Henley NEWS Online

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

Previous Editions

Edition 253 - 12th August 2010
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Gold 2009
on Thursdays

Parish Spending to be brought under control?

imageThe Coalition Government has issued a consultation document on “Local referendums to veto excessive council tax increases”. The introduction states:

Band D council tax has more than doubled since 1997-98 and high increases in the past have led to various measures designed to constrain local discretion, including council tax capping. Often these measures appeared to be based on the presumption that Government ministers and their civil servants knew better than local communities what was in their best interest. The Coalition Government is determined to reverse this presumption and to rebalance the role of the central state and local communities. This will see the Government playing a much smaller role, with powers and responsibilities being devolved to the most appropriate level, wherever possible empowering local people so that they have a direct say in important decisions that affect their lives. In relation to council tax, this means abolishing capping and giving local people a stronger role in determining annual increases. The Government intends to introduce legislation to achieve this at the earliest opportunity.

The control of excessive parish council precepts, which the Henley-in-Arden Reform Association has been advocating, has been included.

Parish precepts

In 2009/10, our Joint Parish Council increased the Parish Precept (Band F) by 37.6%.

There has been a growing awareness in recent years of the council tax increases set by local precepting authorities, and of the very high precept increases set by some town and parish councils in particular. Increases in council tax revenue from town and parish councils have outstripped those for England in each of the last five years. The average town and parish precept set in some billing authorities (around £100) is larger than that of the smallest shire district of Breckland (£68). It is right that local precepting authorities should have the resources they need to support NEIGHBOURHOODs and local communities. However it is also right that council taxpayers are protected from excessive increases.

 In fact, it is the very first question to be asked in the consultation.

Question 1.

Do you agree that local precepting authorities, such as town and parish councils, should be included within the provisions for council tax referendums? If so,

  • are there details about the budget setting process for local precepting authorities which need to be taken into account?
  • will the ‘double lock’ mechanism work to protect the majority of town and parish councils.

Observations on the consultation document

Our Joint Parish Council, which sets the parish precept (parish council tax), will discuss this proposed curtailment of their spending powers at their next meeting on 25th August. The Reform Association will be making a response to the Government's consultation, welcoming the cap on parish councils, which the Reform Association has been advocating to local MPs. The Association believes that the JPC should spend more money on supporting local voluntary organisations and £20,000 less on unnecessary admin and propaganda.

Clearly the Joint Parish Council will need to be mindful of this and seek to reverse the large increases that have taken place over the previous years

Henley NEWS Online asked Bob Ayling, a very experienced business manager and resident of Henley, to comment on the Government's proposals and he reports:

  • imageI would like to see the proposal extended to include referendums on whether the precept is excessive – not just on whether the increase is excessive. Ultimately the real value in a ‘Big Society’ comes down to whether the residents consider the local taxes  deliver value for money.
  • The double lock mechanism appears to be contrary to the principle of putting the power with the residents – small values should not be outside of a democracy.
As a starter towards a ‘Big Society’ this seems to be a useful first step.  It would be an even bigger step if my observations were enacted too.  To truly bring about a ‘Big Society’ the people need to see that they have real power to influence local politics.  Councillors are elected to represent the residents not to become an oligarchy for its own ends.
Bob Ayling - Reform Association

Town Meeting about the Market Site Development



In 2007, Henley NEWS Online supported a successful campaign by 217 Henley residents, pictured below, to ensure that the Joint Parish Council publicly declared that it was opposed to the first scheme proposed by Taylor Wimpey for the redevelopment of the market site.


With this experience, the residents are now having to repeat this process with another Town Meeting on 17th August 2010. Commenting at the last parish council meeting on Monday 2nd August 2010, Cllr George Matheou said, "Cllr Bill Leech has no right to organise a Town Meeting". Consequently, it is not expected that the "Ruling Group" of the JPC will attend. So far, only Cllr Osborne, Cllr Hadley and Cllr Leech have told Henley NEWS Online that they will be attending.

The parish clerk has declined to confirm that 33 Henley parish electors have written to the Chairman of the Joint Parish Council, Cllr Les Goodman, requesting that he convenes a parish meeting after the Town Meeting on the 17th. Cllr Goodman told the Stratford Herald that he would seek advice regarding the validity of using the parish poll system in this way.

Under the 1972 Local Government Act, six or more parishioners, who must all be on the electoral roll for the parish, can convene a parish meeting to consider any business, which is a matter of concern to the parish and seven clear days notice must be given for such a meeting. There is no requirement under the Act for parishioners to ask for the permission of the Parish Council.

With 33 parish electors, which is far in excess of the 6 required by law, having written to the JPC Chairman requesting a parish meeting, many residents believe the JPC chairman has no option but to convene a parish meeting so that the residents can inform the JPC of their concerns about the proposals which Taylor Wimpey displayed at their exhibition last month. If the chairman fails to hold a parish meeting, this will be a violation of the 1972 Act and the residents can go ahead and call on Stratford District Council to hold a parish referendum on the acceptability of the proposed development.

Taylor Wimpey has declined to speak at the Town Meeting, saying that they have "already carried out a public consultation exercise and have received representations from the members of the public who attended the recent event [exhibition]." A spokesman for the developers told Henley NEWS Online that the developers had already met Cllr Les Goodman and some of the parish councillors as part of their local consultation programme required by Stratford District Council.

Mr John Stott Chairman of the Beaudesert and Henley Society, Mr Paul Wright Head of Henley High School, County Councillor Mike Perry, District Councillor Stephen Thirlwell, the Flood Risk Officer for this area from the Environment Agency and a significant number of residents are expected to speak.


We MUST be prepared to take responsibility for the community in which we live!

Simon Halsey - High Street


The proposals, as they stand, seem to be solely for the financial benefit of the developer

and will have a long term detrimental impact on the residents of Henley.

John Tristram - Prince Harry Road


It seems all our concerns from the first planning proposals have been ignored.

School safety and the increased risk of flooding are also of major concern.

Steve Aston - Warwick Road

Henley Pollution Already Exceeds Recommendations

From Henley NEWS Online - 11th February 2010

Senior Environmental Health Officer writes to Henley NEWS Online

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Ellison - Stratford District Council

Councils in England offered new homes bonus

Councils in England are to be offered extra money for every newly-built home as part of a government programme aimed at easing housing shortages. Under the New Homes Bonus scheme the government will match the council tax raised on each new house for six years. Housing Minister Grant Shapps said action was needed as home building was at its lowest level since the 1920s.

Shadow housing minister John Healey described the announcement as a con and said the scheme would cost billions. Mr Shapps said: "We will not tell communities how or where to build. But the New Homes Bonus will ensure that those communities that go for growth reap the benefits of development, not just the costs. With house building falling to its lowest level since 1924 under the previous government, action is needed now to build the homes the country needs."

According to Mr Shapps the current arrangement does not help residents to get the building projects that they need in their communities.

"We think this top-down system which pitted communities against developers meant they spent loads of time in court and at planning appeals. We think that's crazy. And a better system is to get people actually saying there's something in it for our area - we can have a new swimming pool, or town centre, or something that we want in our area if we allow some house building to go ahead. That rebalances the argument and we believe they will build more homes".

There were 120,000 homes built last year and there are 4.5m people in England who are on council waiting lists. The Local Government Association welcomed the move but said any new building would need the support of local people.

Wasting Our Money on Propaganda


imageElections for Parish Councillors are held every 4 years. If a vacancy occurs between that time. advertisements would be placed locally and the vacancy filled by co-option within the Parish Council. This year two such vacancies occurred but a small group of residents claimed that the normal practice of co-option was undemocratic and forced a by-election to be held by the District Council in both instances. In addition, they claimed that Parish Councillors were not doing their jobs correctly and used an ancient right in law to request a Parish Poll be taken on this matter. If ten or more electors in a Parish agree to this, then the Poll would have to be conducted by the District Council. 13 Henley electors requested this so the Poll was held in which 117 voted in favour and 102 voted against the claim. 87% of you did not turn out to vote.

As the result of the Poll is not binding in law, the purpose of holding one is questionable. However, the cost of the Poll being conducted, and the cost of holding the two by-elections is charged to the Parish Council who will have to pass on the cost to the electors of the town in the form of Precept on the Council Tax.

The total cost of the Poll and the by elections is £2,700 which will mean that every elector in Beaudesert and Henley will have to pay an additional £1 on their Council Tax next year whether they agree with the views of the opposers to the JPC or not. We believe that you as tax payers should be aware of this fact.

This article appeared in the latest edition of the JPC Magazine which is delivered to every household in Beaudesert and Henley and paid for by the parish council tax payers. The contents of this issue were not approved at a full council meeting and many residents are outraged because they consider the article to be both party political and inaccurate. They consider the small cost of contested elections to be minimal when compared with the £20,000 the JPC is accused of wasting each year.

The 'ancient' law referred to is the current Local Government Act 1972. We live in a democracy and contests are the norm for both elections and by-elections. As a result of holding the first contested parish by-election in living memory Sue Osborne defeated George Atkinson, the preferred candidate of the JPC "Ruling Group". In the second contested parish by-election, the candidate nominated by one of JPC "Ruling Group" came last. In the Parish Referendum the JPC "Ruling Group" lost the vote of confidence. Do these comments in the latest edition of the JPC Magazine mean the "Ruling Group" considers its maxim to be:

"I do not agree with what you have to say, and I'll prevent to the death your right to vote for it"

with apologies to Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire 1694 - 1778

The JPC is increasing the number of editions of its magazine from 4 to 6 per year, a 50% increase in cost. Many residents are asking if the "Ruling Group" should be using parish council tax money and the parish clerk's time to fund their propaganda machine? In fact why does the JPC need a magazine, when they could use Henley Focus and Henley NEWS Online for FREE? The same question should be asked about the JPC's website upon which the "Ruling Group" are currently spending our money revamping. Why shouldn't they use the 'Town Website', sponsored by the Henley-in-Arden War Memorial Trust, which would be FREE and would be in line with David Cameron's 'Big Society' idea and would save the JPC a lot of money. After all, the Town Website is the one visitors look at as it is at the top of the Google listings. The image for the link to the JPC website on the 'Town Website' has to be a Pontefract cake as the JPC has banned the use of their 'Trade Marked' logo. The Pontefract cake is visually almost identical and is the description used by many residents!

Good News About Irene

image Many of you will know Irene Robinson. She is a very active member of our community, a regular correspondent for Henley News Online, a trustee of the Henley War Memorial Trust, a representative on the Management Committee of the Memorial Hall and a prominent member of the WI.

After an incident at home she was taken to the University Hospital for Coventry and Warwickshire. She was visited on Sunday and was feeling much better. Irene was anxious to know how we were faring without her; we confirmed it was a struggle and that she had been missed at the last meeting of the Trustees. She assured us that there were no implications for her at the moment and she hoped to be home soon.

She has received many good wishes and wanted to say thank you to all who had communicated with her.

Peter and Jan Crathorne

Heritage Centre's " Saturday Specials" a Success

imagesTwo of the four summer "Saturday Specials" have now taken  place at Henley Heritage centre in the High Street and organisers have been encouraged by the support they received.
Subjects covered so far have been the 1000 year history of the Lords of the Manor and the town's involvement in the Battle of Evesham. Both attracted small but enthusiastic audiences who found the talks fascinating. Ray Holding  who runs the centre said "We received many favourable comments and those attending seemed fascinated to learn just how much information there is available on the town and how local inhabitants played their part and had influence in major historical events. There are two more "Saturday Specials" planned: the next one is 21st August with an amusing look at the Centre's archives and then on 28th August we shall be looking at the town's involvement in the Second World War."
Admission to both events is free, but they will be starting at 3.00pm and not 2.30pm as previously advertised.

Rob Kingscott reporting

Garden Party for the Garden Project

imageStockton House was the venue for a lunch organised by the Guild Hall Garden Committee on Sunday, 1 August. Favourable weather enabled tables to be set out al fresco in the garden. Being 1 August, the event coincided with Yorkshire Day. Non-Yorkists were not allowed to forget this: Sue Westmacott is a Yorkshire Lass and each table was decorated with white roses and a White Rose Flag, while the High Bailiff also hails from Yorkshire and regaled guests with a number of Yorkshire jokes in a brief speech after lunch. Lindsay Shaw responded on behalf of the Lancastrians present. The superb lunch was provided by Sue Dalby Catering and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

imageThe event raised £1,200 for the Riverland Garden. This week will see the paving in the Garden being extended and the second panel of engraved bricks being laid.

The next event to be organised by the Guild Hall Garden Committee is a Burns Night in the Memorial Hall on Tuesday, 25 January next. Last year’s Burns Night, pictured right, was a sell out, so if you are interested in going you are advised to make a note of the date in your diary and get your application for tickets in early.

Douglas Bridgewater

Forest of Arden Agriculture Society's
62nd Hedging and Ploughing Match

Thursday 16 September 2010

From vintage kit and noble Shire horses to modern and mighty tractors, all will be on display at the Forest of Arden Agriculture Society’s 62nd Hedging and Ploughing match at St Giles Farm, Spernal, Alcester, Warwickshire.


Jayne Muntz-Torres from Umberslade with her noble Shire horses.

More information from: or Secretary Sue Westmacott 01564 793746

Henley Primary host China

imageForty Chinese children and six teachers visited Henley Church of England Primary School. The visitors came from Henley’s partner school, Donghai Primary, which is situated in Shenzhen.

This is the second time Henley Primary has hosted visitors from the school although it is the first time that children have visited. Their visit was as the result of a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ between the two schools, which is an action plan of things each school wants to achieve through partnering together. The document even had to be agreed by the Chinese government!

The visitors were given a guided tour of Henley by the Year Five tour guides in the morning and in the afternoon children from both schools came together in a small performance where the two schools showcased their singing, acting and dancing skills.

All the children had a great time and enjoyed meeting the children they had heard about from their teachers visiting the respective schools.

Elaine Field reporting

Watch the NEW HENLEY TOUR VIDEO on the Town Website

Car thieves attack dog in raid in Buckley Green

Burglars attacked a pet dog before stealing the keys to a car. Warwickshire Police say the Bernese mountain dog was struck at a house in Buckley Green, Henley-in-Arden, some time between 2 - 4pm on Monday, August 2. Officers could not confirm if the animal was badly injured by the thieves who took the keys to a silver Land Rover Defender parked on the drive.

If you have any information contact PC Simon Bennett at Alcester Police on 01926 415000 voicemail 11536.

Antiques Roadshow to record at Charlecote Park

imageThe Antiques Roadshow is set to be filmed at a local stately home in September. The popular BBC TV series will come to Charlecote Park in Wellesbourne and fans will get the chance to bring along their household treasures to be valued by the show’s experts. The estate near Stratford has been home to the Lucy family since the 15th century.   Filming will take place on Thursday September 16.

Simon Shaw, the show’s editor, said: “The team are all looking forward to visiting such a splendid venue as Charlecote Park. It’s always exciting to see what will come to light on the day.”

Time for a new pension plan

imageThe Audit Commission has released a report on the Local Government Pension Scheme and found that in its current form the scheme is just not sustainable in the long term.

Though this was good to hear from the auditors of local government, it’s hardly news to the TPA or our supporters as it’s something we’ve been saying for quite a while now. In fact, in March TPA released research that showed councils had a total pension deficit – that's how much larger liabilities are than assets – of £53 billion, an eye-watering figure. There was the inevitable backlash from the unions with Unison saying that the number didn’t matter, because not everyone would be retiring tomorrow.

This is akin to a credit card junkie ignoring their total balance owed because they manage to scrape by paying the minimum payment each month. The Audit Commission report very firmly confirmed TPA's research findings, stating that “the current approach cannot continue” and “action is required now”.

Of course, even outside of local government pensions are a huge issue for central government too. With the scale of the fiscal crisis urgent reform is needed across the entire public sector. The coalition have asked John Hutton, former Defence and Business Secretary, to conduct an inquiry into public service pension provision. Earlier in July his commission issued a call for evidence on fairness, cost and ideas for short-term solutions in lieu of a second inquiry to look at long-term and structural issues.

Tax Payers Alliance

Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

Henley-in-Arden's Information Page

Click on the picture to view

Bookmark it or use it as your Home page.


logoAlcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team
Community Newsletter


Incident Overview
Below are the incidents recorded for the Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team for July 2010:


Crime in Your Area
The majority of anti social behaviour incidents have been recorded in the Studley area this month and this was reflected at the Community Forum with members of the community requesting an increased police presence in the town centre after 10pm on Friday and Saturday evenings. Your Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team has pledged to conduct 8 additional 2 hour high visibility patrols in the area to combat the problem, which appears in some cases to be alcohol related, and officers will be making effective use of the Dispersal Zone and Alcohol Restriction Zone. A few Anti Social Behaviour incidents have been recorded in the vicinity of Henley Medical Centre, again this was reflected at the Community Forum and your Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team has again pledged to carry out 8 additional high visibility patrols after 10pm in the evening to combat the problem – this has already been a success with two males being found in procession of a Class B drug.

The Tanworth, Earlswood and Ullenhall areas have been targeted for burglary and theft from motor vehicles. Residents are reminded to remain vigilant at all times in securing their property and not leave anything of high value on show. Officers are increasing patrols in the areas but request the help of residents to report any suspicious activity to the police. Overall since April 1st burglary dwellings have reduced on the Alcester North Area by –33.8% when compared to the same period last year and vehicle crime has reduced by –27.1%.

Criminal Damage incidents have increase slightly on last year, the increase has mainly been in the Studley area; it is hoped that in the coming months this will be reduced with increased patrols and effective use of the Dispersal Zone and Alcohol Restriction Zone.

Most of the violence incidents recorded have been in the Henley and Studley areas. Although the figure appears to have doubled on last year, most of the incidents recorded have been relatively minor in nature.

Information & Advice

Safety for Children Online!

  • Know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to. Ask them to teach you to use any applications you have never used. Keeping the computer in a family room means that you can share your child’s online experience - and that they are less likely to act inappropriately (ie via webcam).
  • Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends - personal information includes their messenger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family or friends. If your child publishes a picture or video online anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone may be looking at their images and one day a future employer could!
  • If your child receives spam/junk email & texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them.
  • It’s not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain - it could be a virus, or worse - an inappropriate image or film.
  • Help your child to understand that some people lie online and therefore it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
  • Always keep communication open for a child to know that it’s never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Teach young people how to block someone online and how to report them if they feel uncomfortable.

Further information is available at: and

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

Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Priorities

Current priorities as chosen by members of the public at the last Community Forum held on the 1st July 2010:

  • Speeding Vehicles, Earlswood Common - 8 x targeted speed checks to be carried out with advice and/or enforcement where appropriate.
  • Anti Social Behaviour, Studley Town Centre – Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers to conduct 8 x 2 hour high visibility patrols in the area after 10 pm on Friday/Saturday evenings.
  • Anti Social Behaviour, Henley Medical Centre, Prince Harry Road - Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers to conduct 8 x 2 hour high visibility patrols in the area after 10 pm on Friday/Saturday evenings.

Agreed completed priorities at the last Community Forum held on the 1st July 2010:

  • Anti Social Behaviour, Millennium Park and Surrounding area, Studley – Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers have pledged to conduct high visibility patrols in the area including 8 x extra duties until 2am. Anti social behaviour has reduced in this area following increased police patrols, the introduction of a Dispersal Zone and Alcohol Restriction Zone. Agreed completion 1st July 2010.
  • Parking issues outside Tesco Express, Studley – Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers will liaised with Stratford District Council regarding enforcement and have pledged to conduct 20 x high visibility patrols in the area to deliver advice or enforcement where appropriate. Parking has improved in the area and officers have increased patrols advising persons regarding their inappropriate parking and where necessary have issued fixed penalty notices. The District Council has also taken action by repositioning the bollards to encourage people not to park in the area. Agreed completion 1st July 2010
  • Inappropriate use of Juggins Lane by HGVs and Speeding Vehicles, Forshaw Heath, Earlswood – Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers will lipase with the Council and Highways regarding a review of signage and the speed limit. Officers have pledged to carry out 20 x high visibility patrols in the area to monitor HGVs confusing Forshaw Heath Lane with the M42 slip road and to carry out speed checks. Officers have attended the location and have found no vehicles exceeding the 60 mph speed limit. However officers have found the road to be inappropriately used by HGVs and have liaised with local residents to get a full picture of the problem. Officers have observed a number of HGVs performing turning manoeuvres in the vicinity following mistaken identity for the M42 slip road. Photographs of signage, damage to verges and vehicles performing turning manoeuvres have been taken and forwarded to Warwickshire County Council together with recommendations. These recommendations are now being taken forward by County Councillor Mike Perry to try and address the problems in the area. This priority has been agreed as completed by the Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Team and Cllr Perry will take the issue forward and report back to the next Community Forum to be held 7th October 2010. Agreed Completion 1st July 2010

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

Good News/Events
Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers conducting routine patrols in the vicinity of Henley Medical Centre identified two suspicious male youths and on searching them found them in possession of a Class B drug. One male was given a Formal Street Caution and the other a Final Warning.


Orbit Housing/Alcester North Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD
Team Fishing Contest 2010

Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Officers linked up with Orbit Housing to provide a fishing contest for local youths held in the grounds of Skilts Pool, Mappleborough Green. The event proved to be very popular and all those who took part had a fun day and enjoyed themselves.

The Community Speed Watch Initiative has been launched in the area whereby members of the public have volunteered to be trained by members of Warwickshire Police to use the speed gun device. Once trained, appropriate areas are identified to carry out speed checks and those identified by members of the public as contravening speed limits will be recorded and receive advisory letters. A pilot scheme has proved successful in Sambourne and is soon to be launched in the Henley area.

Following efficient and effective teamwork by local officers three males where detained at Henley Railway Station on suspicion of breaking into vehicles. The males were later handed over to the British Transport Police who are continuing their enquiries.

Local officers have identified offenders for littering Henley Railway Station; the youths involved have been spoken to in conjunction with their parents and given appropriate advice. The youths will be taking part in a litter pick around the town in the coming weeks.

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

The next Henley Community Surgery will be held, 29th September, 11:30am, Henley Baptist Church Hall - The surgery gives you the opportunity to speak to members of the Parish Council & Safer NEIGHBOURHOOD Policing Team about the issues that concern you, while giving you feedback regarding what is happening in the community.

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

The next Henley NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH Meeting will be held 21st October, 7pm, Henley Police Station

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


Gardening Projects Sought

Victoria Johnson has written to Henley NEWS Online about a personal endeavour that she and her boyfriend, Tom Barrett, are undertaking in October. They’re will be going to Rajasthan in India to work on environmental conservation projects. They will be working as volunteers and are funding their placements themselves.
Tom, whom Victoria recommends as hard-working and dedicated, has just graduated in Land Management from Moreton Morrell College and he is now looking for gardening assignments in and around Warwickshire and the Cotswolds.

Any help that you can offer in promoting Tom’s work or booking him for some work would be greatly appreciated. Phone 07731 710661

Free Electric Blanket Safety Tests

imageWarwickshire Trading Standards Service will provide electric blanket tests FREE OF CHARGE, for people aged 50 or over, between Monday 4th October and Friday October 8th 2010.

Testing, by appointment only, will take place at the following venues around Warwickshire:

Nuneaton Fire Station, Monday 4th October
Leamington Town Hall, Tuesday 5th October
Rugby Library, Wednesday 6th October
Kenilworth Library, Thursday 7th October
United Reformed Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, Friday 8th October

Don’t miss this opportunity. Old or damaged electric blankets cause a number of fires each year which can result in injury or death. These can be avoided by simply getting your electric blanket checked.

To book an appointment call the Trading standards Service on: 01926 736477

or email:

‘On Probation’ Doorstep Sales Warning

Warwickshire residents have reported receiving door to door sales visits from people claiming to be young offenders working on community redress probation schemes. The sales people are reported to be selling household products and using fake ID. They may have come from the Nottingham area.

Warwickshire Trading Standards Service believe that the door to door sellers are using this probation scheme ‘story’ to encourage people to buy from them when they may not otherwise do so.

To our knowledge no probation service runs a scheme of this nature where ex-offenders sell items door to door. Trading Standards Officers advise householders to think twice before buying goods or services door to door.

Government Sellers

Warwickshire Trading Standards has been alerted to a door to door seller operating in the Kingsbury area of Warwickshire who was seen wearing a kind of 'uniform' which bore a badge reading "Government" on it.

On the back of his uniform were the words "Government Grants Available". It is unclear as to what he was trying to sell but it could possibly be home insulation equipment or similar (some of which is available to certain people through a grant process).

The seller was challenged on the doorstep and asked for his business details, which he refused. He could be working in other areas of the county as well. Residents are advised not to buy goods or services from the first person who comes to your door. Consider whether you really need the them first and always shop around or buy on recommendation.

For more information visit our website:

Lord Mandelson launches his own perfume

image'Mandy Pour Homme is a fruity, playful and charismatic perfume,’ said the former Business Secretary, ‘it is effortlessly seductive, infused with hyacinth, jasmine and cedar with just the delicate hint of duplicity and double dealing.’

Speaking at the launch of his new fragrance, Lord Mandelson said: ‘I like to think that this perfume captures the very essence of New Labour. You are initially hit with a glorious burst of anticipation, hope and excitement, closely followed by the foetid afterwhiff of corruption, deceit and betrayal.’

Mandy is being marketed as ‘a perfume for the modern man about town – in a Cabinet meeting, at the Newsnight studio, on a billionaire’s yacht – a thrusting presence in the corridors of power, jauntily cocking his leg and leaving his scent wherever he goes.’

The fragrance, produced in conjunction with Lord Mandelson’s in-house perfumer Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, is notable for the strong emotional effect it produces upon all those who smell it. Journalists described the scene at the end of the press launch when Lord Mandelson stood, dabbed a little of the perfume upon his silken handkerchief and waved it about, releasing the fragrance into the air.

‘It was amazing,’ said one normally hate-fuelled hack, ‘as soon as we caught a whiff of Mandy we were immediately struck by an uncontrollable feeling of love – it was an emotion so strong that we all felt irresistibly compelled to forgive Peter for all his indiscretions and hold him aloft as the High Prince of purity and innocence. At last I can finally understand how he managed to stay in power for so long.’

Lord Mandelson’s perfume is launched just a few months ahead of the release of Tony Blair’s new fragrance, produced in conjunction with Calvin Klein. Tony Blair’s ‘Self-Obsession’ is believed by many to be so rich, even the faintest whiff of it can induce nausea, headache and vomiting. ‘I really don’t feel that Peter is trying to steal my thunder by releasing his own stench of malignant narcissism before mine,’ said Mr Blair, ‘but enough about him, let’s talk about me.

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

To Read Previous Editions Back to 29th October 2004       Click Here
Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

Visa Email Scam

imageWarwickshire Trading Standards Service has been alerted to an email 'phishing' scam using the Visa name.

The email, which is poorly spelt, falsely claims that the recipient's Visa credit card is being used fraudulently. The card holder is requested to click on a link in the email which will direct them to a Visa web page on which they can confirm their identity and credit card information.

Those who do will actually be directed to a scam website from which their personal and financial information will be taken and used fraudulently by criminal gangs.

Our advice is to:

  • Never click on a link in an email if you do not completely trust the sender
  • Delete all suspicious emails as soon as you receive them
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information via a link in a web page, type in the web address yourself in to your web browser.
  • Banks and other financial institutions will not request information from you in this way.
  • For more information visit our website:

Simon Cripwell - Trading Standards Service
Warwickshire County Council

John Garner's Business Column

Retirement age

John GarnerRecently the new Coalition Government has provoked some angry responses by announcing that the Default Retirement Age will begin to be phased out from April 2011.

Under the proposal employers would not be allowed to dismiss staff because they had reached the age of 65. At the moment an employer can force an employee to retire at the age of 65 without paying any financial compensation, their only obligation being to hold a meeting with the member of staff to discuss plans at least 6 months before his or her 65th birthday. At the end of that meeting it is entirely at the discretion of the employer whether or not to terminate employment.

The government has launched a consultation process about scrapping the rule.
Under their plans no forced retirement notices could be issued after 6 April 2011, that is six months before the October change.

Some groups are delighted, notably Age UK (formerly Age Concern), which has led the campaign to end the default retirement age and, last year, unsuccessfully challenged the rule in the High Court.

They said, "Everybody stands to win from scrapping forced retirement. People over 65 will have full employment rights for the first time. The economy will benefit from older workers' precious skills and experience and their increased buying power. Public finances will receive a boost from more people paying taxes for longer."

The CBI has criticised the speed of the proposed changes saying it left companies "with many unresolved problems" and the suggested timetable to scrap the default retirement age would give companies little time to prepare.

Some employers are understandably worried that it will complicate the job of managing a workforce and add to overall costs saying, "We do not see how the removal of a mechanism that gives employers flexibility in managing their workforce is compatible with the government's stated desire to boost enterprise and de-regulate the employment arena."

I commented on this in HNOL back in February when I said, “On the one hand we are told we’ll have to work to a greater age in the future to get our pensions, on the other hand we can be forced to retire at 65; an example of non-joined-up government.

At least the new government is attempting to resolve that confusion. Let’s hope the eventual outcome works for everyone.

John Garner

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

BMW beats Prius on Fuel Consumption

The latest ‘Which car survey’ lists the winners and losers for fuel consumption in various sizes of cars. In the large car class, a surprise was that the Toyota Prius petrol electric hybrid was not at the top of the list. Instead the ‘BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics 4dr’ returned 64.4 miles to the gallon, easily beating the ‘Prius T4’ at 61.5 mpg and the ‘Honda Insight Hybrid 1.3SE 5dr’ at 61.3mpg. These figures are lower than the official government figures (Prius 70.6 and BMW 68.9) because they include simulated motorway driving which is absent from the official EU test. However, the Prius would probably still be best if the majority of use was stop start town driving because the official test figures give the BMW 56.5 mpg for urban driving from a cold start whereas the Prius figure is 70.6.

The best fuel consumption of all was the ‘Smart Fortwo 0.8 CDI’ at 70.6mpg whilst in the medium cars the ‘VW Golf 1.6TDI Blue Motion 5dr’ came top at 68.9mpg. Notice that all these winners are diesels and the same is true for the Luxury, MPV, 4x4/SUV and sports car classes. Diesel versions are nearly always the most fuel efficient model variant. With this fact in mind, the absence of diesel electric hybrids has puzzled me. Combining the high mpg of diesel vehicles with the further efficiency gains of electric hybrid systems is such an obvious marriage that it is hard to see why it has not happened. Now, several manufacturers (Hyundai, Mercedes, Peugeot, and Citroen) are introducing diesel hybrids.

Special low drag wheel trims and lower suspension are two of the features that help the BMW to achieve high mpg. Other features include the ability to selectively ‘switch-off’ the electric power steering and air-con compressor. Start-stop is also standard.

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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

Stratford District Council: Planning and Enforcement

Letter to Mr Paul Lankester, Chief Executive, Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Wilmcote Parish Council was represented at the meeting called by Tanworth in Arden Parish Council on Thursday 16 June 2010 to consider problems being experienced with the planning and enforcement functions at Stratford District Council. As you are probably well aware Wilmcote Parish Council has for some years been unhappy with your efforts in these areas and is in full agreement with the contents of the letter of 12 July 2010 expressing the concerns of Tanworth in Arden Parish Council. In addition it will perhaps be helpful to make a few general comments regarding the situation re enforcement.

In an email dated 09 December 2009 Pat Reid stated that there was a backlog of nearly 600 enforcement cases going back to 2005. This performance is indefensible and plainly the District Council’s enforcement function is not fit for purpose. Of course one of the results of this is that applicants who “know the ropes” can extend planning and enforcement procedures over several years. In fact it sometimes appears that the District Council has a hidden agenda which goes something like this “we will find every possible excuse to avoid taking enforcement action”.

It is interesting to consider who is responsible for this unsatisfactory state of affairs. It is not the enforcement officers who appear to do a good job under very difficult conditions. It would seem that the culprits are the senior management of Stratford District Council who have allowed this unacceptable state of affairs to develop over many years. The top management seems to be extremely complacent about enforcement and act like a sponge - soaking up any complaints or adverse comments and doing little and taking no action.

Of course this is not a problem that affects just a few parish councils as most of the parish councils in the Stratford upon Avon District area are totally dissatisfied with the way in which enforcement matters are being handled.

Having considered the situation, what can be done to get the enforcement function under control and operating effectively. Stratford District Council must first acknowledge that there is a major problem and then develop a plan of action. It is not just a case of throwing more money at the problem it is a matter of organisation and the development and implementation of system and modus operandi that is effective. The District Council must send out a message that the enforcement function of Stratford District Council is a force to be reckoned with and that applicants trifle with it at their peril.

In December 2009 Wilmcote Parish Council became involved in exchanges of correspondence with the District Council re The Stables, Featherbed Lane. Jennifer Garton advised that the matter would be treated as a complaint under the Council’s Complaint Procedure. The matter was not resolved but the Parish Council was informed that in January 2010 the District Council would be commencing a “Systems Thinking” review of planning enforcement involving Parish Councils and Councillors. Wilmcote Parish Council confirmed their wish to be involved but so far nothing has been heard and I presume that nothing has been done. This is a pity as such a review could have been the start of getting the Stratford District Council enforcement train back on the rails.

Warwick Roberts
Chairman, Wilmcote Parish Council

The Henley-in-Arden Notice Board



Click Here to watch 5029 Nunney Castle hauling the Shakespeare Express

CLICK ON the banner or the links for further information about the adverts below
Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

Henley Diary Dates

Articles and news stories for Henley NEWS Online should be sent to the at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to Margrit Johnson at:

The Henley and Beaudesert Society are organising an historical stroll around Aston Cantlow, including St John’s church, on Thursday 19th August. Please meet at Aston Cantlow village hall by 6.15pm. This will be followed by a ploughman’s supper in the village hall. The cost including the guided walk, ploughman’s supper and a glass of wine will be £5.50. Please let Margaret Twigg (793373) know if you would like to go along.

Thanks to everyone who supported the street collection and cake stall on 10th July. This is the annual opportunity to contribute towards the flower displays throughout the town which many people have said they are enjoying. £271.00 was raised. A separate appeal by letter is sent to local businesses who usually respond generously.
We are always looking for volunteers for our watering rota. Details from 794308.

Saturday 4th September Ullenhall Village Hall. Open to everyone –all entries welcome. Homemade teas, raffle, cake stall, craft stall and demonstrations. Details from 795576 or 793248.

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 Michael Redman

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
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:
Meets the last Sunday of the month at Wootton Wawen village hall at 2.15pm for a conducted walk of about 5 miles over the local and surrounding area footpaths. The Group welcomes all walkers. There is no subscription.  More details from Denis Keyte on 01564 792872.
Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month. Membership consists of retired professional and business men residing in the vicinity of Henley. Visitors are most welcome and for further details please contact the secretary Andrew Yarwood on 794079.
De Montfort Lodge is the only freemasons’ lodge meeting in Henley. It was established in the town in 1930 and holds meetings in the Guild Hall. Anyone interested in freemasonry should contact John Pollard on 0121 603 8577 for further details.
The WRVS organise a lunch club for the elderly of the district at Dell Court every Tuesday at 12.30pm at a cost of £3.10.  For further details contact Christine on 01789 209210.
Plays Duplicate Bridge of intermediate standard on Tuesday evenings at the the White Swan Hotel and usually finds time for a tipple, which may or may not improve our play!!  Play commences at 7.15 promptly. There are normally 5 - 8 tables and the club does not issue master points.
For further information please contact the Secretary - Christine Whitehouse on 01564 792993.
Each month the Henley Focus contains plenty for everyone with local business advertisements, reviews and community information. The Henley Focus could be helping you to promote your business or service to local people at affordable prices and also offers a range of design services at very reasonable rates. The publication is very happy to promote community and charity events free of charge.
Please call Karen on 01564 774748 or email for more information.

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

From our own Correspondents

Henley NewsHenley NEWS on-line is looking for additional correspondents to send in stories and pictures. Why don't you become one of our correspondents and send in stories about your area, your club, your school or events you have witnessed? Please always try to include a photo in jpg or png format. Letters, articles, pictures sent to the Editor are always welcome. Please do not use the following file formats 'Publisher" or 'Serif'. 'Microsoft Word' is the preferred format. Please send to

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

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

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

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


Previous Editions

Bill Leech - Editor

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.
Air Ambulance

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

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

Privacy Statement

html web counters