Henley NEWS Online

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

Previous Editions

Edition 256 - 9th September 2010
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Gold 2009
on Thursdays

The Party for Jazmine at Naya

imageThanks to a broadcast email through Henley NEWS Online, we sold all the tickets within 48 hours. Those who aren't able to attend have offered donations, currently around £350, raffle prizes and auction lots including a painting by an internationally known artist who lives locally.
I have had goodwill messages and donations from places as far afield as Australia and the United Arab Emirates. The people of Henley and the followers of Henley NEWS Online across the world should be congratulated. They have found a compassion, a community spirit and a generosity which is to be admired and respected.
Anyone who would still like to support the evening to raise funds for Jazmine can send donations or raffle prizes to me at 15 Riverside Gardens. Accounts for the fundraising on September 28th will be placed on Henley NEWS Online in its first edition after the event and will include acknowledgements of all donation amounts and donors, unless you prefer anonymity.

John Latham - Riverside Gardens

JPC Dismisses Human Rights Act 1998

Councillor says ‘It should be shredded’.


At the meeting of Beaudesert & Henley Joint Parish Council on Monday 6th September 2010, an incredible event took place, which if I had not attended, I would have found it difficult to believe. Cllr George Matheou referred to the Human Rights Act 1998 and went through many of Articles of the Act and dismissed a considerable number as not applying to the JPC.

The Human Rights Act is incorporated into English Law and for Cllr Matheou to dismiss this Act in such a manner, clearly demonstrates the contempt in which he holds the laws of England and the rights of the electorate. The Act applies to all Public authorities, with the purpose of "protecting individuals against the power of the State and other Public Authorities". The JPC cannot evade its responsibilities under the Act.

The Chairman of the JPC, Cllr Goodman made no attempt to reprimand Cllr Matheou, or to require him to withdraw his statement that the Human Rights Act did not apply to the JPC. Therefore, it must be assumed that the Chairman shares Cllr Matheou’s view of the Act. In addition Cllr Carsina Goodman, referring to the Act, was heard to say ‘it should be shredded’.

Fortunately legislation cannot be despatched by such an action. The only councillor to protest and point out that the Act is part of English Law and therefore does apply to the JPC was Cllr Leech.

In the recent parish referendum, a majority confirmed that they did not have confidence in the JPC. With incidents such as I witnessed on Monday night, the outcome of that poll was hardly surprising. How can an electorate have confidence in a JPC, which demonstrates such blatant disregard for the law of the land.

John Tristram

These outspoken comments attack the principles enshrined in the Magna Carta. Eleanor Roosevelt referred to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as "a Magna Carta for all mankind". Magna Carta is thought to be the crucial turning point in the struggle to establish freedom and a key element in the transformation of constitutional thinking throughout the world.

“Parish councils should not see themselves operating in isolation. They will achieve far more by being prepared to work constructively with other public bodies and organisations around them”

Functions of the Parish Council - page 3

‘The Code of Conduct’ lists ‘The Ten General Principles of Public Life'. Number 8 is a “Duty to uphold the law”.

The next JPC Council Meeting is next Monday 13th September at 7.15 pm Baptist Hall.

You are recommended to attend.

Market Action Group - Inaugural Meeting

Residents do not think it would be conducive to the harmony of the Action Group if this residents' committee was packed with councillors who condemned the residents at the recent Town Meeting as 'negative'. The potential members have decided that this Group should be apolitical and that no councillors at any level should be members.
It is expected that the Group will wish to consult with experts and councillors on how to achieve their objective of a plan which will meet the requirements of residents rather than maximise the profits of the developer.

The first meeting will take place on Wednesday 8th September at which a chairman will be elected and terms of reference agreed.

Watch the SDC Planning website as the application is expected to be made this month:

Select Parish = 'Henley-in-Arden' and press 'search'.

When the last application was submitted in 2007, 'Neighbour Consultations' expired in less than ONE month.

Developers may Exploit "Planning Policy Vacuum"

The ruling Conservatives and the opposition Liberal Democrats on Stratford-on-Avon District Council are at loggerheads over the timescale for thwarting developers who might try to exploit a “planning policy vacuum” caused by the coalition government’s abolition of regional spatial strategies.

The Lib Dems are so concerned about it that they’ve called a special meeting of the district council for 13th September in a bid to persuade the council to introduce temporary planning policies on housing and other development. The policies would only be valid until the council’s new core strategy is adopted—probably in 2012. Cllr Peter Moorse (Lib Dem, Stratford) told the Herald yesterday (Wednesday): “The regional spatial strategies have been abolished by the new government but nothing has yet been put in their place.

“I believe we need some temporary policies in the district, to provide guidance until the council can complete a new core strategy for development. I suggested at the cabinet meeting on 23rd August that temporary policies were needed urgently, but the cabinet turned the idea down, so now I will put it to a full council meeting instead.”

Cllr Moorse said that at the same cabinet meeting the Conservatives adopted a timetable for preparing the new core strategy, planned for adoption in summer 2012 at the earliest. He said the report to the cabinet acknowledged the planning policy gap, stating that many of the policies from the district local plan remained saved and continued to operate. However, the report said fundamental issues about the scale and location of future development “must be addressed as a matter of urgency if the council is to avoid a vacuum and the uncertainty of how to determine planning applications and the outcome of appeals”.

Cllr Moorse added: “It’s quite clear that the cabinet have made no plans to fill this vacuum, other than setting up a working party to look at things. We need policies now if we are to prevent a development free-for-all.”

In a statement to the Herald yesterday Cllr Stephen Gray (Cons, Long Compton), the leader of Stratford District Council, said it was clear that the council needed an interim planning policy to be implemented quickly. He said the cabinet agreed with planning portfolio holder Cllr Gillian Roache (Cons, Vale of the Red Horse) that a cross-party working group should be set up to discuss an interim policy and other new planning policies for the council.

“This work is needed to address the policy gap caused by the coalition government’s abolition of existing planning strategies,” said Cllr Gray. “In the meantime, district council officers have been working hard to draft an interim planning policy using work already done in order to bring forward a robust new policy as quickly as possible. Cllr Roache acknowledged the need for an interim policy at the cabinet meeting—not surprising, as she had already been leading the preparation of the new draft. Under these circumstances it is hard to understand why the Lib Dems are calling a special council meeting to discuss something that is already happening. As far as I am aware the Lib Dems have not nominated their members for the working group and are holding up the preparation of the interim policy that they claim to be keen to see. It would be far better if they would work with the Conservatives to move this process forward rather than trying to cloud the issues.”

In response, Cllr Moorse pointed out that two Lib Dems had now been put forward for membership of the working group and added: “My concern about the Conservative approach is that it appears to lack urgency, and I’m worried about what would happen should more major housing developments be brought forward in the short term. There’s a vacuum in policy, and we need to fill it quickly.”

Reprinted from the Stratford Herald with acknowledgements

Developing the District as a visitor destination

Grants Available with Priority for New Events

SDCStratford-on-Avon District Council would like to invite applicants to apply for small amounts of funding to support local events and festivals held within Stratford-on-Avon District, that support the local economy and specifically involving businesses from the local area.

Funding will be available to support Festivals and Events taking place before 1st October 2011 that:

• Promote the vitality of the local economy
• Promote local products and services
• Engage, promote and involve local businesses
• Increase visitor numbers to the local area
• Develop the profile of local area as a premier visitor destination

Councillor Mike Brain, Community Services Portfolio Holder, says: “Promoting economic vitality in the District by funding projects supporting economic growth and recovery is crucial in the current economic climate. Last year we were able to provide financial support for 13 events across the District including food and beer festivals, business festivals and local producer’s fayres. Local businesses help shape the character of our community especially in our more rural locations and the more support we can provide now, the better the prospects for businesses will be in the future.”

Closing date for applications is Monday 27 September 2010.

It should be noted that priority will be given to applications for ‘new’ festivals and events; however applications for existing events or festivals will also be considered.

Further information and an application form please call Stratford-on-Avon District Council on 01789 260803.


Many thanks to Henley NEWS Online for alerting us to the information on grants for community events. Henley Court Leet will certainly be making an application to the fund in support of our annual Court Leet Day that helps promote Henley’s Business and Tourism.

Roger Sutton - High Bailiff.

'Stratford Observer' Interviews Paul Lankester

imageNo public service is immune to the raft of Government cutbacks which come to light on an almost daily basis. As the true effects of the financial crisis begin to trickle down, the services offered by authorities and the way they are delivered are set to change irrevocably. And in what he concedes is the toughest time for the council since he took over as Stratford District Council's chief executive almost a decade ago, the job for Paul Lankester is to make sure the ends still meet and the impact on people is minimised.

Steve Hayes, of the Stratford Observer, spoke exclusively to Mr Lankester who talks candidly about the challenges which lie ahead and his view on the solutions

Given the economic climate and the scale of Government cutbacks, just how difficult a time is this for the council?

"I have been here nearly ten years as chief executive and it is the most difficult time we have faced. In that time the amount of money we are getting from Government has gone down year on year yet we still have to provide the same level of service to people. The percentage of our expenditure provided by Government has gone down from more than 60 per cent to 45 per cent in the time I have been here. There are a number of scenarios and we won't know until the final amount from Government is revealed but next year alone we will need to save anything between £1 million and £2 million."

Government cuts appear to be hitting all public services hard - will this mean cuts to services for residents in the district?

"There is a national financial crisis and cutbacks associated with it but it is still down to us how we manage it - it is not out of our hands. We have the difficult task of being a business in a political environment. So we have to run the council as a business, but we also have to consider the impact upon everyone in the district - not just staff or shareholders. We are determined, however, to minimise the impact of the cutbacks on the public. We will try to avoid cuts to frontline services because much of our cost-cutting focuses on the overhead side of things - we are always looking at how we can deliver things differently to save money but be just as effective and there is always room for improvement. There will be a chance however that we will have to look at services we have provided free in the past and introduce charges."

Will there be council tax rises?

"I don't think so - Stratford has a record of having one of the lowest rates in the country and the leader has already indicated his support for a zero per cent tax increase."

And will there be job losses at the council?

"There will certainly be cuts to the staff. As a council we are already relatively small with only 295 full-time equivalents and we have already lost around 70 members of staff in recent years. "But I anticipate that will be cut by a further 20 per cent over the next three years. We will however minimise compulsory redundancies and look for opportunities where people want to leave or are retiring. The reality however is that no job in the public sector can be guaranteed and that includes mine."

Given the impending cuts and the difficulty of the current situation - how will the council justify not taking the recent opportunity of merging senior management with Warwick District and saving on salaries?

"A working party looked into this and said it was not the right time to merge senior management. They have recommended we look into the possibility of sharing services but it would be the wrong time to merge management because it would be handling more work with less people. There are also a lot of costs associated with the merging of management - such as redundancy which have to be factored into the equation. However - I do think that is the way things are going and I can certainly see a shared management team between the councils in the future. The idea of one chief executive is certainly one I would welcome - it would not be too much work it would just mean the job would change, both I and Chris Elliott would be willing to do that."

Reprinted from the Stratford Observer with acknowledgements

Stratford District Responds to Budget Pressures

SDCStratford District Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 6 September will consider a number of items in response to the budget pressures faced by the District Council.

It is widely reported that there will be a significant reduction in Government funding and the District Council is working hard to look at any current savings that could be made from this year’s budget as well as looking at other options that could be considered to minimise the impact on residents now and in future years. A number of discretionary services the District Council currently provides as part of the Council Tax may now need to involve a charge. Some are to be debated at the Cabinet on Monday 6 September.

Cllr Sue Wixey, Deputy Leader says: “There are a number of highly valued services such as the Green Garden Waste service, but in order to retain these discretionary services, we have to look at all the options available, including possibly introducing a charge for services. The items to be debated at Cabinet are not something we would normally consider, but these are extraordinary times. We are looking at the whole Council and facing the reality of trying to maintain services with less resources and so ensuring as little impact as possible on residents.

“As well as these measures the District Council is also planning, as in previous years, to consult with District residents about services and taking a detailed look at how a smaller Council may work with a reduced workforce and asking residents to give views on spending priorities. The District Council will use feedback from residents to help shape its future financial plans. We are a prudent Council and we want to deliver services that matter to local people. We have to plan now for the reduction in Government grant, the scale of which may not be clear until early 2011.”

62nd Ploughing and Hedging Match

imageDriving round the countryside recently you may have been held up by a tractor on the road. Just pause a moment to consider what a busy time of year it is for the Farmers as they harvest our food. Having planted the corn last autumn they have had to wait all summer for it to ripen and be ready for harvest. This time of year, its all systems go.

Combines are brought out, dusted down, and everyone works flat out to get the harvest in safely. If you want to see what the first step is in the food chain, i.e. ploughing the land, why not pay a visit to the "Forest of Arden Agricultural Society's 62nd Ploughing and Hedging Match", to be held on Thursday, 16th September, 2010 at St Giles Farm, Spernal, Alcester from 9.30 am by kind permission of Felix Dennis Esq.

There you will see for yourself the land being ploughed ready to receive the crops and the whole process begins again. There you can see the old tractors and ploughs which most of us can easily remember; there will be the large, commercial tractors and ploughs with their high technology, and lastly, the beautiful shire horses who patiently plod up each furrow and make us realize just how far farming has progressed in a relatively short space of time.

There is no entrance charge or car parking charge. You can come along and talk to the custodians of the land first-hand, and see for yourself the skill involved in ploughing a straight-furrow! You can also see men laying hedges with their bare hands, using no artificial materials at all, to make a stock proof fence.

There are ladies' produce to see, children's exhibitions, trade stands and many more things of interest to see.

Sue Westmacott - Secretary, Forest of Arden Agricultural Society

Great Start To Henley Forest Reserves Season.

Match report 28/08/2010 - Henley Forest Reserves 4 Claverdon 2
(Stratford Alliance Division 2)

A new look side from last season with new signings Adam Jarvis, Gary Bevan and Geoff Adkins all made debuts against local rivals Claverdon AFC. A good start to the game from Forest, pressing the Claverdon back line to force 4 corners in the first 15 mins. A few half chances soon ended in Forest taking the lead on 20 mins, a good through ball from Adam Jarvis put in Geoff Adkins for his first 1-0. Forest looked good value for the lead and should have scored a few more but credit to Claverdon, they battled on and drew level on 30 mins and then straight away on 32 mins took the lead through Ian Houghton.

Forest needed to re group as Claverdon should have scored again. Half time 2-2. Injured Chris Taylor was replaced by Matt Campion at half time and soon into the half Forest started to control the game. Good chances from Adkins,Worley and Muddyman saw Claverdon on the back foot and on the hour Adkins got Forest back in the lead 3-2. A good save from the impressive Forest keeper Gary Bevan limited Claverdon to a fight back, which then set up Adam ‘toffee’ Thornton to set up Adkins for his and Forest’s fourth 4-2. A good performance will give the club a lot of confidence for the next game and the future.

The team look forward to the town of Henley supporting this successful, cup winning team during the season.

Goal Scorer and Man of the Match – 4 Geoff Adkins



Henley-in-Arden's Information Page

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Bookmark it or use it as your Home page.


Henley Signalbox To Close After 103 Years


Henley-in-Arden signalbox is to close in late October 2010, along with the other two remaining mechanical boxes on the Shakespeare Line at Shirley and Bearley Junction.

imageHenley has retained the atmosphere of a GWR country station down the years retaining many of its original features. Modern signalling is about to change a way of life not much changed from when the signalbox opened in 1907. A friendly wave from the signaller, the sound of bell codes and levers being pulled, signal wires twitching and the ‘clung’ as the semaphore arm is raised to indicate a train on the way are to disappear.

The semaphore signals will be replaced by multiple aspect colour lights controlled from Saltley Control Centre allowing more trains to run on the line. Currently only one train at a time in each direction can use the 10 mile section between Shirley and Henley. The bay platform loops at the station, out of use for many years, and the crossover were lifted earlier this year and the signals and signalbox will be demolished soon after closure. Most of the signallers are either moving to other jobs with Network Rail or retiring from the railway.

The 57 lever box opened on 9 December 1907 to control trains on the newly opened line from Tyseley to Stratford and the branch to Lapworth. Henley was a very busy station in those days. Some superb historical photos and information can be found on the excellent

The line survived the threat of closure in the 1960s and as late as the 1980s there were plans to truncate the line south of Henley. Thankfully the line's future now seems secure and much of the track has been renewed in recent years.


On Sunday 12 September, as a farewell to the signals, the Shakespeare Express steam trains will travel along the Shakespeare Line in BOTH DIRECTIONS giving passengers a final opportunity to travel both southbound and northbound behind a GWR steam loco on a GWR semaphore signalled main line.

Chris Morrison -

Antiques Roadshow at Charlecote Park

imageOne of Britain's best-loved Sunday evening television programmes comes to Warwickshire on 16 September. Fiona Bruce and her team will be bringing the Antiques Roadshow to Charlecote Park, near Stratford-upon-Avon. Now in its 33rd series, the show invites members of the public to bring along their antiques and collectables for a valuation by their experts. The doors open at 0930 hrs and close at 1630 hrs and entrance is free.

Series editor Simon Shaw says: "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. We regularly see between 1500 and 2000 visitors on the day. Despite the high turnout everyone will get to see an expert."

People with large pieces of furniture or other big items can send details and photographs of their objects to: Antiques Roadshow, BBC, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LR or e-mail them to: It may be possible to arrange to look at the item in advance and organise transportation to the venue.

Minister Condemns using taxpayers' money to lobby

"Many councils and quangos hire public affairs firms using taxpayers' money to lobby government for even more money: it sounds like something that shouldn't be allowed, but it is happening with increasing frequency.

Residents want to see their council tax spent on improving services, not on lobbyist loud-hailer propaganda to sidestep transparency laws or peddle more regulation or secure special favours. That only weakens democracy."

Eric Pickles MP
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Should the Minister's comments equally apply to our JPC Magazine? Many readers have told Henley NEWS Online that they were very unhappy with the last edition. None of the editions are approved before publication by the full council and this is yet another example of this non-inclusive council.


Letters to Editor

My first experience of a JPC Meeting

I was very glad that I attended a meeting of the JPC on the night of Wednesday the 25th August 2010.

My small contribution on the night was to voice my observations of the Reform Group meeting and that I was allowed almost the prescribed 3minutes to put them forward. These were personal observations which I held to be unbiased and factual. It was suggested during the meeting that my own three minutes was cut short together with several other speakers who dared to question the councils validity in any way .

I should like my own comments to be published in full in Henley NEWS Online in case of any doubt as to its content as I was interrupted on the night by the Chairman Cllr Goodman. Several people sitting near to me expressed the opinion that I had been short changed. My observations of my first experience of a JPC meeting produced several reactions amongst them were humour surprise and horror. In steep contrast to the way Mike Willmott chaired the Reform groups meeting there hung a question mark over who actually chaired the JPC meeting.

Was it Cllr Goodman or the lady secretary sitting along side him intervening at every stage possible during the meeting. She appeared to be too verbal and too full of her own self importance. Not once did the Chairman bring her to book.


Cllr Matheou

The proposal to give a vote of no confidence against a fellow Councillor proposed by Cllr Matheou was in my opinion an utter shambles. I think I have a reasonable grasp of the English language but found it extremely difficult to understand Cllr Matheou`s drift, as did it seems the Chairman together with most of the other Councillors. Except of course for one notable exception that of the chairman’s wife, who after a long pause, eventually seconded Cllr Matheou's motion to propose a vote of no confidence in Cllr Bill Leech.

When a member of the audience had the audacity to ask what this vote of no confidence actually meant he was rebuffed. It had obviously appeared equally confusing to the questioner as it had to the rest of us. The Chairman was not allowed, under the rules, to answer any questions from the public. It became obvious that nobody on the council had any idea what Cllr Matheou was on about during most of the meeting. He kept referring to the idea of forming a committee to discuss the developers plans and it took a great deal of effort from the Chairman to eventually get him to understand that under the rules any discussion by any councillor could jeopardise the outcome.  The one and only success the Chairman achieved during the entire meeting.

Nobody in the hall seemed to understand why Cllr Leech was being brought to book. If it was because he helped organise a Reform group Meeting it makes no sense for he made no contribution by voicing any opinion during the whole evening. There was constant reference by Chairman Goodman of the inadvisability of any member of the committee to make reference to the developers plans before they were officially put forward. It was noticeable that one of the few councillors NOT to mention the development was Cllr Leech himself. Several others did and spoke at the start of the meeting for a lot longer than three minutes.

I did observe as was pointed out at the meeting that the chairman referred to his favoured councillors by their Christian names while referring to others by their surnames. One Cllr spent a great deal of the time justifying his responsibility re the highways and bye ways while denying his involvement in attempting to replace the chairman of the Reform meeting. He protesteth TOO MUCH.

So on the whole the meeting ended up in a resounding victory for Cllr Leech, who eventually used a section of the wonderful Human Rights Act to lawfully frustrate the menacing councillors. The one question proposed by Cllr Leech himself to the audience was did they wish him to resign.? This was met with a resounding "NO", by a sizable majority. Even 'rentamob' were silenced.

If Cllr Matheou had asked the same question at the start of the meeting, the meeting would have taken less than half the time and we could have all retired to the Pub for a well deserved drink. Tremendous theatre and I might even be tempted to attend future meetings.

However on the next occasion if I have the privilege to speak I will take the added precaution of bringing a STOPWATCH.

Peter Knight - High Street

Trumpeting not Listening

I refer to Cllr Perry’s letter published on 27 August 2010. In his letter Cllr Perry states that the High Bailiff called for the Town Meeting, this is simply untrue. A number of the electorate, I believe 33 in total, called for a Town Meeting to discuss Taylor Wimpey’s proposals for the redevelopment of the market site. The High Bailiff was asked to hear Presentments from residents, which he agreed to do. However those who called for the meeting wished for an open forum, which fell outside the remit of the High Bailiff and a new chairman was chosen.

Cllr Perry, who is not a resident of Henley in Arden, chose to address the meeting and suggested an alternative chair be proposed and elected, this was of course rejected.

It should be remembered and Cllr Perry should be aware, that Ray Holding has done an incredible amount of work, over many years, to promote and improve Henley in Arden. His involvement with and direction of the Heritage Centre is a tremendous credit to him. His work whilst a member of the Court Leet, particularly as High Bailiff has done much to raise the profile of Henley and strengthen links with other towns in Warwickshire, to the enormous benefit of all.

Cllr Perry’s letter is a clear example of ‘councillors trumpeting’, which was justifiably criticised by Ray Holding. Cllr Perry claims to have the best interests of Henley-in-Arden at heart, before he can make such a claim he really should start to understand the wishes of residents of Henley.


Cllr Mike Perry


Cllr Nick Haycock

At the Town Meeting local estate agent, Cllr Haycock, took over the trumpet from Cllr Perry, stating ‘I want to argue the toss’. He admitted that he did not know the chairman (although they are near neighbours) and even got Mike Willmott’s name wrong, yet Cllr Haycock claims to represent the views of Henley residents. The defeat of his proposition to replace the chairman suggests otherwise.

Cllr Perry, who claimed in his letter that he is “responsible for the highways in the Henley area”, makes a great issue of his work to establish a new pedestrian crossing on Warwick Road, despite there already being a pedestrian crossing on the Warwick Road / Stratford Road junction. His proposal needs a great deal more investigation, so that a better solution can be found, particularly to assist residents living in the Arden Road / Meadow Road area, otherwise we shall end up with another ‘half-soaked’ solution, so typical of the decisions made by those who are out of touch with local needs.

If Cllr Perry listened instead of ‘trumpeting’ he might just learn something of the real wishes of Henley’s residents.

John Tristram - Prince Harry Road

JPC Watch - Town Websites' War continues

Cllr George Matheou, in moving his motion of no confidence in Cllr Bill Leech, who is also editor of Henley NEWS Online and webmaster of the "Town Website", complained that Cllr Leech had done nothing for the town.

The motion received support from only 25% of the councillors. 75% of councillors did not vote for his vicious attack. There were around 100 residents present and they overwhelmingly disagreed with Cllr Matheou shouting "No" to the suggestion that Cllr Leech should resign. This vote of no confidence was a publicity stunt which badly back fired.

The "Ruling Group" are proposing, in response to the government consultation on capping parish council tax, 'We believe that in order to be enforceable, the Referendum turnout should be at least 51%". Should this not also apply to votes of confidence, especially when they have no legal significance. 25% cannot be described in England as a convincing victory!

Cost to JPC Tax Payers: Nothing
Cost to JPC Tax Payers: £5,000+

Henley NEWS Online requests you take a few minutes to form a view about this long running feud by using the links above.

The "Town Website" sponsored by the Henley War Memorial Trust has recently been upgraded to reflect the vibrant community and the new designer shops and the outstanding restaurants & coffee shops. It is currently, top of all major search engines for "Henley-in-Arden" and receives over 4,000 visits each month. The JPC does not know how many visitors its website receives.

Click on the links above to compare the 2 sites. Do you consider your council tax has been spent wisely? Or is it being spent on unnecessarily on a poor imitation?  As Dr Douglas Bridgewater observed at the Town Assembly, the JPC website is usually out of date.

imageThere is no link from the JPC website to the "Town Website", because the councillors voted against acknowledging that there was a "Town Website", claiming that the JPC is the "Official" website.

The JPC "Ruling Group" has threatened legal action if their new "trademarked" logo is used for the link to the JPC website from the "Town Website". As their new logo has quickly become known as the Pontefract Cake, it only seemed appropriate to use an image of one for the link to the JPC website. Our JPC is the only council in the UK to have trademarked its badge, which is a cost to JPC tax payers.

logoDavid Cameron has proposed The Big Society, but clearly some of our local councillors have adopted a “Not in my backyard” approach to the PM's excellent idea.

The Big Society Network is an organisation being set up by frustrated citizens for frustrated citizens, to help everyone achieve change in their local area. The aim is to create a new relationship between Citizens and Government in which both are genuine partners in getting things done: real democracy using all the human and technological tools that are now available. This partnership will also add a third and fourth leg to its sturdy chair by involving business and the voluntary sector. The Big Society

For the most Comprehensive Information
about Henley-in-Arden

Visit the Henley-in-Arden Town Website at:

This website is sponsored by the Henley War Memorial Trust
and receives no money from public funds

Subscribe to Henley NEWS on-line

John Garner's Business Column

Changes to the Minimum Wage in October

John GarnerMost new UK national laws affecting businesses come into force on one of two common commencement dates each year: 6 April and 1 October. So let’s remind ourselves to check the new the National Minimum Wage (NMW) levels.

New rates will come into force on 1st October. This applies to nearly all workers and sets hourly rates below which you must not allow pay to fall.

For pay periods beginning on or after 1 October 2010 the new rates are as follows (current rates in brackets):

• £5.93 an hour to workers aged 21 and over (currently £5.80 for those aged 22 and over**)
• £4.92 an hour to workers aged 18-20 (currently £4.83 for those aged 18-21)
• £3.64 an hour to workers aged below 18 who are no longer of compulsory school age (£3.57)

**Note that the age threshold for the main rate is going to fall from 22 (as it is currently) to 21. Don’t get caught out.

There is also a new a new entitlement for apprentices: after 1 October 2010 you will have to pay at least £2.50 an hour to apprentices who are:

• under the age of 19
• aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Currently such apprentices are not entitled to the NMW.

To qualify to receive the NMW the apprentice must either:

• work under a contract of apprenticeship
• be employed on a government-funded training scheme that is treated as an apprenticeship for NMW purposes.

If you provide a worker with living accommodation you will be able to offset from the NMW an amount of £4.61 per day for each day that you do so.

John Garner

More Rogue Energy Sales People

Microsoft computer fix scam

imageThe service has been alerted to this scam by an email alert recipient who recently received an unsolicited phone call relating to the scam. This is how the scam works. The caller claims to work for Microsoft and to have been alerted by your internet service provider to a serious virus problem on your computer - this is not true. The caller is instead working in a large call centre abroad from where the scam is operated. He has obtained your name and address from public lists.

It is claimed that if the problem is not sorted your computer will become unusable - again not true. The PC owner is then directed to open a program/go to an area on your computer which to most users would look like a long list of errors. The caller then asks the user to visit a website and download a program. This then gives the caller access to your PC. The caller then 'fixes' the problems and requests a payment of £185.

In reality there was never a problem with the user's PC and by downloading the program the user has given a complete stranger access to their personal data.

Warwickshire Trading Standards advises the following:

  1. Microsoft will never make an unsolicited (unexpected call) to fix your computer
  2. If you do think there is something wrong with your PC contact a local repair service and go on recommendation
  3. For information on how to protect your PC from viruses etc. visit:
  4. Never allow anyone you don't know or trust to take control of your PC
  5. Never download any software on to your PC if you are not certain what it does, where it comes from and that it is safe
  6. Never give your credit or debit card number to anyone who you receive an unsolicited call from - they could be criminals and steal your card details.

Simon Cripwell - Trading Standards Service
Warwickshire County Council

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Waste not want not

imageThis is the time of year when fruit and garden produce is in abundance and lots goes to waste. Here’s a way of putting this food to good use. If you let us know what you have or what you can use, Make Henley Greener will put people who have an excess in touch with people who can use it.

Can you help?

• Do you have any fruit etc that you won't be able to use yourself?
• Could you help with harvesting fruit or organising its sorting and distribution?
• Do you know of local groups that might be able to make good use of free fruit etc?
• Could you help with fruit preservation or juicing?

imagePerhaps someone could donate apples to the Henmen and a volunteer could show them how to make apple pie.

If you can help in any way or if you have any questions about this scheme, please contact us 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

Budget Savings

Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s Cabinet today, Monday 6 September, identified savings of £383,000 for this financial year after a spending review.

The savings are genuine cost reductions brought about by ongoing efficiency improvements and cost reductions, not service cuts. They include £25,000 recycling credits for better than anticipated waste recycling; not filling vacant posts when they arise; changes to the Street Cleansing contract giving further savings of around £60,000 and a number of other savings. Many of the savings have been achieved already and the rest will be in place by the end of the financial year.

Councillor Stephen Gray, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: “We are a prudent Council and we want to focus on the things that matter to local people. The spending review we have been carrying out will enable us to continue to deliver the same level of services in future, despite an uncertain economic climate.

“The Coalition has made it clear that Local Authorities must expect substantial reductions in Government grant next year. Although the scale of these reductions has not been announced, the District Council has been looking at a number of cost saving measures including raising additional income, reducing expenditure, systems review, natural wastage, voluntary early retirements and voluntary redundancies.

“Recently, the Council has reduced in size from the equivalent of 355 full time employees to 295 now. We have consistently bettered Government efficiency targets and we have already achieved one of the lowest levels of Council Tax in England & Wales (25th out of 201 councils). It is our aim to set a 0% rise in Council Tax next year and so it is critical that the District Council anticipates developments and prepares appropriate financial plans.”

The Cabinet has also agreed, as in previous years, to consult with District residents using a unique methodology known as Simalto, about their spending priorities. It will take a detailed look at how a smaller Council may work with a reduced workforce and ask residents to give their views. The Simalto approach gives people a set ‘budget’ and requires them to make trade off decisions between different services in order to either make service improvements or savings. The District Council will use the feedback from residents to help shape its future financial plans.

Green Garden Waste Service

Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s Cabinet today, Monday 6 September, has deferred the decision to introduce charges to the green waste collection.

Residents will continue to have up to 2 green bins collected free of charge. The Cabinet was responding to suggestions that introducing additional green waste charges would be a potential way of protecting front line services from cuts during a period of austerity. The suggestions came during The Cabinet’s spending review which has identified £383,000 of savings during the current financial year.

Councillor Stephen Gray, Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council says: “We know our Green Garden Waste Service is highly valued by residents and this District Council is one of a minority of Councils in the country providing a free green garden waste service. We are pleased that we have been able to identify substantial savings in other areas that make charging unnecessary at this time.

“Recycling in Stratford District has proved popular with residents and this has made us the 5th most successful Council in England for recycling. This was an improvement from 59th a year before and we are keen to keep up this momentum. We needed to consider the charging suggestions as they might have produced a substantial income.”

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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:

A warm welcome awaits any newcomers to our meeting on Tuesday 7th September in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm. Our speaker is Mr Bob Burton who will tell us about “Bob’s old bottles”.

September 14th Jayne Edmonds (National Demonstrator) ‘FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH. Competition ‘Hydrangea Heaven’. Memorial Hall 7.30pm. Visitors welcome (£5.00).

Ashley Grove is our speaker on Tuesday September 21st presenting “Shetlands to Scilly” and “Birds of the British Isles”. Visitors are welcome to come and join us from 7.45pm in the Baptist Church Hall for our first indoor meeting this autumn (£2.00).

We meet fortnightly on Wednesdays from September 29th in the Baptist Church Hall from 2pm until 4.30pm. The fee is only £2.00 per meeting. Patchwork for beginners and improvers plus. UFOs (unfinished objects) have you some tapestry, canvas work, knitting or embroidery tucked away to be finished sometime? Why not bring it along and have a couple of hours to work on your project and the satisfaction of actually finishing it.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 16th September in the Baptist Church Hall at 8.00pm when Alan Winterburn will give a talk on ‘Little Known Warwickshire Part 2’. Visitors and new members are welcome. Further details from Pat Kench 795419.

The High Bailiff, Roger Sutton is pleased to announce that this year’s Town Dinner is being held 2nd October in the Memorial Hall, 7.00pm for 7.30pm. The evening includes a reception drink, a 3 course meal plus coffee and mints. Music will be provided by Smoothsax. There will be a licensed bar serving a selection of wine, beers and soft drinks. A raffle and a number of “fun things” will be held to entertain you between courses. The cost is £26.00 per person and bookings can be made by emailing or 795701. or 794787.

TANWORTH WI AND CHOIR invites you to a relaxing and entertaining concert followed by a delicious tea at Tanworth Village Hall on Saturday 16th October at 3.00pm (doors open 2.30pm). Tickets cost £6.00 and will be available from The Bell pub from Monday 4th October or from Val Benger 793426.

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 Rotarian 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.

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Henley NEWS Online has an editorial review team which now has more than ten members. They review each edition before it is published and when there are controversial articles, they play a big part in deciding the content. If you would like to join this team please contact the editor. We would like to recruit more women to the team as they are under represented at present as are young people.
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