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Henley NEWS Online

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


Campaigning for a better Henley

Edition 245 - 22nd April 2010
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Henley Reformers de-railed by Volcano

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Peter Crathorne reports on the TIC watched by Joint Chairmen, David Hadley and Chris Milsom

The Henley Town Assembly meeting held in the Baptist Church Hall on Monday 19th April is usually a quiet and dignified affair. This year, however, was an exception; the meeting started with quibbles, descended into farce and ended in uproar. If this is an example of local democracy in Henley we should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves. As speaker after speaker reiterated, this was a supreme example of rule by the mob.

The meeting started with a niggle about the lack of signing of earlier Minutes, which according to the protester rendered the current meeting invalid. It was pointed out that the last meeting had approved earlier Minutes and that alone had validated them. In which instance the meeting could proceed, which it did with an approval of the Minutes of the 2009 Meeting (which were duly signed). This was followed by a polished and clear presentation by Ionan Morgan CBE, Principal of Warwickshire Colleges, who gave a detailed account of the work of the Colleges in Warwickshire, and in particular, the work of the local Henley-in-Arden College. He was warmly applauded for the detailed exposition of the benefits brought to the town by the College.

At this point things started to get interesting. The meeting was being chaired jointly by Chris Milson for Beaudesert and David Hadley for Henley when they read a letter from an elector querying why the meeting was chaired by members of the JPC. After some discussion, including a suggestion that the High bailiff should chair the joint meeting, the position was clarified by the chairman of the JPC quoting from the Local Government Act 1972 where it states that if the chairman is present he should preside, otherwise the parish may elect its own chairman. The current chairmen both claimed that they had been properly elected and that they intended to continue.

Upon a return to the Agenda reports were given by the High Bailiff, the chairman of the Town Improvement Committee and the chairman of the JPC. All these reports stressed the work undertaken by the individual bodies on the behalf of the residents and included details of planned ventures to improve the life of people in the town. Details of the reports will be included in the official Minutes of the meeting which will no doubt be available from the Parish Clerk (Tel: 01564 79 5499).

The next report was given by County Councillor Mike Perry who gave a detailed account of his work on the County Council when a “Point of Order” from the floor accused him of being “political”. This brought out a somewhat bad tempered argument about the content of his report, but eventually he was allowed to continue. During a tribute to the work of retiring District Councillor Lawrence Marshall Mike was again challenged, this time about naming a candidate for the post. The challenge came from another candidate who took exception to his words. At this point the meeting descended into farce with supporters of both factions shouting and catcalling.

Some semblance of order having been regained by the combined endeavours of the two chairmen, District Councillor Stephen Thirlwell gave a report on his work on the Stratford District Council which was well received.

The election of chairmen for the 2011 Town Assembly was marred by a return to the question of whether or not it would be appropriate for the High Bailiff to act as a joint chairman. The speakers were again referred to the clause in the 1972 Local Government Act and eventually the elections went ahead.

For Henley parish Margaret Twigg was elected as chairman, with Roy Eastwood as vice chairman. In the case of Beaudesert, after some hiatus, Stephen Thirlwell was elected as chairman and Sheila Roy as vice chairman.

 

OPEN FORUM

The Open Forum was always going to be the high point of the evening, and so it proved! The chief act was to be an attempt by the Henley Reform Assoc to “restore democracy” to Henley.

John Latham opened the batting on behalf of Beaudesert with a prepared statement proposing that a Parish Referendum be held to consider the question that “... confidence has been lost in the leadership and management of the Beaudesert and Henley Joint Parish Council and that all existing councillors should resign immediately and that there should be an election for a new parish council as soon as possible”.

John had only just started when he was shouted down by what was later described as a “Rent-a-Mob” who were determined not to let him put the proposal. The atmosphere was so electric and the shouting so hostile that it put one in mind of Oswald Moseley’s Black Shirts and the fanatics of the French Revolution. Your correspondent had a brief glimpse of Madame Defarge sitting knitting at the foot of the guillotine as the tumbrels rolled by. This was not democracy; this was a deliberate attempt by what appeared to be an organised group to prevent free speech!

After intervention from the joint chairmen John was able to continue, although he was still interrupted by jeers and catcalls.

Peter Crathorne, on behalf of Henley, read a statement with a similar proposal. He was also subjected to the same mindless barracking and shouting but was more able to withstand the pressure – possibly because of his experiences as a teacher!

At this point procedures began to break down as uncertainty grew about the correct way to conduct the ballots. Amid growingly chaotic scenes claims were made that electors had been prevented from entering the hall owing to overcrowding, and were thereby disenfranchised; others claimed that people were present who had not been registered; the validity of the process was challenged, and great uncertainty prevailed. Eventually the chairmen announced that the proposals would be put to the meeting; an announcement which appeared to cause further dissent.

In the case of Henley, more than ten people stood to express their support for the proposal, and since the statute only requires ten electors to support the proposal it was declared “passed”.

In the case of Beaudesert only six people stood to express their support and consequently the proposal was declared “rejected”. Amid the cheers from the “NO” supporters a question arose about what had happened to the writers of the original letter requesting a poll. It turned out that several of the Beaudesert supporters of the proposal were marooned overseas as a result of the ban on flying into UK airports. The volcano had struck yet another victim – the Henley Reformers!

Following these results, and amid scenes of considerable uproar a straw poll was demanded to indicate the strength of support for the JPC which resulted in sixty three people expressing support. Several speakers tried, more or less successfully, to address the meeting, and although encouraged by the joint chairmen made little or no impression upon the meeting.

This 2010 Town Assembly Meeting was a most unfortunate affair and very few people come out of it with credit. The speakers and the proposers of the resolutions made their reports and proposals in a dignified and calm way; the joint chairmen performed well in a difficult and hostile environment and the chairman of the JPC responded in a thoughtful and calm manner to the various questions. However the behaviour of several electors in the meeting was hostile to both the speakers and to any other electors who took a contrary view.

The result of the ballots on a referendum was unsatisfactory and the unhappiness with the conduct of the JPC expressed in some quarters of the town remains unabated.

This was not a happy evening for democracy in general and for Henley-in-Arden in particular.

Report by Brian Twigg


Minutes of the Town Assembly (unofficial)

Henley NEWS Online has commissioned a professional journalist to take the minutes of the Town Assembly and you can read a blow by blow account by clicking on the link below.

An example of one of the evening's incidents as seen by our unofficial minute taker was:

Dr Bridgewater said the parish council website was rarely up to date.

Mrs Walsh said it was up to date.

Dr Bridgewater said that is your opinion.

Mrs Walsh said she was here to give advice and if Dr Bridgewater wanted her to shut up he should ask her to.

Dr Bridgewater asked Mrs Walsh to shut up.

Unofficial minutes of the Town Assembly 2010


Letters to the Editor

Bill,
 
I was an extra in a movie sequel to the "Gunfight at the OK Corral". This is to be called "Not all OK at the Corral". It was 'shot' at the Baptist Hall Studios on Monday April 19th at 7.30pm.

The cast was excellent: Jimmy (James) Stewart, High Bailiff; Cary Grant, councillor; John Wayne, Chair of the JPC. Mae West was up there as well.

All spoke very eloquently and knew what they were talking about but then the 'Mob'  weighed in, who did not. Suddenly nobody new what they were doing. Wyatt Earp and his brothers, their mate, Doc Holiday, all had their say and as for Annie Oakley, well!

The Lone Ranger bravely gave his name and address in opposition to the current JPC. Then there were votes by show of hands from both Parishes of Tombstone. Many raising 2 hands.

It was chaos and I left.

I was saddened and appalled by the behaviour at this farce. Considering we are a 'middle class' rural market town in the 21st century it can only be likened to Arizona in 1881.

The production was brilliant but, I suggest, if there is another one we bring in Steven Spielberg to direct next time. This might bring in some ORDER.
 
Ashamedly yours,
 
Stephen Hunter - Brook End Drive. 
Loyal Henley Resident


Dear Editor,

I turned up on Monday night to support John Latham for a poll in Beaudesert to have a new election for the parish council. I was prevented from entering the hall to vote by the community policeman, allegedly on health & safety grounds.

Perhaps if I and others confirmed we were locked out and prevented from voting we could attend in person at a parish council meeting to add our support to achieve the numbers required.

Geoff Shephard – Beaudesert Local Government elector


Dear Editor,

I attended Monday night's meeting and was left concerned.  My primary concern was that people were turned away before the meeting started.  I wonder if an alternative could have been found to allow those Henley residents to hear or participate in the meeting.  

I appreciate that rescheduling the meeting to a larger venue would have been very difficult but I was worried that those who could not gain entry and wanted to engage in local democracy were unable to do so.

Brian Hammond – Henley-in-Arden Local Government elector


Dear Editor,

I felt sufficiently annoyed to write direct to you regarding the Town Assembly held on Monday 19th April.

I arrived at 7.05, waited in a queue for 20 minutes, was not signed in and my partner and others who arrived for the 7.30 start found the doors locked.

The whole evening was listening to heckling and shouting and certainly 3 ladies with me felt intimidated enough to leave at 9.00pm. One person actually complained to the clerk and a lot of votes were lost through (a) not being able to enter the building and (b) people felt too intimidated to stand up and "be counted" as we were asked to do.

When Mr Goodman spoke, we all politely listened. When the opposition spoke, the heckling and shouting was quite honestly scary. I certainly for one will not attend another Town Assembly but perhaps that's what they want!.
 
Ann Bevins – Henley-in-Arden Local Government elector


The Joint Chairmen Explain

At 7.30 pm the two chairmen of the Assembly made a joint decision to close the doors of the Baptist Hall as a capacity of 100 residents were already inside and the CPSO on duty drew our attention to the Health and Safety regulations and the Fire regulations which state that the maximum allowed for this hall is 100.

The CPSO remained on duty at the door in case of any emergency and the hall has 2 further emergency exits so as far as we could ascertain there was adequate safety. We understand that 8 residents were unable to join the meeting as a result of this decision but we were faced with an unprecedented situation given that the previous 3 years attendances totalled less than the 100 in attendance at Monday’s meeting.

We had the choice of postponing to another date at another venue or proceeding. We decided in the circumstances to proceed. We regret that some residents were unable to join the meeting.

David Hadley and Chris Milsom – Joint Chairmen of the Assembly


What Cost Local Democracy? (Part 2)

Sitting at my desk on Tuesday  20th April my thoughts turned to Monday night's Town Assembly... I  wondered why it is that minor politicians, when all else fails, try to justify their position by resorting to the old chestnut of "It's too expensive". That is after trying out "We are volunteers"  and "We never mind getting our hands dirty".  

While these words were being spoken prospective voters had been locked out from the Town Assembly giving them no chance of exercising their Legal Rights to vote  for a referendum on an issue of: No Confidence in the  JPC.  

Although the entrance to the hall was strictly limited with signing in etc, allegedly queue jumpers where allowed in before people who had been waiting some time. With all this happening the meeting was started early.

Not content with the uninterrupted "back patting" that had been made by the Chairman of the JPC in his report, both chairmen let the meeting turn into chaos, allowing a County Council member to have free reign with a propaganda  speech for the Conservative Party.

The chairman looked nonplussed when a member of the audience objected by raising a point of order, stating that this meeting was supposed to be non political.  He was obviously as surprised as I was because in all the JPC meetings  I attended I have never witnessed this before. Then the meeting deteriorated further until it resembled a lynch mob.

A vote was eventually taken with a  completely  unsatisfactory result.  Beaudesert not wanting a poll and Henley voting for one, leaving us in uncharted waters.  No one will ever know what the result would have been if the residents who where locked out had been able to vote.

These are the lessons to be learned:

Although  the chairmen for next year have been elected, in future we  must be one hundred percent sure in our minds  that they are competent, strong, know their job and responsibilities.  Not just selected by Buggin’s turn.  A hall with sufficient capacity to hold interested residents is essential.  If we [the electorate] consider they do not and the right size of hall has not been chosen, then an extraordinary meeting should be called to sort the problem out because no one should be denied their democratic rights.

The right chairmen must be picked and a  hall of the right size must be hired and neutral stewards found. These are easy solutions, the more difficult one is in educating the parishioners that some of the qualifications for voting are your nationality, your age, and the fact you are not in prison and are of sound mind. Not that you where born in Henley!

Hopefully we all pay our taxes and apart from anything else these buy, they also entitle us to exercise our rights.

Malcolm Coulter - Henley Local Government Elector


New 'Reform Association' formed

logoThe founders of the new Henley-in-Arden Reform Association proposed at the town assembly that the existing JPC should resign “en bloc” immediately and there should be an election for a new council.

The Association is a non party political group focused solely on challenging the status quo and seeking to re-establish democracy in the management of the town. The founders of the Association are Peter Crathorne, John Latham and Bill Leech.

They have been recruiting prospective councillors who, if elected, will implement a 10% reduction in the precept (parish council tax) by reducing the operating costs and will encourage greater participation by the residents. Before any election for a new parish council, the association intends to publish a manifesto. Once elected and having implemented the manifesto changes, the Reform Association will be disbanded and all the councillors will continue as independents.

There is an archive of the recent press reports about the Joint Parish Council at:

http://reformjpc.blogspot.com/

If you would like to support the Reform Association, please register at: http://www.tfaforms.com/144040


 

What the Supporters Say

Please send your views to the editor on the Town Assembly. In the next edition we will publish a selection. We have already received over 20 messages. Three examples received are:

"We are sure that the majority of council members work very hard and in the main the town benefits from their efforts. But, the way the chairman, his wife and some other members appear to have acted recently is unacceptable to us. If it hadn't been for the information publicised in the Henley Online, we would not have been aware of what was going on. It is important that residents of Henley have an easy way of accessing the issues that are being addressed by the council and their actions taken. One such mechanism should be via the internet. The council should not appear to be acting on our behalf behind closed doors!!!! As a matter of principle, we don't believe that more than one member from a family should be able to be elected, particularly if one of the elected members is the chair person."

"I am concerned about the way in which the JPC seems to pursue matters which do not reflect the best interests or opinion of local residents. I have been concerned over many years about the way in which it appeared to be an extension of one local political party, co-opting new members from amongst allies when vacancies occurred, and using the JPC as a stepping stone to political careers at district council level."

"This evening I attended a meeting to try and understand the differences of opinions between many respected volunteers within our community. Unfortunately I found the meeting to be undemocratic and unacceptable in the "Shouting down" of opinions."


Stratford Herald reports on last JPC meeting

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This article first appeared in the Stratford Herald and is reproduced with their kind permission. Text version


May 2010 District Council Election Candidates

SDCFifty-eight candidates will be contesting 20 seats at Stratford-on-Avon District Council elections on Thursday 6 May. The Council has 53 seats in total.

The candidates for the Henley-in-Arden by-election, following the retirement of Laurence Marshall, are:


John Hartigan (Lab), Jem Jones (Cons), Karyl Rees (Lib Dem)

Polling on 6 May will be carried out at over 100 stations around the District, with hours of polling being 7.00am to 10.00pm. Details about the count will be announced in a separate operational note.

The current political standings of the Council's 53 seats are:

                Conservatives - 29 seats; Liberal Democrats - 19 seats; Independents - 3 seats; Vacant seats - 2.


Prospective Parliamentary Candidates

imageHenley NEWS Online has written to all the candidates and asked them to comment on the present situation regarding the Joint Parish Council.

They have been asked specifically:

      1. Do you approve of the actions of the current chairman and certain councillors?
      2. Do you approve of freezing the grant to the village hall and the playing fields?
      3. Do you think the whole council should resign and there should be a new election?

Lib Dem Prospective District Councillor

logoimageIn 2008, the Lib Dems gained five seats from the Conservatives in the District Council elections and held the two seats they were defending, giving them nineteen seats in total on the Stratford District Council. On May 6th, there is a District Council by-election by-election caused by the retirement of Laurence Marshall. Karyl Rees, a former teacher at the primary school, will be standing as the Lib Dem candidate.

Karyl, a long time reader and supporter of Henley NEWS Online, has lived in the district for over 40 years. She was a teacher in Ullenhall and Henley for 25 years and Secretary of the Stratford and District branch of the National Union of Teachers, representing teachers on Local Education Authority committees and at National Conferences. More recently she has worked for a variety of employers, spending two years with the British Red Cross before becoming personal assistant to Liz Lynne MEP. She is a voluntary worker with VASA and the Warwickshire Association for the Blind.

Karyl has been involved with the Liberal Democrats for 15 years, fully supporting the Liberal Democrat ideals for a fairer society.


Conservative Prospective District Councillor

logoimageJem Jones is your Conservative candidate for the District Council elections on Thursday May 6th. Jem lives in Henley and relocated his successful marketing business, which he aims to become carbon neutral, to the town in 2008. Since moving to Henley, he has taken a very keen interest in local issues, attending parish council meetings and working closely with County and District council representatives in supporting their work for the communities of Henley and Wootton Wawen. He can be seen most days walking his Spanish rescue dog along the High Street.
 
JEM’S PLEDGE
I would be proud and honoured to represent the ward, and I will work closely with Cllrs Perry and Thirlwell as part of a team that tackles the issues that matter most to you.

1. Supporting further recycling and other environmental initiatives
2. Pressing for continuing investment on roads and parking
3. Encouraging local shops and businesses
4. Ensuring the revised Taylor Wimpey proposals are subject to proper public consultation
5. Press for sufficient resources to tackle antisocial behaviour in Henley High Street

Jem Jones
01564 792076
jem@ardensoftware.co.uk


Court Leet Annual Dinner

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On Thursday the 15th April 2010 the Henley Court Leet and Court Baron held its Annual Dinner in the Guild Hall. The High Bailiff’s special guest this year was Alan Fallow the Deputy President of the Freemen of England and Wales and his consort Valerie Fallow. Other guests included the Chairman of Warwickshire County Council, Councillor Peter Barnes and his consort Stella Barnes; the Mayor of Warwick, Councillor Peggy Bennett; the Steward of Warwick, Derek Maudlin; the Mayor of Stratford, Councillor Jenny Fradgley and her consort Councillor Ian Fradgley; the Bailiff of Warwick, Roger Higgins; the Bailiff of Bromsgrove, Simon Cupitt; the Bailiff of Alcester, Mike Clark; the Reeve of Bromsgrove, James Merridith; the Warwickshire Warden of the Freeman of England and Wales, Derek Austin, and Chairman of Tanworth Society for the Apprehension of Felons, John Burman.

In all some sixty eight people sat down to a five course meal prepared by Sue Dalby Catering. The proceedings were opened by the Town Crier, Gordon Trinder, and grace was said by the Chaplain to the Court, the Rev. John Ganjavi. The High Bailiff introduced his guests and called for the wines to be tasted. The wines were tasted by the Court’s Ale Tasters, Andrew Garner, and Barry Tulloch and pronounced fit for consumption.

Following a most enjoyable and mouth watering meal modelled around a main course of lamb shank marinated in red wine, the diners joined in toasts to the Queen proposed by the Low Bailiff, John Rutherford; the Lord of the Manor proposed by the Steward, David Lodder; the visitors by Hon Burgess, Alec Halliwell and the Court Leet by Deputy President of FEW, Alan Fallow. In response the High Bailiff, Roger Sutton, thanked all for attending, Sue and her team for the wonderful food, and went on to added toasts to the Armed Forces, the newly formed Henley Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School and a personal toast to the businesses of Henley-in-Arden.

The evening was concluded with a prize draw in aid of the Guild Hall Trust.

On the same evening the High Bailiff’s Lady, Molly Sutton and the Ladies of the Court held a special meal at Stockton House, the home of Sue and Brian Westmocott, where they enjoyed a splendid array of food, again provided by Sue Dalby Catering. The meal was followed by a demonstration of beauty therapy by Cathy of ‘Honey’s Boutique’.

A raffle held in aid of the Warwick Hospital Breast Cancer Unit raised £150.

Roger Sutton
High Bailiff.


TaxPayers' debt clock visits Birmingham

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The TaxPayers’ Alliance “debt clock” has visited Birmingham as part of its 1,300-mile tour of Britain. As the UK counts down to the election the lorry-mounted clock is counting up the national debt. The clock, believed to be the biggest LED-display clock in the world, calls on politicians to “wake up to the national debt”.


Renovation of Market Cross

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Roger Sutton, High Bailiff; Jonathan Dovey, Town Historian;
John Stott, Chairman Beaudesert Society and Ray Holding, Designer of the renovation

On Saturday 10th April a short ceremony was held in brilliant Spring sunshine to celebrate the completion of the renovation of Henley’s Market Cross. The 15th century Market Cross was erected close to the area once occupied by the town’s Market Hall.

The Market Cross originally stood over 20 feet high, but today only the shaft and base remain. These remnants had been falling into a state of disrepair and a determined effort by local organisations has made the cross and its surroundings once more an historic site to be proud of. Iron railings have been installed round the cross and the cobble stones in the adjacent area removed and replaced with smoother stone slabs. Henley in Bloom has been responsible for providing eight metal troughs to suspend from the railing and filling them with a lovely colourful display of spring flowers. And the Henley and Beaudesert Society have funded an information plaque which provides visitors with a sketch of the cross as it was originally and a brief history of the significance of the Cross and the site.

The ceremony was started by John Rutherford, acting Town Crier, ringing the bell and inviting Les Goodman (chairman of the Parish Council) to speak to attending crowd. He officially declared the work on the Cross finished and ready to be admired. The rector of Henley, the Reverend John Ganjavi, then invited the assembly to join him in prayer while the Cross was dedicated. Next the High Bailiff, Roger Sutton, said what an excellent example it was of many organisations cooperating to achieve such a good result for the town; the next town effort was to be for town businesses. Chairman of the Henley & Beaudesert Society, John Stott, completed the outdoor events by unveiling the information plaque.

The acting town crier then invited the assembly to the Guildhall where refreshments were served. Chairman of the Market Cross renovation sub-committee, George Matheou, made a short speech thanking Warwickshire County Council and Stratford District Council who had largely funded the project and all the other local organisations and individuals who had put so much effort and time into making it such a worthy success. Ann Holding gave a brief resumé of the history of the Cross and its importance through the ages. And finally John Stott said a few words recognising with thanks the fund raising activities of the Henley & Beaudesert Society and their supporters and also the impetus given to the project by his predecessor chairman, the late Pam Kearsley.

Andrew Yarwood reporting


St George's Day - April 23rd

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Shakespeare died on this day in 1616.

England my England

Goodbye to my England. So long my old friend
Your days are numbered, being brought to an end
To be Scottish, Irish or Welsh that's fine
But don't say you're English, that's way out of line.

The French and the Germans may call themselves such
So may Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch
You can say you are Russian or maybe a Dane
But don't say you're English ever again.

At Broadcasting House the word is taboo
In Brussels it's scrapped, in Parliament too
Even schools are affected. Staff do as they're told
They must not teach children about England of old.

Writers like Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw
The pupils don't learn about them any more
How about Agincourt, Hastings, Arnhem or Mons ?
When England lost hosts of her very brave sons.

We are not Europeans, how can we be?
Europe is miles away, over the sea
We're the English from England, let's all be proud
Stand up and be counted - Shout it out loud!

Let's tell our Government and Brussels too
We're proud of our heritage and the Red, White and Blue
Fly the flag of Saint George or the Union Jack
Let the world know -

WE WANT OUR ENGLAND BACK !!!!

Watch the NEW HENLEY TOUR VIDEO on the Town Website

www.Henley-in-Arden.org

Opening event at Henley Tennis Club

photoHenley Tennis Club kicked off the tennis summer season with an evening of tournament finals sponsored by John Cranmer Estate Agents. Despite the wet weather a very competitive Bunny Shepheard mixed doubles final was won by Ben Summers and Sue Harbour. The pair beat Neil Supperstone and Lucy Webster in a third set tie break 7-5. Whilst the newly donated Rowen Photography Plate was won by Nigel Keefe and Anne Crooks.

Meanwhile the wet weather did not dampen the support that was given to the junior tournament finals. In another close three set match Chris Cardwell came out the victor in the Under 16 singles club tournament beating Matt Williams. Oliver Richardson was crowned the Under 12 champion by inching his way to victory in a tie break against Frazer Kent. Overall the weather did not dampen spirits and everyone had an enjoyable night with many thanks going to John Cranmer Estate agents for sponsoring the evening and the numerous volunteers who made the evening a great success. The club is looking forward to a busy summer of tennis. If you fancy coming down and having a game there is an open day at the club on Stratford Road on Saturday May 1st 1 - 4 pm.

Our photo is of the winners of the Bunny Shepheard mixed tournament, Ben Summers and Sue Harbour, being presented the trophy by Jane Palmer representing John Cranmer Estate Agents.

Lucy Webster reporting


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Studio 34’s mixed tennis tournament a huge success

Henley Tennis Club held its first open mixed tournament sponsored by Studio 34 of Henley in Arden. Twenty pairs entered the tournament and, on a nice sunny day, played in a round robin to determine the pairs for the final. The final was a family affair with Lianne Supperstone and Anthony Candappa beating Neil Supperstone and Lucy Webster in a competitive final. Yet another family affair fuelled the competitiveness of the plate final with Alex and Sara Butler winning the battle by beating Richard and Lucie Butler in a closely fought match.

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Lianne Supperstone and Antony Candappa receiving their prize from Tracey the owner of Studio 34.

All players and spectators that attended had a fantastic day, thanks to all the volunteers that made lunch and helped the tournament run smoothly. The club managed to raise nearly £500 towards its plans to make the club an even bigger success.

If you would like to come and see what the club can offer to you please come down and have a go on May 1st between 1-4pm.

Lucy Webster reporting

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Henley Community Surgery

The meeting held at the Baptist Church Hall on March 31st was well attended and, following the welcome by Chairman Chris Milsom, an update on crime was given by PCSO Jelfs who stressed the importance of incidents being reported, however minor, so that accurate figures can be recorded. Councillor Mike Perry advised residents that refurbishment to the market cross is complete, more gritting bins have been allocated round the town and repairs to the potholes and footpaths are ongoing. Parking restrictions in Cherry Orchard and Bear Lane were put on the agenda for future attention. He was thanked for organising pruning to impeding foliage in certain areas and for attending the meeting

Jan Roberts, Stratford District Council Policy Officer for older people, introduced the main speaker Marie Rowland, Consumer Research & Development Officer for Trading Standards, who gave very good advice with a slide show warning residents about rogue traders and 'begging letters' from bogus firms, international organisations and the Jamaican Lottery. Anyone with problems or queries should call the Consumer Direct line 08454 640506.

A meeting at the Council Offices in Stratford on 22nd April at 2pm is open to anyone and all the parliamentary candidates will be present to introduce themselves and answer questions.

Annette Walker reporting

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Town Website at:

www.henley-in-Arden.org

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Thousands more ShelterBoxes to be sent to Haiti

imageThree months on from one of the worst disasters ever witnessed, over 100,000 Haitian earthquake survivors are rebuilding their lives in Rotary ShelterBox tents. The international disaster relief charity has now delivered over 13,000 ShelterBoxes to families who lost everything in the 7.3 magnitude quake, with each box containing a disaster relief tent to house a family of up to 10 and other items essential for survival.

As the world marks the three-month anniversary of the disaster that struck on January 12, ShelterBox is sending another 5,000 boxes of aid this month – enough for a further 50,000 people – with thousands more ShelterBoxes due to arrive in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, during the coming months.

Tom Henderson, ShelterBox Founder and CEO, said: "We were one of the first agencies on the ground in Port au Prince when the earthquake struck and, thanks to the sheer grit and determination of all our volunteers and supporters, we have now distributed aid to over 100,000 Haitians most in need. With tens of thousands of families still living without adequate shelter in heavy rains and the hurricane season soon approaching, the need for emergency shelter is still great and we won’t rest until this need is met."

ShelterBox began its response to the Haiti earthquake just 12 minutes after the quake struck at 2150GMT on January 12, mobilising a ShelterBox Response Team to Port au Prince. The next day, the first ShelterBoxes left the charity’s HQ in Helston, Cornwall bound for Haiti. The first boxes arrived five days after the earthquake and were used to set up emergency field hospitals, immediately saving lives by providing vital shelter to patients who had nowhere to go. Hundreds more boxes followed and ShelterBox camps were set up in suburbs of Port au Prince including Delmas, where families with newborn babies and pregnant women were prioritised for emergency shelter.

photoA total of 13,000 ShelterBoxes have now been distributed in Haiti with thousands more to come, making it ShelterBox’s largest deployment since the Indian Ocean Tsunami. All aid has been delivered by volunteer ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members from across the globe who have carried out extensive training with ShelterBox. More than 30 SRT members have now been deployed in Haiti as well as Santo Domingo and Miami coordinating logistics for Haitian aid. Partnerships forged with organisations on the ground in Haiti such as French aid agency ACTED, the French Red Cross, the IOM, local Rotarians, the Dutch military and the US military allowed SRT members to distribute boxes effectively and securely, ensuring aid has been delivered to people most in need. Across the globe people have been supporting ShelterBox on unprecedented levels and volunteers at ShelterBox HQ have been packing more boxes, in the shortest space of time, than they ever had before.

The President and Royal Patron of ShelterBox, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, visited the charity’s HQ in Cornwall last month to thank staff and volunteers for their relief efforts in Haiti. ShelterBox Founder and CEO Tom Henderson said: 'In March it was a great personal privilege to travel to Haiti and see firsthand the amazing work our teams are doing there. None of this could happen without our friends and supporters. Since the earthquake struck we have witnessed acts of generosity, kindness and compassion on a daily basis. My heartfelt thanks go out to all our supporters for everything they are doing for ShelterBox."

Henley Rotarians have funded two of the shelterboxes which are now in use in Port au Prince - pictured above.


Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards Alert

Telephone Cold Calling IT Scam

imageResidents are warned to beware of telephone cold callers offering to provide 'IT services' over the phone. This follows reports received of two Nuneaton area residents who had been telephone cold called by someone who claimed to want to apply IT updates to their personal computers. The caller asked to be given remote access to their PCs and in one case installed some new programmes that had the effect of slowing the operation of the machine. Remote access is a process whereby you can give someone, sitting at another PC anywhere in the world, access to your computer via the Internet.

In one case the caller was questioned about his motives and became very aggressive.

Telephone cold callers have been claiming to offer to help make consumers computers work quicker or fix 'problems'. However, by giving someone access to your PC, you risk them installing viruses or other potentially dangerous software or accessing your personal information.

Computer users are strongly urged to never give remote access to a telephone cold caller and, where remote access might be required, to then only provide it to someone they know and trust.

If you have allowed someone you did not know or trust remote access to your PC, you are advised to check your computer and if necessary seek further advice from a local computer engineer or computer shop or contact the manufacturer.

You can report these calls to Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06

Simon Cripwell
Senior Information Officer
Trading Standards Service
Warwickshire County Council

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Defeat for Claverdon as Clee Take the Title

CLEE HILL RFC 28 – CLAVERDON RFC 3

Penalty – Wyllie

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Captain Tom Skinner having another go

Claverdon travelled the long distance to Clee Hill for a potential winner takes all for the last game of this year’s league campaign. Clee were sitting in 2nd spot with Claverdon 3rd so depending on results elsewhere both could realistically claim top spot.

Enforced changes due to absent or injured personnel saw a comeback for D.Carruthers at prop, Williams & Gill to the flanks, Horsfall on to the wing and Gray making a rare start at full back. Busby, Austin & Lowe made up the bench.

It was a perfect day for rugby with the sun shining and the pitch in good condition. Claverdon had bought a good following taking in to the account the distance they had to travel for this fixture.

The lions seemed in a quiet and reflective mood immediately prior to the game and started the game slowly. Clee on the other hand came out of the blocks quickly and were soon in the Claverdon half. They soon made this advantage tell when a few missed tackles from Claverdon let Clee score in the corner for the 1st points of the game. The conversion was added. 7-0.

The same had happened previously in big matches so Claverdon knew they had to pick up the tempo if they were to get anything out of this game and they did exactly that. Good, strong running from Grimsley fed Wyllie who made good yards before offloading to Johnson but Clee’s defence held firm. The experience of Gray then came in to play and with an intelligent kick put Clee deep in their own 22 and on the back foot. It was from resultant passages of play that Claverdon got back in the game with Clee giving away a penalty in front of the posts. Wyllie duly converted 7-3.

As soon as they were back in the game, Claverdon again let it slip with the concession of a soft try. Good strong tackling from Gill, Williams and Edsall had initially kept out the Clee forwards but another unorthodox missed tackle finally let them over the line for their 2nd try of the game, again converted 14-3.

Claverdon again rallied back and started to see more of the ball. Wingers Horsfall and Barton both made good yards as well as Skinner and Joyce who were linking up the play and making yards too. Scrum half Bennett looked lively and his pace was scaring the Clee defence every time he had the ball. Unfortunately this possession could simply not be turned into points and Claverdon were to rue their missed opportunities when Clee got the ball out wide to go over in the corner. The tricky conversion was kicked, 21-3.

This was undeserved and Claverdon knew that they could still get something out of the game. With more possession and straight running from centres Wenborn and Johnson, Claverdon forced Clee to concede a kickable penalty. Wyllie unfortunately pulled the kick wide not helped by a loud cough from an unsporting fan. 21-3 Half Time.

Claverdon started the 2nd half very much on the ascendancy and were soon camped in the Clee half. The usually dominant Clee pack were being out muscled by the Claverdon front row of Knight, Grimsley and D.Carruthers. Balls were being won against the head and scrums being turned all in Claverdon’s favour. Clee did not like or expect this and were starting to show some signs of indiscipline.

The lions were throwing everything at Clee and constantly looked a threat but as had happened in the 1st half, they couldn’t capitalise on their chances. Bennett and Wyllie having switched their roles were bringing the forwards into play and again the big Skinner and Joyce were battering the Clee defence but it remained firm to keep Claverdon shut out.

With all of this pressure Clee did manage to break out on a few occasions but the Claverdon defence now held firm to keep the hosts at bay. The ever reliant Edsall was replaced by Austin to give Claverdon a fresh pair of legs with 20 minutes remaining.

The crowd was starting to get vocal and Claverdon again pressed for a much needed and deserved try but it didn’t come. Clee were giving away penalty after penalty and the immense pressure finally told when their flanker was sin binned for a wild swing right in front of the referee. Soon after, it was a Clee sub that was shown yellow for his constant killing of the ball and Claverdon were unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty try.

As the game was drawing to a close there was still time for more explosive events. The courageous D.Carruthers was replaced by the experienced Lowe at prop and another Clee player was off the field for punching Wyllie with the ball, this time shown a red.

From the last passage of play and Claverdon showing tired legs, a quick tap penalty saw Clee go in under the posts with the full time whistle being sounded as soon as the conversion was kicked to give Clee a somewhat undeserving 28-3 win.

With news from a spy at the Civil Service ground that Tenbury had lost, Clee celebrated winning the league title with Claverdon looking to put everything learnt in to next season’s campaign.

Claverdon finished the season in a respectable 3rd place in the league and, but for unexpectedly losing some players and some unfortunate injuries, might have won it. Thanks must go to all the players that have worn the Claverdon shirt this season and given the cause so much time and effort.

Report by Tom Johnson
Pictures - Will Barnes

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John Garner's Business Column

John GarnerMore changes

April is when the Government makes changes to many of the statutory pay rates, though interestingly not all of them this year. You will be aware that the main tax thresholds have not changed in line with inflation (the basic personal allowance tax code remains at 647L) a good example of fiscal drag as a result of which we all pay more tax without noticing it.

The rate of Statutory Maternity and Paternity Pay (SMP and SPP) rose at the beginning of April to £124.88 or 90% of weekly earnings if lower. There were various other changes to statutory rates such as Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) but the level of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) remains unchanged. See the table below.

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The above rates apply for complete pay weeks commencing on or after 4 April 2010. Employers should be aware that in order to qualify employees should be earning at least £97 per week, a slight increase on last year's Lower Earnings Limit.

John Garner


Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

The Copenhagen Climate Change Accord – What is on offer?

Last December the conference of 192 countries failed to reach agreement on a legally binding emissions reduction target for the world. This was a disappointment but perhaps could have been predicted when you look at the diverse range of energy situations in 192 countries, ranging from the poorest to the richest.

But the conference did agree that global temperature rise should not be allowed to exceed two degrees. More importantly, it was agreed that developed countries should enter their emissions reductions pledges into the Accord by February 1. Analysis of what is now on the table does show that there is unqualified acceptance of the need for a very substantial reduction in emissions of Greenhouse gases.

Here is a sample of pledged reductions on 2007 levels to be achieved by 2020:-

Japan               31%
Australia           13 to 31% depends on what other countries do
EU                   16 to 27% depends on what other countries do
United States    17% possibly more depending on what China does
Canada             19%
UK                    20%

China and India have also pledged reductions but in terms of emissions intensity –the amount of emissions per unit of Gross Domestic Product. China pledges 40 to 45% and India 20 to 25%. To date , more than 110 counties have presented their pledges. Analysis indicates that the pledged reductions are not sufficient to limit global temperature rise to 2 deg C as required by the Copenhagen Accord. However, as indicated above, higher pledges are possible as more confidence builds and the major polluters put forward realistic proposals, with evidence of how they plan to achieve them.

imageimageCould you also make a personal pledge of energy or CO2 reduction? A good way to start is to calculate your Carbon Footprint. There are many easy to use web based calculators such as at www.jpmorganclimatecare.com or www.carbonfootprint.com. The latter explains and allows calculation of secondary carbon footprints arising from use of services provided by banks and things like food production. The simplest require annual spend on gas, electricity, car miles etc plus details of flights. A more accurate figure can be obtained by putting in your annual use of electricity and gas, oil or coal. If you have the bills the difference between meter readings on dates about a year apart gives the figure. It only takes a few minutes, so click on one of the above sites and find out your footprint. Then work out how to reduce it. Both the websites give plenty of advice on how to do this.

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board

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Henley Diary Dates

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

HENLEY AND BEAUDESERT SOCIETY
Our next meeting is on Thursday 22nd April in the Baptist Church Hall at 8.00pm when Chris Mew will give a talk on “English Bells and Change Ringing”. Visitors and new members are very welcome. Further details from Pat Kench on 795419.

FIRST HENLEY & WOOTTON SCOUTS are looking for enthusiastic and energetic Leaders or Assistant Leaders. Details from Simon Cossey 07979 240174

THE STAFFORDSHIRE HOARD. There will be a coffee morning in the Guild Hall on Saturday 1st May, 10.30am. This is to raise funds to help ensure that the hoard remains in the Midlands. Cake stall and raffle.

PETTICOAT LANE – Monday 3rd May in and around the Church Hall, Beaudesert Lane. Home made cakes, bric–a-brac, plants, raffle, paperbacks etc. Refreshments available. Small items of furniture and other items to sell would be gratefully received between 4pm & 8pm at the Church Hall on Sunday 2nd May or ring 01564 794308.

BARN DANCE - Saturday 22nd May at 7.30pm for 8.00pm start, St John’s Church Hall, Beaudesert Lane, in aid of church funds.
Come along and have an enjoyable evening with friends and dance to legendary caller Hugh Rippon. Tickets £7.50 to include Ploughman’s Supper from Barbara Colclough on 01564 793710 or Daphne Jones on 01926 843515.

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

www.Henley-in-Arden.org

HENLEY IN ARDEN TENNIS CLUB
Open to members (juniors and adults) of any standard. Full time coach. 7 courts open throughout the year mean that there is always a court available. No need to book. Club and American Tournaments held during summer months. League matches summer and winter. For details of membership please contact Judith Mathias 01564 792378
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN EVERGREEN CLUB.
Evergreen ClubMeetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month in the Parish Hall, Beaudesert Lane at 2.15pm. 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.
logoTHE ROTARY CLUB of HENLEY-in-ARDEN
Meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm.
New members are always welcome.
Please email Robin Freeman <robinf1@btinternet.com>
Download Henley Rotary Club calendar
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN FLOWER CLUB
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

HENLEY-IN-ARDEN ALLOTMENTS & GARDENING CLUB
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

HENLEY-IN-ARDEN BADMINTON CLUB
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
Henley Cricket Club fields two teams in the Cotswold Hills League on a Saturday and two teams in friendly fixtures on Sundays from mid-April to mid-September. We are always on the lookout for new players, irrespective of age or ability. Anyone interested in joining our club should contact Kevin O'Brien on 01564 794903.
Bowls ClubHENLEY-in-ARDEN BOWLS CLUB
meets on Monday evenings from April to September at 6.30pm and plays until it is dark. The club is situated next to the Tennis Courts at the Sports and Social club ground on the A3400 just outside Henley. The Club welcomes new members, whether beginners or established players. For further information contact John Townson 01564 792407.
JOLLYTOTS
Jollytots meet every Tuesday morning during term time between 10am and 11.45am in the Church Hall on Beaudesert Lane, Henley.  It is open for all under 4 year olds and costs only £1.50 which includes a drink and a biscuit. There are toys, games, arts and crafts and singing. Any questions please ring Rachel on 01564 794470.
Neighbour WatchNEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
There are still vacancies in some areas of Henley-in-Arden for NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Coordinators. If you are aware that your area is not covered or you are willing to be a coordinator, please contact Annette Walker on 792837
HENLEY-IN-ARDEN FLOWER CLUB
Meetings are held on the Second Tuesday each month at 7.30 pm at the Memorial Hall. Secretary Mrs Annette Walker 01564 792837.  Meeting programme
Business ClubTHE WARWICKSHIRE BUSINESS CLUB
Holds its monthly lunchtime meeting on the third Thursday of each month from 11.30am to 2.15pm at the Henley Golf Club. There is a one hour networking session followed by a quality lunch and an informative speaker on a business topic. Full details at www.swbc.co.uk
TAI CHI in HENLEY Thursdays, 11am at the Baptist Church Hall, High Street. Age, health or fitness no barrier. £5 per session – no termly fees. For further information contact Debbie Wild on 07773 318830.    Full details at: www.swantaichi.co.uk
WOOTTON WAWEN FOOTPATHS GROUP
Meets the last Sunday of the month at Wootton Wawen village hall at 2.15pm for a conducted walk of about 5 miles over the local and surrounding area footpaths. The Group welcomes all walkers. There is no subscription.  More details from Denis Keyte on 01564 792872.
ProbusTHE PROBUS CLUB OF BEAUDESERT
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month. Membership consists of retired professional and business men residing in the vicinity of Henley. Visitors are most welcome and for further details please contact the secretary Andrew Yarwood on 794079.
DE MONTFORT LODGE OF FREEMASONS
De Montfort Lodge is the only freemasons’ lodge meeting in Henley. It was established in the town in 1930 and holds meetings in the Guild Hall. Anyone interested in freemasonry should contact John Pollard on 0121 603 8577 for further details.
WRVS LUNCH CLUB
The WRVS organise a lunch club for the elderly of the district at Dell Court every Tuesday at 12.30pm at a cost of £3.10.  For further details contact Christine on 01789 209210.
Bridge ClubHENLEY-IN-ARDEN BRIDGE CLUB
Plays Duplicate Bridge of intermediate standard on Tuesday evenings at the the White Swan Hotel and usually finds time for a tipple, which may or may not improve our play!!  Play commences at 7.15 promptly. There are normally 5 - 8 tables and the club does not issue master points.
For further information please contact the Secretary - Christine Whitehouse on 01564 792993.
coverHENLEY FOCUS
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 karen@henleyfocus.co.uk for more information.

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

www.Henley-in-Arden.org

From our own Correspondents

Henley NewsHenley NEWS on-line is looking for additional correspondents to send in stories and pictures. Why don't you become one of our correspondents and send in stories about your area, your club, your school or events you have witnessed? Please always try to include a photo in jpg or png format. Letters, articles, pictures 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 editor@henleynews.co.uk

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

Court Leet
Religious Affairs
Property
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
Business
Heritage Centre
Memorial Hall
Henley High School
Primary School Elaine Field
Make Henley Greener
Drama - HADS
Claverdon & RailwayClive Hanley
 
Photographers
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.

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Bill Leech - Editor

Henley NEWS Online has an editorial review team which now has more than ten members. They review each edition before it is published and when there are controversial articles, they play a big part in deciding the content. 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.
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The views expressed in these stories and articles do not necessary match the views of the editor. 

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