Henley NEWS Online

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

Campaigning for a better Henley

Edition 247 - 20th May 2010
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Gold 2009
on Thursdays

Tragic Accident

logoYou will know that one of our buses was involved in a dreadful accident at approximately 4pm on Tuesday 18th May, when there was a collision between a car and our bus, which was conducting a local school bus journey. The crash sadly claimed the lives of both our driver and the driver of the car. The passenger in the car and one young passenger on the bus were also injured and taken to hospital. There were 31 other children on the bus at the time, who were attended to by emergency services at the scene of the accident before being released to go home.

Peter Johnson, the operations director at the family business said. “Our driver was 67 year old David Franklin. David had been a part time coach and bus driver for us since 2003; he was a highly regarded member of our team who was always willing to help us out, as requested on all types of coach and bus driving work. David was an experienced driver, always smartly dressed, and thoroughly dependable and professional in his work. He was very much a part of our driver team here and will be greatly missed by all of us. Our thoughts and condolences go out to David’s family and also to the family of the driver of the car. Our thoughts and best wishes also go out to all those who were injured in this terrible and tragic accident.”

Finally, the company very much appreciates the numerous goodwill messages, from customers, suppliers and fellow coach and bus operators. They would also like to thank the local residents who provided immediate assistance at the time, plus the emergency services who quickly and efficiently dealt with all aspects of the tragedy.

Carol Essex reporting


The electors of Henley Parish have the opportunity to vote in 2 polls in the coming week. On Tuesday 25th May there will be a Town Referendum on the "Leadership and Management of the JPC". On Thursday 27th May there will be a by-election for a vacant seat on the Joint Parish Council. The polling station for both is the Memorial Hall.

Voting for the referendum on Tuesday is between 4pm and 9pm and voting for the by-election on Thursday is between 7am and 10pm. The results are expected to be declared approx 30 mins after the close of the polling station. Neither of these polls involve the electors of the parish of Beaudesert.

Henley Parish Referendum on JPC

This Parish Referendum will take place in the Memorial Hall, Station Road on Tuesday 25th May between 4 pm and 9pm. The question will be:




Peter Crathorne writes an open letter to the residents of the Parish of Henley-in-Arden

Please vote on 25th May at the Memorial Hall. The polling station is open from 4.00pm until 9.00pm.

“Do you agree 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?”

Why would anyone want such a resolution to be put to the whole town?" Why has this action upset many people and ultimately incensed some residents so much that they were moved to seriously disrupt the recent Joint Parish Assembly?

We complain about apathy from voters in regard to local government. Recent events in Henley have created significant interest as shown in the recent election for the Beaudesert ward where there was the necessity for a ballot for the first time in 9 years to appoint a Parish Councillor . Local people appear, once again, to be exercising their democratic rights. Surely, as a good gardener will nurture a seedling, we should all encourage the increasing interest in local affairs?

The record of the JPC resorting to doing business in private session at the slightest sign of trouble is unique to this parish council, certainly in this part of the country.

A resident’s experience when standing up at a JPC meeting expressing deep concern over the public behaviour of a councillor and asking for possible censure resulted in a private session of the JPC with no feedback to the complainant as to the outcome of discussion even though he was required to give his name and address before speaking. Changes to the way residents are treated when addressing the JPC must be made as a matter of urgency.

The opportunity to take part in a town poll applies fairly and equally to all. The outcome is not in the hands of any one group of people, it provides an opportunity for those who believe that the parish council is doing a fine job for the town to give their view in equal measure to those who believe the process of our local democracy is in a state of disrepute. The parish council has signally failed to respond to heartfelt criticism of their actions by a wide range of respected and prominent people in the town and left those who have taken their civic responsibilities seriously to believe that all avenues of influence have been shut off to them. This proposal is born out the frustration created by this failure to recognise the value of wide consultation about the issues. Those of us who support this proposition understand that there is a cost attached. We are also aware that it cannot be legally binding upon the JPC. However if in this poll the town indicated their desire for a new beginning and this was ignored, the present parish council would do irreparable harm to their already tarnished reputation.

Many of us who have witnessed the discussions undertaken by the Parish Council have seen decisions being made as the result of attitudes to personalities rather than the cool headed review of the salient facts leading to a conclusion that has benefited from open, direct, respectful and earnest debate.

Finally, the parish councillors need to take this much needed opportunity to explain some of their mystifying decisions; they believe that they have taken the correct decisions, residents have never doubted their sincerity nor have they underestimated the level of personal sacrifice required for such public service. However there are good reasons for the parish council to grasp this chance to explain - for instance, the need to make the parish clerk almost full time, the growth in the number of sub committees, the shifting of the balance away from financial support to the community to funding running costs. This proposition is not a personal attack on any individual parish council member, they are respected for the time they give to the community. It is a comment on the council as a whole and the fact that they have taken this town on a journey which has heaped public criticism from within itself, from the surrounding districts and in the local press. The poll is like a set of traffic lights saying to all STOP, CONSIDER, should we not be taking another route?

“Do you agree 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?

If you subscribe to this view then make sure you vote on Tuesday 25th May at the Memorial Hall, between 4.00pm and 9.00pm. This is an exceptional opportunity for residents in the Parish of Henley-in-Arden to express their whole hearted support for the JPC or to register their protest at the current course of events.

There is an archive of the press reports about events at the Joint Parish Council in 2009 and 2010 at:


Peter Crathorne - Joint Founder of The Reform Group

Henley Parish Council By-election

This by-election will take place in the Memorial Hall, Station Road on Thursday 27th May between 7am and 10pm.


John Latham writes a special message to readers of Henley NEWS Online

If ever I had any doubts about the wisdom of standing for the vacancy on the Parish Council it has been dispelled by the warm reception that I and my canvassers have received as we visited as many residents as possible in the Henley Parish over the last few days.

Despite the fear of “election fatigue” from voters as we follow on so closely to the events of May 6th everyone we talked to was enthusiastic about having, at last, an election to elect a new Henley councillor and hopeful that it would help to bring an end to some of the controversy that has developed in recent months over the actions of the JPC and some of its councillors. It has become obvious that it is a situation which brings embarrassment to all who love the town.

Can I thank all those residents who have volunteered to help with my campaign and all the residents who have offered such enthusiastic support on the doorstep and on the street. I just ask one more favour – that you get out and use your vote on May 27th at the Memorial Hall.

John Latham - Joint Founder of The Reform Group

Air Ambulance - Heroes Run




Sunday 23rd May at Stoneleigh


It is now just a few days to the Air Ambulance Heroes Run at Stoneleigh Park on Sunday 23rd May.


5 Km is not a long way to run, jog or walk. Please bring all the family including your dogs!


I hope you will also ask all your friends and colleagues join you for this fun event which is in support of one of our most important local charities.


Please could you and all your team to register on the Heroes Run website as soon as possible.


Johnsons are providing a coach from the Market Cross. Call 01564 797000 for further details.

Tourist Office Opens in Stratford

imageStratford-on-Avon District Council opened its new tourist office at 62 Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday 15th May.

Since the closure of the Tourist Information Centre, operated by South Warwickshire Tourism, on 31 March staff at the District Council have been working hard to ensure that an alternative facility is available for visitors and tourists. Several meetings have been held with key stakeholders and the operators of local attractions. In addition open meetings are being held so that former members of South Warwickshire Tourism and any businesses that have been affected are able to air their views and opinions, and a questionnaire will help identify any gaps in current service provision and priorities for the future.

Following a meeting of creditors on 28th April the Tourist Information Centre on Bridgefoot is being handed back to the Council and, whilst refurbishment works are carried out, 62 Henley Street will provide a temporary facility. Operated as a partnership between the District Council and Stratford-upon-Avon College, the new facility will be identified as ‘Welcome to Stratford-on-Avon’ and will include sales of tickets to local venues and provide an important information facility for visitors and tourists.

Contact details for the new tourist office are telephone no: 01789 264293 and email: tourism@stratford-dc.gov.uk

Councillor Mike Brain, Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “I am delighted that an alternative facility is opening and that we are able to work with a key partners such as Stratford-upon-Avon College. The District Council is determined to provide a tourist office which meets the needs of residents, businesses, visitors and tourists alike.”

Watch the NEW HENLEY TOUR VIDEO on the Town Website


The Manor of Henley-in-Arden Court Leet and Court Baron


Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff


The Annual Ale Tasting by The Court Leet

On the night of Wednesday the 12th May Bailiffs and ale tasters from the four Courts of Henley, Alcester, Warwick and Bromsgrove gathered in the Guild Hall, and on a proclamation from the Town Crier, Gordon Trinder , Henley’s ale tasters, Andrew Gardner and Barry Tulloch led the assault on the High Street’s six pubs! Constable John Love was asked by the High Bailiff, Roger Sutton, to keep a watchful eye on the proceedings and caution any person wary of drink!

First port of call was the Nags Head where publican Mike pulled a pint of Bombardier for ale taster Andrew Gardner to taste and draw comment. Before reporting his findings to the High Bailiff, he asked for a second opinion from fellow ale taster Barry Tulloch. Both ale tasters concurred and found the ale for sale in the Nags Head to be of excellent quality and of good value. The High Bailiff then presented the landlord with a certificate of worthiness to hang on his wall so that all could see that the ale tasters of the ancient Court Leet had sampled his ales and found them fit for the people of Henley to drink.

The same procedures were conducted in the White Swan, the Three Tuns, Matricardi’s and the Blue Bell. All ales tasted were found to be of excellent quality and certificates handed to each landlord in turn by the High Bailiff.

The last port of call was the Black Swan where our merry bunch of revelers witnessed the final tasting of the evening. It was here that landlords Ian and Lynda laid on a hot meal for our revelers. In rounding off the evening the High Bailiff thanked the visiting Courts for their company and the ale tasters for their hard work in determining the quality of the ale drunk !


Roger Sutton - High Bailiff
Photos Alan Robson


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65th Anniversary of VE Day Service & Parade



On Sunday 9th May 2010, there was an open air ‘Drum Head’ service lead by the Rector, John Ganjavi, at St Nicholas Church to commemorate the 65th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day.


The Shirley Pipe Band led the Royal British Legion Veterans, The Court Leet, local Councillors, Cubs and Scouts from the Memorial Hall to church.


On the return the salute was taken by a Captain from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.


Slideshow of this event

Warning From Trading Standards

'Prize Winner' Letter

imageThe Trading Standards Service has been alerted to a letter which has been sent to some Warwickshire residents, including those in the Bedworth area. The letter refers to an 'unclaimed prize' the recipient had 'won' in a previous promotion. The letter then goes on to state that the recipient has won £25,000 or another item. The cost of obtaining the prize is £14.95. Trading Standards Officers would like to direct recipients to the small print on this letter which states that the vast majority of the prizes available, some 10,000+, are small items of jewellery. Anyone considering responding to this offer should be aware that the cost of the P&P to receive their 'prize' is likely to be far higher than the value of the prize itself.

For Trading Standards information or more information, please visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards

Simon Cripwell - Trading Standards Service
Warwickshire County Council
email. simoncripwell@warwickshire.gov.uk

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Umberslade Farm Park gets a new lease of life

imageUmberslade Farm Park, which is situated in Tanworth-in-Arden, has attracted more than 10,000 people since it re-opened its gates in February after a six-month refurbishment project saw it create a new adventure play area, an indoor play area, a farmhouse cafe and educational rooms. Backed by a £27,000 Rural Enterprise Grant (REG) from Advantage West Midlands (AWM), the company has successfully restored the venue back to full use and has ambitious plans to turn it into one of the most popular visitor destinations in the region by the end of the year.

“The first Umberslade Children’s Farm opened on the estate in 1988 and was extremely popular until it closed in 2007 when my aunt retired. This left a major gap in the community and local tourism sector,” explained Oliver Muntz who runs the firm with fellow graduate Matt Porter. We recognised that there was an opportunity to take the farm to the next level, building on its core principles of being a real working farm and combining it with new facilities and more activities for children.”

He continued: “The vision was extremely exciting but required a lot of funding which meant the project would probably have taken a good year without external support. Fortunately, we got talking with the Rural Development Programme of England team at AWM and they were able to work with us to secure a £27,000 REG towards the £65,000 investment.”

Located on 30 acres of countryside, Umberslade Farm Park offers visitors the chance to experience many aspects of modern agriculture from animal husbandry to arable production. The interactive element of the attraction is boosted even further by 24 skilled staff who provide information on the animals and hands-on learning via the real working practices and new educational rooms that have been set-up for school visits.  Children, ranging from toddlers to teenagers, can also hand-feed the animals and make use of indoor “Egg Splat cannons” and outdoor play areas featuring a complete new range of equipment that can be enjoyed all year round in all weathers.

“We’ve just had our record day, with 350 people visiting the Farm,” continued Matt, who studied Rural Enterprise and Land Management at Harper Adams University College. The new attractions and activities certainly seem to be working as is the new Farmhouse Café which seats 45 people and features produce from locally sourced suppliers. We want Umberslade to play a vital role in the community, create employment for local people and, in our unique way, add to Warwickshire’s tourism economy.”

Funded under the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) which is managed by Advantage West Midlands and administered by Herefordshire Council, Rural Enterprise Grants are available for farmers and micro businesses developing and diversifying into food and drink, environmental technologies, tourism improvements and other activities which support the land based sector. Funding of up to 40% (or £62,500) can be secured towards projects that range from new processing machinery and supply chain equipment to energy installations and improvements to tourism experiences.

Umberslade used the money to speed up its plans by six months, ensuring all improvements were complete and that the Farm Park was up and running in time for the busy Easter period and start of Summer. Rural Enterprise Grant Manager Dorothy Coleman believes the re-opening is great news for the local area:

“Oliver and Matt have transformed the way the farm operates and this is already reaping dividends with visitor numbers up and a host of seasonal activities planned, including the official launch day at the end of May and special events for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas. Umberslade has the potential to not only be a major attraction in Warwickshire, but to be one of the most popular in the West Midlands.”

Russ Cockburn reporting


Henley Youth Football Team  v Warwickshire Police


At the Warwickshire College ground on Saturday 15th May, a Warwickshire Police XI took part in a football match against a selection of youths from the Henley and surrounding area. A fine football match followed played in excellent spirit by all players which resulted in the Henley Youth team winning 3-2. The match was well attended by members of the local community and the weather completed an enjoyable day.

David Martin - Report & Photo

Claverdon RFC 'Clubman of the Year'


The club's 45th annual dinner took place on Friday 14th May.   The guest speaker was Mark Regan, former hooker for England and British Lions. The picture shows Brian Westmacott receiving the 'Clubman of the Year' trophy from Mark.

Will Barnes - Report & Photo

Applying for a Job with a Local Council

imageA bloke, not the one on the right, goes to the local council to apply for a job in the office. The interviewer asks him, "Are you allergic to anything?"

He replies, "Yes, caffeine."

"Have you ever worked for the public service before?"   "Yes, I was in the army." he says, "I was in Iraq for two tours."

The interviewer says, "That will give you 5 extra points toward employment." Then he asks, "Are you disabled in any way?"

The guy says, "Yes. A mine exploded near me when I was there and I lost both of my testicles".

The interviewer grimaces and then says, "OK. You've got enough points for me to take you on right away. Our normal hours are from 8.00am to 4.00pm... ...but you can start tomorrow at 10.00am - and carry on starting at 10.00am every day."

The bloke is puzzled and asks, "If the work hours are from 8.00am to 4.00pm, why don't you want me here until 10.00am? I'm not looking for any special treatment y'know"

"What you have to understand is that this is a council job," the interviewer says, "For the first two hours we just stand around drinking coffee and scratching our balls. There's no point in you coming in for that."

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Town Website at:


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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


Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

An easy way to save

Just turn down the brightness on your PC monitor. Our LCD screen uses 29 watts at 100% brightness but only 16 watts at 35% brightness, a saving of 13 watts. The 100% brightness level is only needed if the screen has a bright light shining on it, so unless your monitor is in direct sunlight you will find that a much reduced brightness setting is absolutely fine. The brightness is adjustable by pressing the arrow buttons above a picture of the sun. After adjustment, press the OK button.


A CRT monitor that we have uses 70 watts at 100% brightness and 65 watts at 35%. The saving is not so great as for the LCD but still worth doing if you use your PC a lot. This monitor is a bit dim at 35% so if yours is also, try 40 or 45%. The higher consumption of the CRT monitor means that significant savings can be had by not leaving the monitor on for any longer than necessary – just hit the monitor’s off button when you need to leave the PC to answer the door etc. This takes the power down to 3 watts.

Switch everything off at the wall socket when you have finished. As mentioned above, using the power button on the monitor does not turn it off completely. The same is true of PCs, printers and most electronic equipment. Even our washing machine is not completely off, despite it having an indicator light that goes out when you turn the machine off using the rocker switch on the front panel.

Energy Champions
Transition Stratford are developing an Energy Champions scheme. The idea is for people to help friends to save energy by giving tips and advice such as the above. A free training session is on offer to anyone wishing to learn how to become an Energy Champion. There will be information packs and back up by energy experts if needed. If you are interested in becoming an energy champion give me a call on 792251.

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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

Stratford District Council

Jem Jones
Jem Jones
S Thirlwell
Stephen Thirlwell

Spring is in the air!

Now that spring is finally here Stratford-on-Avon District Council would like to remind residents to put garden waste in their green wheeled bin to be collected every other week on the same collection day as the blue lidded recycling bin.

Residents can put the following green materials in the green bin:

  • Grass cuttings
  • Prunings
  • Small trees/branches (Maximum 75mm/3 inch diameter)
  • Flowers
  • Weeds.

Residents are also reminded that food waste including raw food, cooked food (including bones) can be put in the green wheeled bin wrapped in paper or put it in compostable bags but not in plastic bags or biodegradable bags.

The contents of the green wheeled bins are taken to an in-vessel compost facility in Ufton run by Biffa Waste Services where it is turned into compost that is used locally. For further information and advice please contact Stratford-on-Avon District Council on 01789 260616.

You may also wish to consider home composting. Composters are available from Warwickshire County Council call 0845 077 0757 or visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/composting.

Residents are also reminded that it is their responsibility to keep their bins clean and a number of private companies operate in the District offer a regular bin cleaning service for a small fee; but this is entirely up to individual residents if they wish to use this service. All the waste in the grey bin can be contained in plastic sacks and food waste in the green bin can be wrapped in paper or compostable bags which should minimise any potential dirt and smell problems.

Finally please remember to take care when compacting material in your wheeled bins, do not climb into the bins.

Joint Parish Council Watch

logoThe AGM of the Joint Parish Council took place on 10th May 2010 and the councillors voted themselves into the same positions as the previous year. The Chairman said he wanted to create another committee to deal with Personnel (the JPC only employs one person). There had been requests from councillors for a copy of the clerk's job description as there was debate that the duties of the clerk included organising the parish assemblies. Previous job descriptions and the model from NALC (National Association of Local Councils) contained this obligation.

A more detailed report of these meetings by the Stratford Herald appears below.

At the meeting on 17th May 2010, the Chairman reported that 13 electors from the Parish of Beaudesert had requested a Parish Meeting in accordance with the 1972 Local Government Act. He said that the advice of Stratford District Council was being sought. He criticised the cost of holding a parish meeting and said that there had been no need for elections during the previous 21 years.

It appeared to the observers from Reform that the Chairman failed to realise that the reason for the request for a Parish Meeting was to bring about greater local democracy and to petition for a reduction in the administration costs of the JPC. The salary costs for the JPC are about £20,000 pa more than for the salary costs for the Claverdon parish council.

The Chairman stated that the Parish Assembly “was conducted in accordance with the law”. Reform considers this statement was wrong for the following reasons:

  1. The regulations state that “The chairman of the parish council is entitled to attend, and if he is present he shall preside over the meeting.” He did not preside over the meeting on 19th April 2010 although he was present.
  2. A number of electors were prevented from taking part in the vote as they had not been allowed to enter the hall.

Furthermore, there are no restrictions on the number and frequency of Parish Meetings.

It is likely if the Chairman continues to refuse to hold a Parish Meeting, these electors will seek a judicial review. The cost will likely have to be met by the JPC and the Chairman of the JPC will probably be instructed to hold a Parish Meeting.

There is an archive of the press reports about events at the Joint Parish Council in 2009 and 2010 at:


If you believe the JPC's conduct is unacceptable, please support REFORM and register at:




We have received the following explanation from the Parish Clerk Jenny Walsh with reference to the request by 13 electors for a Parish Meeting.

In response to your email I would make the following comments:

The Chairman of the JPC did not preside at the Assemblies held on 19th April for 3 reasons:
we did not receive the NALC guidance on assemblies until after the meetings had been held,
the Chairmen had already been elected by residents; they had convened the meetings and to assume the Chair from them on the night would have been discourteous to say the very least,
NALCs ruling about holding Assemblies separately would have prevented both meetings being held concurrently that night. The result would have been that one Parishes’ residents would have had to be sent home and another date agreed for their Assembly.  Such a decision on the night would have caused considerable discord.

Your claim that another meeting should be held as ‘some electors were not allowed entry’ will never be satisfied however many meetings are convened in the Parish as there is no venue in the town that could accommodate the 791 electors for Beaudesert.  Therefore in principle, if your claim is valid, then there could always be justification for holding another meeting as potentially, not every elector could attend any venue organised in Henley/Beaudesert. Furthermore, the law is quite clear that meetings cannot be held in ‘groups’ as all those wishing to express opinions, should be entitled to do so in front of all other electors if they choose to attend.  A request for a Poll would never be accepted if meetings were conducted in this way and they would certainly be outside the governance set out in the LGA 1972.

Re your final paragraph – I am fully aware that there is no restriction to the number and frequency of Parish meetings a Parish may hold (provided that all the criteria set out in the LGA are adhered to) but I question that to continue imposing financial burden on the electorate of Henley when it appears that you do not even wish to tell residents the purpose of calling another meeting*, is contrary to the principle of ensuring that the best interests of the town are protected. This principle is intrinsic to that promise made by all Councillors when they take up position.
I will reiterate what the Chairman clearly stated at the JPC on 17th May – i.e. that the Council would take no further action until a decision had been communicated by SDC. He did NOT say that the Parish Council would not hold a meeting.
In writing this response, I trust that an accurate representation of the facts will be made if you are considering publishing information on the matter.
Jenny Walsh

John Latham, a candidate for the Henley Parish by-election next Thursday and co-Founder of the Reform Association comments:

My comments are as follows:

Point 1
Ignorance of the law has never been accepted as a defence. The clerk is expected to know the rules.

Point 2
Although the House of Commons has 630 MPs, there is only room in the chamber for 430 to sit. This doesn't prevent the Commons ever meeting it just means that when there are major issues to be debated the situation has to managed and treated with common sense. It is what democracy is all about. To imply that all 791 electors would come along to a parish meeting doesn't represent a common sense response to the situation.

The sensible view would be to decide, with a discussion amongst JPC councillors what might be the level of interest in a meeting from the residents and book the right size venue accordingly. History suggests that between 30 and 130 people might be expected to attend and there are several venues in Henley which would meet this requirement.

As regards the Agenda items, I understand these residents will ask for the following to be included on the agenda.

    1. Empowering local democracy.
    2. Eliminating unnecessary secrecy.
    3. Improving the media image of the JPC.
    4. Reducing the administrative costs of the JPC.
    5. Increase the financial support for the community organisations to improve the town's amenities.
    6. AOB.

I do hope that the electors of Beaudesert will be allowed to have a meeting to discuss their concerns.

John Latham

Stratford Herald reports on recent JPC meetings

‘Lock-out’ at annual assembly sparks call for compensation

A RESIDENT called for compensation for the voters shut out of last month's annual town assembly in Henley, at Monday night's annual meeting of Beaudesert and Henley Joint Parish Council. At least eight residents were unable to attend the assembly at the Baptist Church hall on 19th April.

Malcolm Coulter, of High Street, said during public participation session of the parish council meeting on Monday, "I understand that compensation of £750 is being considered for voters locked out from polling stations at the general election. Is the joint parish council or chairmen of the town assembly either past or present going to take the same course of action for voters locked out of the town assembly, and if not, what is their reason? Could I have an immediate answer please?"

Cllr Les Goodman, who was unanimously re-elected as council chairman, said: "You certainly cannot have an immediate answer."

The council reiterated that the decision was made as 100 residents were already inside, filling the hall to its capacity, and to admit any more would have breached health and safety regulations. Cllr Hadley said: "When the hall was full to capacity, we shut the door. There were six or eight people who could not get in, but they were not locked out, we shut the door. The alternative was to cancel the meeting. In view of the high feeling in the room at the time, Chris Milsom and I would have been under more criticism than when we made the decision to carry on in the best interests of both parishes at the time."

Cllr George Matheou said: "The assembly was not an election, it was the annual assembly." Cllr Milsom said: "We could not be in the position of breaking health and safety and fire rules, which prevented more than 100 people in. We had a choice and made that choice. Had we made that call to adjourn, we could well have ended up with a riot on our hands."

Chairman Cllr Goodman advised Mr Coulter to write to the two chairmen of the assembly.

The council also discussed the parish council's representation on the Henley News Online website. Last week, Cllr Matheou said he would be drawing a line under the issue of Henley Town Improvement Committee's £3,000 grant, after suggesting a deferment. But on Monday night, he brought the issue up again, complaining about an article posted on the website suggesting that the payment of the grant should be "frozen."

He said: "I know I drew a line under this at the last meeting, but this is incorrect reporting using my name. What I want to do is to reach an agreement. Either Bill [Cllr Leech, who runs the website], you copy me into the circulation list and I can clear my name of nonsense or you agree to receive a reply from me without changes." Cllr Leech said that under the Data Protection Act he could not release addresses but people could respond to articles. Cllr Matheou replied: "Life's too short for this. Do you accept or not that I did not say about freezing the grant?" Cllr Leech replied that it was all down to interpretation. A large proportion of people in the town were under the impression the grant was frozen, he said.

Cllr Goodman intervened and said that the grant had been deferred, to which Cllr Leech retorted: "Therefore, the two are similar."

The chairman said councillors were concerned about the way the council was represented on the website. Reports should be correct and not someone's personal blog. Vice-chairman Cllr Roger Hubbocks said there should be a procedure in place where things came via the council's clerk. Much if what had been published in Henley Online News had been incorrect and the council had not had the opportunity to correct it." Cllr Leech responded that he did give the councillors a chance to take a look at Henley News Online on Mondays or Tuesdays before the fortnightly publication on Thursdays. "I very rarely write things personally about the parish council," he said.

"What appears in Henley News Online about the parish council is usually written by the Stratford Herald and it's reprinted with their approval, or it is written by a named member of the community. Very little put in is written by me. I welcome a dialogue with the parish council in how to get over this long running problem."

Report by Susan Evans - Stratford Herald - Thursday 13th May 2010

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

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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: henleyparishnews@btinternet.com

Wednesday 26th May visit to Evesham by coach includes a tour of the Almonry Museum and Heritage Centre, a scenic river cruise and afternoon tea. The cost is £18.00 and to book contact Lesley Eastwood on 793646.

Jeff Baker on “Wildlife and Gardening”. Tuesday May 18th and look forward to meeting any visitors from 7.45pm in the Baptist Church Hall.

BARN DANCE– Saturday 22nd May at 7.30pm for 8.00pm start in the Church Hall, Beaudesert Lane, in aid of church funds.
Come along and have an enjoyable evening with friends and dance to caller Hugh Rippon. Tickets £7.50 to include a ploughman’s supper from Barbara Colclough on 793710 and Daphne Jones on 01926 793710.

SUMMER FETE - 26th June, 11.00am to 3.00pm at St John’s Church Hall , Beaudesert Lane, Henley in Arden. Stalls include Tombola, Raffle, Bric a Brac, Toys, Plants, Good as New Clothes, Books Jewellery and more! Refreshments and lunchtime BBQ. Annual prize winning Duck Race on the River Alne at 2.15pm. Come and enjoy a fun time for all the family and help support church funds. Details from Barbara Colclough on 01564 793710 or Daphne Jones on 01926 793710.

RUDDIGORE in Tanworth July 16th & 17th 2010
Officers and Ancestors required! Tenors and basses are invited to join the first rehearsal for this year’s G & S on Tuesday May 25th in Tanworth village hall at 7.45pm. Full choir meets June 1st and rehearsals continue weekly. The final rehearsal is on July 13th. A MUST FOR EVERYONE! Details of tickets in June. Any questions ring Wendy Dillon on 742464.

JAZZ in the GARDEN will be on 17th July. More details from Duncan or Marijana Bainbridge on 795149.

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 <robinf1@btinternet.com>
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
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
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
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 karen@henleyfocus.co.uk 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 editor@henleynews.co.uk

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Court Leet
Religious Affairs
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Henley History
Henley in Bloom
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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.

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