will celebrate the launch of the beer and their return from the War Zone at a reception.”

John Edwards, proprietor of Wolf Brewery, said: “We have decided to donate £7 from each cask to the Fund which helps wounded soldiers and their families so people can express their appreciation of what these young soldiers are doing. Lt Colonel Tony Slater OBE, area secretary of the Royal Anglian Regiment, said: “This is an excellent project that seems to benefit everyone involved in it. The Fund is there for soldiers who fall on hard times.”

The book describes how, while under torture and in solitary confinement as a prisoner of the Germans, Clarke fights against encroaching insanity by detaching himself from reality and dreaming of his angling experiences in Ireland and Norfolk written in his diaries.  Although the book is a novel, many of the characters existed.   

Dale le Vack said, “There are still people living in Claverdon, Henley-in-Arden, Lowsonford and Preston Bagot who can remember “Nobby” Clarke behind the bar at the Red Lion and the Crabmill which were run by Jerry and Phyllis le Vack, my father and mother. He was one among many First World War veterans to be found at the Crab and the Lion playing darts and dominoes most evenings in the 50s and 60s.

“They all had stories to tell which at the time seemed unexceptional - but in a later era form a fading portrait of a generation that has now gone. The book is about a man who was a passionate fisherman and I have recreated his angling diaries in England and Ireland at the turn of the century - as a boy I used to go fishing with him on the Stratford canal and listen to his stories.”

One chapter takes Frank Clarke to Blackford Mill, Henley-in-Arden, where he catches a specimen trout. There are also vivid descriptions of the Stratford-upon-Avon canal at Yarningale Common before it was dredged and re-opened to narrow boats in the 1960s.

“He was an ardent diarist but lost the accounts of his early life, including war service and captivity as a prisoner-of-war, when his house on the Norfolk Broads was flooded in the 1930s.  A member of the family persuaded me to recreate the diary years 1889 to 1919.”

“It took me nearly three years and during that time I got to know about a man who otherwise would have remained just a shadow in my memory. It has been a fulfilling journey and I hope readers derive as much pleasure from reading 'Not Quite the Gentleman' as I did in writing it, especially those with an interest in the First World War and angling in the Edwardian era.”

Not Quite the Gentleman (Original Writing, Dublin) ISBN: 978-1-907179-28-0 (25 Euros).  The book is available from the author and also the publisher’s electronic bookshop and bookshops in Stratford.  It is also going to be available from Warwickshire County Library Service.


The 1st Battalion Norfolk Regiment Skill-at-Arms team (Bayonet) pictured in 1911. Frank W Clarke is centre of the back row.

Brian and Sue Westmacott have kindly agreed to stock some books
and a donation from each sale will go to the Regimental Benevolent Fund.

Umberslade Farm Park opens for children

photoTwo young graduates of a leading university college in agricultural and rural studies re-launched an open farm in Warwickshire last week only six months after the scare over the E-coli virus brought the sector to a halt when dozens of children were taken to hospital seriously ill.

Oliver Muntz and Matt Porter, who studied together at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire and are both still in their early 20s, open for business at half-term (February 13th) on 30-acres of the Umberslade Estate at Tanworth-in-Arden. They expect hundreds of visitors in the first week. Rebranded as Umberslade Farm Park, the new venture will capitalise on the success of the former Children’s Farm on the Estate which closed down last April when its manager retired. Over a period of 20 years the farm became a leading rural attraction in the Midlands receiving nearly 60,000 visitors in its best year, most of them children – and many from schools across the region.

Several open farms were crippled last September when dozens of people, including many children, were diagnosed with the 0157 strain of E-coli, and as a result had to temporarily close on the basis of advice from the Health Protection Agency. All the farms have re-opened. The Health Protection Agency together with the Local Environmental Health department advise that guidelines have not changed and that the risk of infection can be prevented by following common sense everyday hand hygiene measures.

pictureMatt Porter said: “It’s a business risk, of course, to take on and re-open the Farm Park so soon after the E-Coli outbreak but we decided that what some people might see as a threat should be turned into an opportunity to educate. We have liaised with teachers and educational advisers and the widespread view is that centres such as ours, if well run, are an extremely useful facility across the curriculum. We have no doubt that schools in the Midlands will continue to support us. Running warm water basins have been renewed and added to at points around the farm and during their classroom sessions the youngsters will learn why it is important for them to wash their hands after touching an animal. It is obviously something we can count on parents and teachers to support us in doing. We feel confident the risk of children contracting E-coli after visiting Umberslade Farm Park can be eliminated through stringent hygiene measures being incorporated into the educational process while the youngsters are here.”

“It is part of the growing up process - and important in all-round education - that children should have contact with farm animals and be able to touch them. All that is acceptable if it happens in a totally safe and hygienic environment, enabling parents and teachers to allow their youngsters to enjoy the fun and have an educational experience.”

The two graduates have created an ambitious long-term business plan for the ongoing diversification of Umberslade Estate, which several generations of the Muntz family have farmed since the early 19th century. The plan, which will be rolled out over five years, is for the farming side of the family business - run by Edward Muntz - to co-exist profitably alongside what will develop into a top regional centre incorporating the Farm Park and a venue for weddings, parties and corporate events.

photoOliver Muntz said: “My aunt ran a highly successful children’s farm here for more than 20 years which was enjoyed by tens of thousands of families and school children.  The family accepted our business plan which will build on what she created.”

“We will open to the general public at weekends and during school holidays and start the educational visits after this half-term.”

The new company has impetus from Rural Enterprise Grant funding and it has made use of recent months to refurbish the site with new attractions - and makeovers to the old ones. Mr Muntz continued, “Most activities will be undertaken in one of the many barns or farm buildings now being upgraded so visitors are not exposed to adverse weather. Popular activities will include bottle-feeding lambs, handling baby chicks, ferret racing, tractor and trailer rides and crop investigation walks - depending on the time of year. We have renewed the outdoor play area and installed new indoor activities as well as providing a Farmhouse Café for visitors.”

The farm animals, which feature a number of rare breeds, include a shire horse, a team of ponies, donkeys, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. Please visit for further information.

Our Phone Box - What Shall We Do With It?

In our last edition we reported that as residents of Henley we are now the proud owners of a red telephone box by the bus shelter at the southern end of the town. It was purchased from BT for only £1.

As the parish councillors have not decided what to do with it we asked our readers for their ideas. We have received the following suggestions:

It might be a bargain at £1 but if it then costs £100 to mend and many hundreds to move, it starts to look a bit dodgy. I'm sure there are better things to do with the money.

John Stott

The red phone box should never have been removed from outside the police station in Henley. BT should have adapted it to suit the surroundings. Considering the fuss made over the curtain shop, which is of passing importance, a town's phone box is part of a town's character.  Put it back where it belongs please. 

Molly Corfield, Tanworth Lane

Wouldn't it be a good idea to ask the local schools to participate? It's not often that the local children (primary and high school) get to have their views on what they would like in the town and this would be a good opportunity.
I think if the local kids get involved in something like this they are less likely to vandalise it (especially if they are commended for their efforts).

Maria Smith, Arden Auto-Val

I believe the Junior and Infant School has a garden for the pupils to grow veg etc. Why not move the phone box close to this garden and use it as a greenhouse for tomatoes, cucumbers or anything else?

If we could find a local handyperson (possibly a parent) who could make slight alterations to a couple of window panes, I will happily donate the cost of one or two self opening fittings.

Sue Osborne


Not the actual box


Air Quality in Henley

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has been monitoring air quality in the District for a number of years and trying to predict how it will change to ensure that we all have clean air to breathe.

The Government has set a number of air quality objectives and these are likely to be met in most parts of the District.

However there are some hot-spots in Stratford-upon-Avon, Henley-in-Arden and Studley where the air pollutant Nitrogen Dioxide, generated locally mostly by vehicle emissions, has been found to be above recommended levels.

These likely breaches had already led the Council to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Studley in 2006. A new AQMA, covering Stratford town, has just come into effect on 22nd January 2010 whilst the one covering Henley will follow shortly.

The Council has undertaken consultation with local residents, businesses and other interested parties to decide on the boundary of the Stratford AQMA. The final area chosen includes the entire town and some adjoining areas.

A more detailed assessment of the area will take place during the next year. This will allow the District Council and key partners such as Warwickshire County Council, local residents and local businesses to develop an action plan aimed at developing specific proposals to reduce pollution levels in the area.

Councillor Simon Jackson, Environment Portfolio Holder said: "The District Council will be taking positive steps to tackle an issue that has been identified as a possible problem. We will do as much as we can to manage air quality in the town and elsewhere, to protect the health of both residents and visitors and to ensure that pollution levels drop below the relevant objectives."

"Together with our key partners we will be starting work on an Action Plan as soon as possible. To help fund the measures identified in that Plan we will be seeking financial contributions from any proposed new developments, unless of course such developments can be shown to have a beneficial overall effect on air quality."

A map of the Stratford AQMA can be seen at the District Council’s Office in Church Street or on the Council’s website, in the A-Z section, under the heading of Air Quality, where more information is available.

Senior Environmental Health Officer writes to Henley NEWS Online

mapThe part of Henley experiencing air quality below the government’s recommended standards is centred on the High Street/Warwick Road junction and the problem is entirely due to traffic congestion in that part of the town. A public consultation of Henley residents and potentially interested parties in 2009 on the possible extent of the area to be declared as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) considered two options:

  1. Area comprising just the affected portion of the town
  2. Area including the majority of the town

Although respondents were evenly divided, the response rate was disappointingly low and little weight could therefore be given to the results.

Nevertheless, Option 1 was recommended for approval and the precise extent of the area will be ratified by the Council’s Management Team shortly. The AQMA will be declared by Council Order soon afterwards and a further, more detailed, assessment of the problem will then follow.

The Town Council and local residents or businesses will have the opportunity to comment and be involved in the subsequent Action Planning process to decide on the measures to implement to try and improve matters.

Nick Ellison - Stratford District Council

Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

Henley Palace

I was surprised to hear that the Bird-in-Hand pub had changed hands and although I must admit the atmosphere was not what it used to be before it became more a restaurant than a country pub, we have enjoyed many meals there in the past.

Much the same could be said of the Bell at Tanworth, the interior decoration of which is a pale grey imitation of how it used to look, which brings me to the outside of the Bird, sorry HENLEY PALACE at the Bird-in-Hand!

Thinking of the Curtain shop in Henley, have the proprietors of HENLEY PALACE asked for permission to have that enormous and atrocious sign plastered all over one of the windows upstairs, because if not - I OBJECT VERY STRONGLY INDEED.

The pub may not be a listed building but the outside of every building matters, especially if they were the country's pubs we knew and loved.

Molly Corfield, Tanworth Lane, dead opposite to the HENLEY PALACE at the Bird -in- Hand, Henley-in-Arden

Henley High School Making Good Progress

photoA recent Ofsted monitoring visit has reported that Henley High School is making Good Progress and has a capacity for sustained improvement in the future. Headteacher, Paul Wright pictured right, commented “We are really pleased with the outcome of the visit. The examination results in 2009 were the best the school has had. Ofsted has quite rightly identified the improvements that we have made”. Ofsted noted that there had been a very marked improvement in the academic performance of boys and that the gap between girls' and boys' attainment had closed significantly.

They praised the role of the Governing Body in supporting the school and concluded that “the outcomes and successes in addressing the issues from the previous inspection indicate that the school has good capacity to continue to improve” (Ofsted 2010).

The school remains heavily oversubscribed for next September and we hope that our learning community continues to thrive.

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


The Rector Writes

photoDear Friends,

We welcome Jim & Carol Fox to Henley in Arden, all the way from the USA!

Jim will be the Pastor at the Baptist Church for six months. You might not realise this but the four church communities in Henley, C of E, Baptist, Methodist and Roman Catholic work together; we offer different forms of worship but we also enjoy getting together from time to time. On 31st January we all got together for a service in St. Nicholas’ to mark the ending of the long season of Christmas (Yes, Christmas!), and now we are looking forward to getting together during Lent. The plan is to ‘Get to know Jesus better’ on Thursday evenings in March as part of marking the season of Lent. Does this interest you – getting to know Jesus better? Then join us! Keep the Thursday evenings free and watch out for more details of time and venue.

Whether we go to meetings and services or not, getting to know Jesus better is not an option for Christians – it’s a must. Being a Christian involves allowing the Spirit of God to shape our characters so that we become more Christ-like. It’s not just about believing in God and hoping to go to heaven one day; it’s about here and now allowing the creative and redeeming power of God to change us for the good. It’s about learning the hard skills of patience, understanding, mercy and forgiveness; it’s about self-control and gentleness when giving your opponent a black-eye seems so much more effective! It’s about hating evil, but hating no-one. It’s not easy but it is hugely rewarding. Why? Because you know you are doing what is right.

Sometimes it is argued that Christianity is too soft – turning the other cheek is a pleasant thought but it gets you no-where. Sometimes, it is argued, you have to be selfish and you have to crush your enemies. After all, all that gentle loving got Jesus crucified. Ah, yes...but then what happened? Come on, let’s get to know Jesus better!

John Ganjavi

Coup for Henley Cricket Club

photoHenley Cricket Club has secured a tremendous scoop by securing the services of the chairman of the England Test selectors for the Annual Dinner on March 27th. Geoff Miller, who has been involved with both selection panels that produced teams that won the Ashes in 2005 and 2009, is coming back to Henley to tell us first hand how it was done.

Geoff is acknowledged as one of the most accomplished after dinner speakers across the cricket world with a wealth of anecdotes that keeps sports lovers rocking with laughter. He is no stranger to Henley as he visited the club back in 1994 when just starting out on a new career having retired from Test cricket with England and County cricket with Derbyshire and Essex.

If you would like to attend the evening, which is at the Henley Golf and Country Club, the tickets are £25 for the meal and entertainment, then contact John Latham on or phone 01564 795239. Dress is smart casual for lads and posh frocks for the girls. There is a £15 concessionary rate for cricketers under 18.

Come and join us for a happy and fun occasion. Who knows, if you buy Geoff a beer, it might be your last chance to represent your country at the highest level at a sport you love.

John Latham - President Henley Cricket Club

Want a better working life?

Use your Blackberry or iPhone more!

photoLocal resident Adam Petford has recently moved back to his home town to start a new venture focusing on providing short, fun and interactive training sessions that will give Blackberry and iPhone users a unique and innovative alternative to muddling though, reading manuals, guides, tutorials etc

Having spent over 10 years designing and implementing various high profile communication systems, Adam has witnessed first hand the positive impact that Smartphones can have on a working environment and is passionate about bringing his experiences and knowledge to helping local businesses and users get more from their Blackberry and iPhone investments.

Adam told Henley NEWS Online, “2009 was a tough year for business. The reality is that a new economic world is being born & once it clears the painful birth stage the world will never be the same again. Users and  businesses that embrace mobile working, stay connected at all times, commit to faster sales cycles and social networking will thrive. Money loves speed in the modern world! This is where Smartphones really can enhance a business, they can literally offer the mobile office an all-in-one small, convenient device.

"Most people, if not all of us, have have brought a gadget and never had the time, desire or patience to read though the manual. Smartphones definitely fit into this category as much of the basic functionality can be learnt in minutes. Apple have spent millions on making their iPhone as intuitive as possible, the same could be said for Blackberry which is why our sessions are short and quite technically light. We focus as much on the user and  how they operate as the technology itself, which is critical to the overall success of Smartphones in business.

"It is important to remember Smartphones that are used without a good foundation of knowledge about their true capabilities are little more than expensive phones.

"Our sessions are very different to the traditional IT training approach; our goal is not to run though every little technical detail but to give you just the right amount of knowledge.  We want people to get involved and come away with a device that can really make a difference to their working life. We will be running our first pilot sessions on the 3rd & 4th of March at our Blythe Valley Business Offices."

To find out more about the sessions please visit our website at or you can contact Adam directly on 0800 112 3220

Regeneration Seminar

logoThis seminar is perfect for either/both your Parish councillors and for Town and Village Management Partnership members.
The main purpose of the “Introduction to Regeneration” is to help people from different backgrounds and perspectives understand what is actually meant by “regeneration”, particularly in terms of:
-      Why we need regeneration in the first place.
-      The history of regeneration, what has worked and what hasn’t in the past.
-      A model for delivering regeneration appropriate for  the current economic circumstances.
-      What constitutes regeneration “good practice”.
Attending this seminar will give attendees a strong position to work as a regeneration partnership or team. RegenWM is an excellent organisation here to help, advise and support regeneration in many ways. This could be invaluable for your Parish.

The seminar will take place on Monday 15th February 2010 at Globe House, Priory Road, Alcester, B49 5DZ starting at 4pm and finishing at 7pm.
PLACES ARE LIMITED – Full details of the seminar will follow to registered attendees

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

Council Tax after the next general election

By Christine Melsom of Isitfair

Labour is still wedded to CT. If they get back in again it is probable - indeed likely - that there will be a property revaluation. This could be disastrous for CT payers. Rather than push general taxation higher (to try to sort out the mess they have got the country into), they will dump as much as possible on to local government and let them take the blame.

The revaluation in Wales was trumpeted as being "revenue-neutral" i.e. the revaluation would not result in any more, or any less, CT being collected: it would just be a redistribution to make the whole thing "fairer". What they said was that 25% of CT payers would see an increase; 25% would see a decrease and 50% would be unaffected.

What actually happened was that the revaluation ALONE resulted in 9% more CT being demanded. Only 8% ended up paying less and 32% ended up having to pay more. Some had to pay a LOT more which is why they also had to bring in a "transitional relief" scheme where people who were bumped up several bands were bumped up one CT band per year until they ended up in what was considered to be the correct band.

If the same revaluation exercise here in England goes the way the revaluation went in Wales - and bearing in mind this government has a record of not learning from past mistakes - the majority of us would end up out of pocket.

And would they also do away with the capping regime?

The Conservatives
The Conservatives also are still wedded to CT. They have said that if they end up with a majority and form the next government any increase in CT - provided it is not more than 2.5% - will be reimbursed from general taxation for two years - meaning that CT payers will not see an increase in their bills for two years. They are selling this as a CT freeze for two years (which it really isn't) but what happens in the third year? Will we see an increase in CT of 5% (actually 5.0625% compounded) - plus whatever the councils think they can get away with in year three?

And - unless we have missed it - the Conservatives have said nothing about how the 2.5% will be calculated, but we understand that this "freeze deal" will apply to each individual precept (County Council, District Council, Police and Fire Authorities).

The Conservatives have also said they would not go ahead with a property revaluation for council tax purposes but that they would do away with the existing capping regime. They are in favour of the greater use of local referendums to help guide decisions. They claim they will make the local government funding settlement more transparent.

The Liberal Democrats
The Lib Dems still seem to favour a local income tax and/or a land-value tax. Even though they haven't any chance of becoming the party of government, they may have some influence if there is hung Parliament and if they cosy up to one or other of the two main parties in some cobbled-together coalition.

The others
And the fringe parties (Greens, UKIP and others - even the BNP) could have an influence on the make up of the next parliament if it is close-run thing between Labour and Conservative.

Town / Parish precepts
None of the parties has mentioned anything about correcting the anomaly that allows town / parish councils to increase their share of the council tax bill (their precept) by more than the cap that applies to other, higher authorities.

Being well aware that the cap does not apply to towns and parishes, a growing number of higher-level councils (County/District/Borough/City) are starting to off-load some of their non-statutory duties on to towns and parishes in their area – but keeping the money that they would have had to spend on these duties.

This off-loading has meant that many town and parish precepts have rocketed such that, in a growing number of cases, the amount demanded by the town/parish is as much as, or even more than, the amount demanded by the district/borough council.

In a Green paper in 2000, and in another document issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2002, the current government has admitted that this off-loading can also lead to double taxation in that householders can be charged twice for the same services.

So, even though the current government have been aware of this possible double-taxation business for 10 years, and have issued Green Papers and other reports about it, neither they, nor any of the other parties, has said anything about putting a stop to it.

Isitfair The Nationwide Campaign Calling For The Reform Of The Council Tax System.

Please visit

Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

Lions Overawed by Strong Service Pack

Birmingham Civil Service RFC 15 – Claverdon RFC 3

Penalties – Wyllie

photoClaverdon continued their league campaign with a trip over to Solihull to face an ever improving Civil Service side that had recently put 40 points on Chaddesley Corbett.

Claverdon were struck a major blow when top try scorer Johnson pulled out just before kick off after failing to shake off a hamstring strain. With the recent departure of captain Horswill to work commitments, Westmacott away travelling and regulars Knight, Edsall & Wenborn missing, Claverdon looked up against it. However, such strength of their squad this season saw welcome returns from Joyce, Gill & Visser as more than suitable replacements.

The first 10 minutes saw Claverdon show good aggressive tackling and running. Forwards and backs were carrying and recycling the ball well. After Claverdon gained good territory by way of a quick free kick by Smith, Carruthers’ strong running forced Service to give away a penalty within range. Wyllie duly stepped up to put the ball between the posts. 0-3 Claverdon. It came at a cost as Carruthers popped his shoulder and was replaced by Warren.

After this period of good play by the league leaders, Claverdon then fell off the pace and it was Civil Service who were now first to every ball and looked the more likely to score. Good tackling by full back Bennett and centre Noble kept the home side at bay. Everything that Service threw at them Claverdon seemed to repel and this solid defence is a key part as to why Claverdon are topping their table.

The half was played out with service on the ascendancy and Claverdon were grateful of half time to re-group and try and come out stronger in the 2nd period. 0-3 Half Time.

Service started the 2nd half in the same vain as they had ended the first period and their far heavier pack started to dominate the Claverdon pack at every scrum. It was from one of these scrums that Service fed the ball to the blind side and their winger kicked the ball deep in the Claverdon 22. Bennett could do no more than put the ball out. The resultant lineout saw Service catch and drive to go over in the corner from 5 yards out, conversion missed, 5-3.

With the wind now behind them Service used this with great effect and with good place kicking in behind wingers Wilding and Barton, Service were soon again camped in the Claverdon half. After Claverdon gave away a sloppy free kick Service fed the ball to the big number 4 who powered through 3 Claverdon defenders to score between the posts, converted, 12-3. This caused another blow for Claverdon with Gill suffering a head injury and being replaced by Williams.

Claverdon tried to dig deep with captain Skinner leading the vocals but the dominance of the Service pack meant that they struggled to build any platform for the Claverdon backs who were not seeing the amount of ball that they were used to.

Another cheap penalty given away by Claverdon saw Civil Service kick another 3 points and with it seal the points, 15-3 Final Score. This was Claverdon’s first defeat of the League campaign and one that they will have to learn a great deal from with the upcoming crucial league games.

Claverdon were simply outplayed in this game and as sometimes happens against Service were dictated to the way that Service wanted to play. They couldn’t play off their usually dominant scrums and lineouts and as a result the talented and skilful Claverdon backs didn’t have chance to play their expansive game.

Claverdon are back at home this Saturday to face Tenbury in the League. With Tenbury’s recent run of good form this will be a tough test for the league leaders.

Picture by Will Barnes showing Dave Carruthers with the ball.  He almost scored but suffered a shoulder injury in this tackle forcing him to retire from the game.

Report by Tom Johnson

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


Telephone Scams, Phishing Scams & Scam Mailings

logoPlease be aware of the following two telephone scams that have been reported to the service:

1. Telephone Scam
A consumer received a call from a 'representative' of BT, informing them that they were to be disconnected because of an unpaid bill. The caller demanded payment immediately of £31.00, or a cost of £118.00 would be charged to re-connect at a later date.

The caller was not put off when the consumer told them that they were not with BT but another company. The caller alleged BT is paid a percentage for line rental! The consumer asked the callers name - the reply from a very 'English' John Peacock with a very foreign accent - & phone number - 0800 0800 152.

The caller then offered to demonstrate that he was from BT and could disconnect the line. The caller told the consumer to hang up & then try phoning someone. The caller then alleged he would disconnect the phone line to prevent this. The phone line went dead - no engaged tone, nothing - until the caller phoned again.

The caller asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT. The consumer asked how payment was to be made & the caller requested credit card details, there & then. Fortunately the consumer replied that he thought this was a scam and had absolutely no intention of paying.

The consumer phoned the police to let them know; other people had also reported the scam.

The fact that the phone does go off would probably convince some people it is real. The caller cannot cut you off.

What the caller does is press the mute button on his phone which makes you think you have been cut off. What he is doing is holding the line open and he can still hear you.

All you have to do is hang up and do not try the phone again for at least 5 minutes.

The telephone exchange automatically disconnects the caller from you and you can then use your phone again.

If you do not do this and keep picking up the phone the caller will be able to hear what you are saying SO JUST END THE CALL AND DO NOT USE THE PHONE FOR 5 MINUTES.

2. Telephone Scam
The Ministry of Justice has been made aware of a scam where consumers are telephoned by people claiming to be from the government, Office of Fair Trading, a high street bank or a legitimate claims management company, suggesting that the consumer could receive payments, for example repayment of bank charges or other debts.

They are asked to provide personal information such as bank account details and make an upfront payment first, often by money transfer.

These callers have no connection with Ministry of Justice, OFT or other bona fide organisations and have tricked and harassed victims into handing over hundreds of pounds, only to find that the call was a scam and they’re now even further in debt.

The Ministry of Justice and the OFT would never contact consumers asking them for personal bank or similar details. We are therefore warning consumers not to pass on personal or financial details to such callers or to transfer money unless you are confident the company is legitimate. If you have already done so, contact your bank as soon as possible to stop or check any unauthorised transactions and report the incident to the police.

If you’re uncertain or worried contact Consumer Direct on 0845 040 506 or check the Claims Regulation website. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Scam Mailings
Please be aware that a scam letter from the EuroMillion Lottery International is again being received by residents in Warwickshire. If you receive any such mailings/letters from the above or winning Prize Draw notifications Trading Standards Advice is to ignore them and discard them.

The 5 rules below are always useful to consider:

  1. Never send money to anyone who says you’ve won a prize or the lottery
  2. Never give out your bank account details or other personal information to people you do not know.
  3. Never feel pressured to respond immediately
  4. Never send money in response to bogus psychic mailings.
  5. If something sounds too good to be true it probably is!

Computer “Phishing” Emails
Trading Standards regularly receive complaints from consumers about emails purporting to be from banks, building societies and government offices asking consumers to verify their customer details and divulge confidential pin numbers and passwords. Fraudsters copy the genuine bank websites and create replica sites.

I would very much like to hear of any scam mailings, phishing emails, and any other scams targeted at you, your family, friends and colleagues.

please send any information to:

Warwickshire County Council
Trading Standards Service
Old Budbrooke Road
CV35 7DP

Lisa Stirling - Senior Information Officer
Trading Standards Service
Tel Office: 01926 414075
Tel Mobile: 07500 993287

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

John GarnerAre you too old?

Legislation preventing age discrimination has been with us now for over three years. The default retirement age is 65 which means that employers can require employees to retire at the age of 65 or above without facing claims for unfair dismissal or age discrimination.  If employers want an employee to retire at 65 (or any date after they attain that age) they must give the employee at least 6 months notice.

A long-running case, known as the Heyday case, challenged the Government’s implementation of the European Directive requiring member states to legislate against age discrimination. The High Court ruled that the default retirement age remains lawful. It saw little point in extending age discrimination if this were merely to result in fewer jobs for both young and old.

That might seem to be the end of the matter except that the Government has brought forward its planned review of the default retirement age from 2011 to 2010.  It may increase it to 68 or 70 or even abolish it altogether.  We don’t know.

This appears to be an example on non-joined-up government.  On the one hand we are told we’ll have to work to a greater age in the future to get our pensions, on the other hand we can be forced to retire at 65.

Presumably something sensible will get agreed eventually but I might be too old to care by then…..

John Garner

As Time Passes

A group of 40 year-old men discuss where they should meet for dinner to celebrate having reached that age.

Finally they agree that they should meet at the Purple Parrot restaurant because the waitresses there have low cut blouses.

10 years later, at 50 years of age, the group meets again and once again they discuss where they should meet. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the Purple Parrot because the food there is very good and the wine selection is most excellent.

10 years later, at 60 years of age, the group meets again and once again they discuss where they should meet. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the Purple Parrot because they can eat there in peace and quiet and the restaurant is smoke free.

10 years later, at 70 years of age, the group meets again and once again they discuss where they should meet. Finally it is agreed that they should meet at the Purple Parrot because the restaurant is wheel chair accessible and  even has a lift.

10 years later, at 80 years of age, the group meets again and once again they discuss where they should meet. Finally it is agreed upon that they should meet at the Purple Parrot  that would be a great idea because they have never been there before.............

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Eco-Button - A Winner of Many Awards

photoI was given something called an ‘Eco-Button’ last week. Not knowing what it was, I had to put all my investigative skills into use and googled it. was the website for this contraption.

Basically, it is a large push button switch (illuminated) which you plug into your PC USB socket. Every time you leave your PC, you push this button and it puts the PC into standby. When you return, push any key and the PC springs back into life. This saves power and makes you more ‘green’. But there’s one extra feature in the software: on re-power a screen is displayed showing how much cash you have just saved and how that relates to CO2. You just have to enter the unit cost of your electricity, you can get this from your bill, and the software does the rest.

The website states a home PC user can save around £50 / year, while a SME business with 50 PCs can save £1200 / year (if they are put into standby for 2 hours a day). Larger companies even more.

2 hours a day seems a lot but consider: lunch 30 – 60 minutes, meetings 30 – 60 minutes, toilet calls 10 minutes each etc. I cannot substantiate these claims but putting your PC into standby when not in use is a good habit to get into. I really must get into the habit at work; at home it’s easy, I have to close the lid to stop the cats sleeping on the keyboard so I have changed the power settings to put it into standby when closed.

stand-byThe Eco Button has won many awards including the Energy Product/Service Award sponsored by the Energy Institute. Others can be seen on the following page

If you prefer not to buy one you can still put your PC into standby by clicking on standby (windows XP) or for VISTA, a similar symbol in the right hand column accessed from the start button (bottom left corner of screen).

Andy Langford - Make Henley Greener

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

Stratford District Council

Laurence Marshall
Laurence Marshall
S Thirlwell
Stephen Thirlwell

Studley and Henley Community Forum – Have Your Say

Studley Library will be the hot topic of discussion at the next Studley and Henley Community Forum meeting taking place on Thursday 11 February at Studley Village hall at 7.30pm.

Other items on the agenda include:

  • Local Policing update on the 3 priorities as chosen by residents at the last meeting – house burglaries, parking (Arden Road, Henley) and speeding in Kemps Green Lane
  • Support for carers
  • Helping Improve Health Services and
  • Local Transport Plan 3.

There’s also the usual questions and discussion from the floor and sharing information from other organisations. Do come along, join in and have your say.

If you have a specific concern or problem, then drop in to the local surgery from 7pm to 7.30pm where you will be able to speak to your local policing Safer NEIGHBOURHOODs Team, Councillors and Officers from Warwickshire County and Stratford-on-Avon District Councils. Residents can hear the latest on policing in their local area and officers from Warwickshire Police will feed back on issues raised at earlier surgeries.

Sergeant Bob Shaw, Team Leader for Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOODs Team said: “Your attendance and input at forums is essential in order for us to know and deal effectively with the issues causing concern in the local community.”

Community Forums are an interactive event enabling residents to learn about issues big and small affecting their area, get answers to questions and influence local decision-making. Anyone with a question about a local issue can go along and put it to officers from a range of organisations.

If you would like to suggest an issue for a future Community Forum meeting,
or get involved, please contact the WCC Stratford Area Office on 01789 290784 or email:

logoAlcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team
Community Newsletter


Incident Overview
Below are the incidents recorded for the Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team for January 2010 as at 25/01/10:


Crime in Your Area
This section highlights the current crime trends on the Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team area:

Remain vigilant and ensure that you secure your property including sheds and garages as it is historically at this time of year with shorter daylight hours that we experience an increase in burglaries and theft related incidents.

Please remove any items from view inside your vehicle including, coats, laptops and satnavs and make sure you don’t leave your vehicle unattended whilst defrosting. Currently the area is experiencing an increase in thefts from motor vehicles, particularly in the Studley area, where local officers will be increasing high visibility patrols.

Information & Advice
Driving conditions have been hazardous recently due to the snow and falling temperatures. Please take care when driving in snow and on icy roads:

  • Be prepared for the road conditions to suddenly change over short distances.
  • Avoid braking, sharp turns, or sudden speed increases which could make your vehicle skid.
  • The best way to slow without skidding is to get into a lower gear earlier and let your speed reduce and then brake gently.
  • If you start to skid, take your foot off the accelerator. Do not brake suddenly.
  • When moving off on a slippery surface use the highest gear that you can (for example, second gear rather than first). This will help avoid wheel spin that could make you lose control of your vehicle.

For further information about winter driving please visit: 

Please note it is an offence to let off fireworks after 11pm except on Bonfire Night when the deadline is midnight and New Year’s Eve at 1am.

Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Priorities
Current priorities as chosen by members of the public at the last Community Forum:

  • Burglaries in the Earlswood, Tanworth and Henley area – Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers have pledged to conduct 24 x 2 hour high visibility patrols
  • Parking issues during school drop off and collection times, Arden Road, Henley in Arden – Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers have pledged to conduct 24 x high visibility patrols at peak times in order to deliver appropriate advice to parents.
  • Speeding, Kemps Green, Henley in Arden – Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers have pledged to carry out 10 x speed checks in the area.

Feedback on the above priorities will be given at the next Community Forum (see below for details), feedback will also be given in the next newsletter together with details of the new priorities. For further information please visit or

Good News/Events
PCSO 6176 Dave Martin has joined as an additional PCSO for the Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team after serving two years in post at Alcester. Dave will be based at Henley Police Station and whilst patrolling Henley will be primarily responsible for Tanworth, Earlswood and Ullenhall.

A dispersal zone is now in force in Studley to help combat anti social behaviour. The zone covers the Skate Park down to the Alcester Road and the Town Centre to the Barley Mow Public House.

A drugs warrant was executed in Henley in the Spring of last year and a large amount of Class ‘A’ drugs were seized; the offender is to appear in Crown Court at the end of January 2010.

The offender has been identified for covering Henley Youth Club in graffiti towards the end of last year. The youth is now taking part in the Restorative Justice Programme, which involves being formally spoken to by a police officer and agreeing to ‘payback’ the community by doing jobs/activities in a community, but not in the same place where they committed the offence.

An application has been made for an Alcohol Restriction Zone in Studley, this will focus on the High Street with further locations to follow.

Damage was caused to the door and drainpipe of Studley Doctors Surgery on High Street on the evening of the 24th October 2009, enquiries have continued and three Studley youths have been processed for this on the 26th November 2009, a 14 year old received a final warning, a 17 year old received a reprimand and one was charged with criminal damage and obstruct police.

Two Cannabis Street warnings have been issued to Studley youths in the Grove.

On the 24th November 2009 a burglary occurred in Wootton Wawen, a member of the Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team arrested two offenders the next day, recovered some of the property and charged two offenders with the offence.

On the 12th October 2009 a theft occurred at a store on the Alcester Road Studley where several hundred pounds worth of goods were stolen. The offender was tracked down and was interviewed in prison, she admitted the offence and was summonsed to court where she received a suspended 12 month prison sentence.

On the 7th January Warwickshire Police Officers together with officers from West Mercia Police attended an incident in Studley and arrested a person in connection with burglary.

On the 4th January Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers in Henley searched a suspicious vehicle and occupants within and found a large quantity of Class B drugs. Details were taken and a Street Caution issued.

Warwickshire Sees The Greatest Decrease in Violent Crime Nationwide, Latest Crime Figures Show

21 January 2010

Violent crime resulting in injury in Warwickshire dropped by 23 per cent in the 12 months to the end of September 2009 with 2,682 incidents being reported to Warwickshire Police, 802 fewer than the same period the previous year.

The drop is the greatest decrease recorded by any police force in the country and is compared to a national average decrease of violent crime of four per cent, crime figures released by the Home Office today (Thursday 21 January) show.

Speaking about the significant decrease Deputy Chief Constable Andy Parker said, “Closer partnership working in town centres, increased levels of resourcing on busy nights, high profile joint emergency service operations and closer working with bar managers and licensees have all helped to reduce the levels of violence in Warwickshire.”

“We are also pleased to report that the decrease in violence is continuing, and over Christmas and New Year there were significantly fewer incidents of violence reported compared to last year. More recently we have had ten consecutive days in January when there have been no reports of any serious injury violence across the whole force."

In the 12 months to September 2009 Warwickshire Police also achieved a 16 per cent drop in robberies taking place within the county with 298 robberies reported, or 57 fewer incidents, reported to the police. The national figure for robbery saw a decrease of three per cent.

Incidents of criminal damage being reported, which is seen as an indicator for the level of anti social behaviour, also saw a drop of 15 per cent in Warwickshire, or 7,465 incidents reported compared to 8,737 in the previous 12 months.

British Crime Survey figures, also for the 12 month period ending September 2009, show an increasing level of public confidence in the work of police and partners to tackle crime and anti social behaviour in Warwickshire with 47.5 per cent of the population expressing their confidence, a rise of more than four per cent on the previous year. Chief Superintendent Richard Sear, Deputy Director for Performance and Standards said, “Crime is down significantly and confidence levels are rising. There has been some great work by local councils, wider partners and the police which is achieving success in resolving local issues and driving crime down.

“We are determined to build on this, delivering high quality policing services and working with partners to resolve local issues effectively. “

The crime statistics also show that car crime also decreased, by three per cent during the 12 month period. This was lower than the national average decrease of 14 per cent, but Warwickshire Police is confident that sufficient measures have now been put in place to ensure that car crime will continue to decrease.

Continuing the positive news sexual offences recorded an increase of nine per cent equating to 428 incidents being reported to police in Warwickshire compared to 392 in the preceding 12 months. The national average for reporting sexual offences saw a decrease of one per cent.

“We welcome an increase in the number of sexual offences being reported", explained Andy Parker, “We know that for many years these crimes were under reported but due to increased confidence in the police we now see the number of reports increasing. These figures do not reflect an increase in the number of incidents but show more accurately the level of sexual crime which is taking place. If we are to protect the public from harm we need victims to report these crimes."

House burglary in Warwickshire saw a three per cent increase in the 12 months to September 2009 compared to the previous year at a time when nationally the burglary rate has stood still. The numbers of house burglaries are very low in Warwickshire, with about six crimes a day across the whole of the County.

Identifying that there had been a slight increase in domestic burglary, a number of successful operations have been initiated based on the targeting of repeat offenders and those who cause the highest harm within the community. Priority Policing Areas have been identified where higher levels of crime are recorded and additional resources have been allocated to tackle emerging crime trends.

DCC Parker explained that everyone involved in delivering Safer Communities should be proud of these achievements, overall crime continues to fall in Warwickshire with significant reductions in violence and increasing public confidence. Warwickshire Police and their partners are determined to reduce crime further and provide the maximum protection possible to our communities.

The next Community Forum will be held 11th February 2010, 7pm, Studley Village Hall - If you have a specific concern then come along to the local surgery, where you will be able to speak to your local Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Policing Team, Warwickshire County Council or Stratford District Council Officer.

The next Henley Community Surgery will be held 27th February, 11:30am, Henley Baptist Church Hall - The surgery gives you the opportunity to speak to members of the Parish Council & Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Policing Team about the issues that concern you, while giving you feedback regarding what is happening in the community.

The next Henley Police Surgery will be 17th February, between 11 am – 1pm, Henley Police Station - A drop in facility to discuss issues/problems within the community with your local policing team.

The next Henley Neighbouhood Watch Meeting will be held 18th February, 7pm, Henley Police Station

The next Studley NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH/Community Surgery will be held 19th May, 7:30 pm, Studley Village Hall

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


Expanding our Editorial Review Team

Over the last few months, Henley NEWS Online has been expanding its editorial review team which now has ten members. They review each edition before it is published. If you would like to join this team please contact the editor. We would like to recruit more women to the team as they are under represented at present as are young people.

Because of the extreme sensitivities of some of the current topics being covered we are relying mostly on the articles from the Stratford Herald and obtain the permission of its editor on each occasion.

Bill Leech - Editor

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

For tickets and further information call Basil Sayer on 01564 795714 or email:
Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

Henley Diary Dates

Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS Online 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:

Our next meeting is on Thursday 18th February at 8.00 pm in the Baptist Church Hall. The speaker will be David Howe on “Prime Ministers and The Midlands”. Visitors and new members are very welcome. Further details from Pat Kench on 795419.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 23rd February in Ullenhall Village Hall, 7.30 for 7.45 pm. Our speaker is the author John Trinder on “The Iris Year”. Visitors are welcome (£3).

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.
Meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome.
Please email Robin Freeman <>
Download Henley Rotary Club calendar
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

The Objectives of the Club are:

  • To maintain and develop facilities for gardening and allotment sites.
  • To enable members to enjoy the activity of gardening and allotments.
  • To enable a healthy and rewarding past time enriching people's lives.
  • To preserve local green spaces for the community of Henley-in-Arden.
  • To foster an allotment and gardening spirit.
  • To create synergies and alliances with other like minded organisations.
  • To create a network where members can communicate with each other in order to exchange ideas, exchange produce and flowers, share equipment, seek advice and help.

The HAAGC is open to everyone with an interest in gardening and membership is FREE. Click Here for Application Form

Meets every Friday and Sunday evening from 8pm at the Memorial Hall, Station Road, Henley-in-Arden. The season runs from mid September to end April. A warm welcome is extended to all badminton players who may be interested in joining the club. Visitors welcome. Please contact the Chairman, Alan Barber, on 01564 793320 for further details.

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
TAI CHI in HENLEY Thursdays, 11am at the Baptist Hall, Beaudesert Lane. Age, health or fitness no barrier. £5 per session – no termly fees. For further information contact Debbie Wild on 07773 318830.    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 603 8577 for further details.
The WRVS organise a lunch club for the elderly of the district at Dell Court every Tuesday at 12.30pm 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

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 sent 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

We are delighted to publish the growing list of our correspondents:

Court Leet
Religious Affairs
Rotary Club
The Henley Society
Henley History
Henley in Bloom
Wild Life Society
Warwickshire College
Henley Methodist ChurchJames Steele
Henley Diary
Flower Club Annette Walker
Editorial Team
Proof ReaderJohn Garner
Senior CorrespondentIrene Robinson
Warwickshire County
Stratford District Council
Heart Start
Trading Standards
Heritage Centre
Memorial Hall
Henley High School
Primary School Elaine Field
Make Henley Greener
Drama - HADS
Claverdon & RailwayClive Hanley
Chief Photographer
Court Leet & HADSAlan Robson

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.

Henley NEWS Online was the outright winner of the Village Ventures competition 2007.


Previous Editions

Bill Leech - Editor

Air Ambulance

Henley NEWS Online is published as a Community 'Not For Profit' On-line Newsletter

The views expressed in these stories and articles do not necessary match the views of the editor. 

Privacy Statement

html web counters