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

Previous Editions

Edition 259 - 21st October 2010
Warwickshire Village Competitions
Winner 2007 & Bronze 2009 & 2010
on Thursdays

Why "Root and Branch" changes are needed

Mike Willmott responds to Les Goodman

imageMike Willmott
Chairman Democracy 2012


imageLes Goodman
Chairman JPC

The Chairman of Democracy 2012, Mike Willmott, writes again to the Chairman of the Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden Joint Parish Council, Cllr Les Goodman, about the concerns many residents have about the Joint Parish Council. Democracy 2012 believes that the JPC needs new members and a new direction. It proposes that all unnecessary administration costs should be eliminated and the operations of the Council should be simplified.

Mr Willmott is a retired businessman who has spent his professional life at senior level in the aerospace, automotive, construction and rail industries, directing both UK and overseas companies.

The parish clerk, now styled as "Officer for the Council", has concluded that Mr Willmott would find it "difficult to have an in-depth appreciation of the Council's roles and responsibilities". Click here to read the complete letter.


Orchard Rise

18th October 2010


Dear Chairman of the Joint Parish Council,

My letter, reproduced below, fell on deaf ears at the last JPC when it was discussed and dismissed with no understanding of what “root and branch” meant and even less of what it entailed.

"In responding to your invitation to discuss the concerns that the Reform Association has about the way in which the Council performs its duties, it would only be fruitful if the Council were prepared to countenance a root and branch overhaul of the way in which the Council operates.

Perhaps you would consult your fellow councillors and see if there is any appetite for change, failing which we must trust the voters in 2012."

The approach is rather like that taken by our present government to ensure that every penny taken from the taxpayer is used to generate value for the community and not swallowed up in wasteful administration.

Here are a few examples of why change is needed in Henley:-

  1. The Beaudesert and Henley Joint Parish Council has the highest precept for 2010/11 of all the mid-sized parish councils in the Stratford area at £82,650.
    The sources for the data were public records from the 2001 National Census for Warwickshire Parishes and Stratford District Council website.

  2. Tanworth-in Arden, which has a similar population with 3,017 residents compared to Henley’s 2,930, (2001 census), raises a precept of £45,500 compared to Henley’s £82,650. Tanworth’s cost per 1,000 residents is £15,081, in Henley the cost is £28,152 per 1,000 residents. Why do Henley residents pay 86% more than Tanworth residents?
  3. Tanworth Parish Council has increased its precept by 0.55% during the last 3 years? Why has Henley increased its precept by 33.8%?
  4. Tanworth-in-Arden is not an isolated example of a local parish council running at a fraction of costs of the Henley JPC. The average precept for medium sized parishes (populations of >1,000 and <3,999) in the Stratford area is £31,262 per 1,000. Why is Henley’s precept at £82,650 more than 2.6 times the average?
  5. 48% of the parishes in the Stratford area have had either no increase or a reduction during the last 3 years. Why has Henley increased its precept by 33.8%?
  6. Many of the JPC’s activities are excessive, such as having 2 council meetings per month and 7 sub-committees. The norm appears to be, one council meeting per month and one sub-committee. Why can’t Henley do the same?
  7. The JPC has salary costs of around £24,000 and PR costs of around £5,000, both of which are excessive. The JPC’s expenditure costs will probably have to be reduced substantially when the Localism Bill becomes law later this year. How will the JPC introduce economies!
  8. The parish clerk, who now styles herself "Officer for the Council", told the last council meeting that the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and the Warwickshire Association of Local Councils (WALC) intended to fight the Localism Bill. It does neither of these trade associations credit to fight government policy when they should be impartial to party politics. In fact, by declaring their selfish interests, they only prove that a national “root and branch” overhaul is overdue and necessary.”

During the last 3 years, the JPC has introduced record precept increases and at the same time the quality of the services has deteriorated, an example being the grass cutting.

As a result, this year about £50,000 is being taken out of the pockets of the residents, which could otherwise be spent by the residents of the town in the town. This would do far more for the local economy than Cllr George Mathoeu’s wasteful business and tourism initiatives.

In the recent parish referendum on “the leadership and management of the JPC”, the residents demonstrated that they want change. In this poll the JPC Ruling Group were unable to find sufficient supporters to win the vote, even though the turnout was very low.  Henley residents may not appreciate that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Treasury and HMRC are subject to much stricter control, accountability and probity than parish councils, which operate without any supervision or curbs on their excesses.

At the Cattle Market Redevelopment Town Meeting, councillors from the ruling group were unable to high jack the meeting and install veteran Councillor George Atkinson as chairman of the Market Action Group. Cllr Atkinson neither lives in the parish nor represents it. Fortunately, the Market Action Group now has an excellent chairman in Lucy Lunt and this Group has nothing to do with Democracy 2012.

I look forward to your response.

Mike Willmott
Chairman Democracy 2012

View the HENLEY NEWS - 2010 Parish Council Survey

To read press comments about the Joint Parish Council, go to: Reform The JPC

If you believe that there is a need for new parish councillors, register at: Democracy 2012

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


Court Circular

Published by Authority of the High Bailiff


The Mop Fair Comes to Henley.


In the year 1220 Lord of the Manor Sir Peter de Montfort was granted a royal charter by the then king, Henry III, to hold a weekly market and an annual fair on the day of the Feast of St Giles. Subsequent Lords of the Manor of Henley were granted similar royal charters: granting charters for markets and fairs was one of the ways a king or a queen raised money for the maintenance of the royal estates.

The Henley Mop, as it later became to be known, is such a fair and usually comes to town in the first weekend of October. The Mop appears to have got its name from a time when the ‘mop and bucket’ brigade came looking for employment as well as a bit of fun at the fair.

So, following nearly 800 years of tradition, it was on Friday last at around 5.30 of the clock that the High Bailiff, Low Bailiff, Town Crier and other members of the Court left the confines of the Guild Hall to make their way to the fairground on the High Street. On reaching the fair the Court was met by the fair’s master, Joseph Danter, who asked the High Bailiff to perform the opening ceremony and welcome the fair to the town, which he dutifully did, visiting in turn each of the rides and stalls.

Duty done, it was now the turn of the Court to hit the bright lights and have some fun at the fair!

Roger Sutton - High Bailiff
Photograph - Alan Robson

Video of the Mop 2010 by Henley Films

News from Henley Church of England Primary School

Henley in Bloom School Competition

imageFollowing the judging of local schools in ‘The Henley in Bloom’ competition, children from Henley Church of England Primary School were invited to a presentation and lunch at the Baptist Church. All children’s entries received prizes including medals for 1st to 3rd places.

The children’s brief was to make animals or monsters out of fruit and vegetables. Ethan Paine – aged 9 and his younger brother, Jacob – aged 7, won first prize for their ‘Pineapplesaurus’; Sam Sedgwick – aged 8 won second prize for his ‘Turtle’ and Suzannah Walters – aged 10 came 3rd for her ‘Frog’. Henley Church of England Primary School is sharing the cup with St Mary's Primary School over the year.

On behalf of both schools we would like to thank the organisers - Val Johnston, Gordon Trinder and colleagues for all their hard work and for making the children feel so welcome.

Everyone is looking forward to next year's competition!

Governors Honoured
imageHenley in Arden Church of England Primary School is proud to announce that its Governing Body has been awarded the prestigious ‘Governor Mark’ award.

This is the first school in Warwickshire to gain this award which confirms excellent leadership and management by the Governing Body.

Pictured right, Governors Rowena Silk and Katherine Walters with the Governor Mark certificate.

Elaine Field reporting

Nature's Warning

Written for National Poetry Day - 7th October

The World from above is a beautiful sight,
Created with seasons for our delight.

Spring to our awaken with thoughts anew
As golden daffodils sway into view.

Trees begin to fill with leaves
Gently swaying in a warming breeze.

Young lambs frolic and answer the call,
From Mothers who keep an eye on them all.

Summer follows with its hot warm sun,
Beaches are full with young having fun.

The cricket is finished the covers are on,
Ice-cream salesmen have come and gone.

Rivers run dry and the grass turns brown,
Forecasts are wrong and the weathermen frown.

Polluted seas with their gentle swell,
Signal a warning that all is not well.

Flowers have bloomed and reached their best,
As nature lays Autumn gently to rest.

Yellow leaves fall from trees aloft,
The ground below appears quite soft,

Winter gales blow strong and hard,
Buildings collapse and catch us off guard.

Upturned trees with leaves laid bare,
When will humanity start to care?

If spring again comes and the grass fails to grow,
It will be our great-grandchildren who will never know

If the balance of nature left well alone,
Would have let Earth's beauty unfold on its own.

Peter Knight


Henley-in-Arden's Information Page

Click on the picture to view

Bookmark it or use it as your Home page.


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


Register as a Juror



Good people of Henley!

Are you interested in preserving the rituals and traditions of this historic town? Yes? Well, please finish reading this short circular.

Have you lived, worked or run a business in the town for longer than three years? If the answer is, ‘Yes’. Then you should give some thought to becoming a juror. A juror? Yes, a juror! Jurors are ‘freeman’ of the town; of free mind, and will.

The people of Henley have for 800 years taken the responsibility of electing on an annual basis, the members of the town’s ancient Court Leet. The Court would like the town to continue to uphold this ancient tradition of electing the Leet.

Our photo shows the present Lord of the Manor, Mrs Robin Hardy-Freed, with the Steward of the Manor, Mr David Lodder, and former High Bailiff, Brian Jackson, at the AGM in 2004.

It will cost you nothing but a few minutes of your time to read and register your name as a juror. Just click the link and complete the application form. You will then receive the simple instructions to complete the process.

If you require more information on the background to the Court Leet, the Court Leet website will give further information.

Roger Sutton - High Bailiff 

Click here to Register as a Juror


New Duo called 'The Bottom Line'

imageResidents at Blackthorn Court in Henley were serenaded by a new Duo called ‘The Bottom Line’ last week. Local resident Sally Morgan (Double Bass) has teamed up with her CBSO colleague Ian Ludford (Cello) to form a duo.

We are called the Bottom Line as we are literally playing the bottom notes in the Symphony Orchestra. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Blackthorn where we played the Rossini Duo written for cello and double bass and a Baroque Sonata by William de Fesch. We then moved on to some lighter numbers to finish our programme. We also got residents to join in the music with shakers in the Pink Panther theme. The afternoon ended with tea and biscuits

If anyone is interested in booking this duo please get in touch with Sally by email

Sally Morgan

Direct Mail gets Responses from your Prospects

Thursday 21th October 2010 at Henley-in-Arden Golf & Country Club

imageStefan Drew will demonstrate how one local business has enjoyed breathtaking results with a very limited budget and a bit of ingenuity.

In an age where everyone is talking about social networking, traditional marketing channels like direct mail are largely ignored. However, “Junk Mail” is no longer junk and can give response rates of 20%+, even when sent to complete strangers, provided it is well planned and executed.

Founded in 1982 Warwickshire Business Club continues to create the best possible networking environment for its members to establish business relationships, exchange business ideas and even grow friendships. And of course 'face to face’ networking is still the best way to promote your business and make and receive business referrals.

For a booking form and for further details about this event please click here. You have the option of paying by cheque or by using the secure Paypal/credit card payment facility.

Reduced parking costs for Stratford

imageCllr Alan Cockburn, Warwickshire County Council's Portfolio Holder for Environment and Economy, has revealed that on-street parking charges in Stratford-upon-Avon will be cheaper. After listening to the preferences of residents and traders Cllr Cockburn has tasked officers with drafting proposals for 30 minutes on-street parking for 50p - a reduction from the current 70p charge. The cost of one hour parking is set to be cut from £1.40 to £1.

Cllr Cockburn said: "We have seen the results of two recent surveys and heard what the people of Stratford want in regards to parking. We are a listening council and our new policy will reflect what is needed in the town. In the past we have attempted a number of different solutions to on-street parking in Stratford and are confident the new charges will strike the right balance and help revitalise the town centre."

The proposals will be formally considered by Cllr Cockburn at the portfolio holder's decision-making meeting on December 17. The report will also consider charges in other Warwickshire districts. If rubber-stamped at the December meeting the new charges will come into effect from 1 April 2011.

In addition to on-street parking, Warwickshire County Council also operates the increasingly popular Stratford Park & Ride. Last year the total number of passenger journeys at the Bishopton scheme increased by 11.6 per cent to almost 127,000.

'Conservation Police' take action in Henley

imageimageThe Purple Shop front has lost its distinctive appearance as a result of action by the "Conservation Police".

Next to be forced to conform will be the gents barber "Bella Cappelli" which has a small illuminated barber's pole (left). The owner has been served with a notice for it to be removed.

Gerald Smith, Henley's most experienced retailer, believes that the council action is now getting out of hand and he is organising a petition for the retention of the barber's poll.

To sign Gerald's petition, call in at Bella Cappelli.

The red colour of the barber's pole is almost identical to One Stop's colour scheme but of course the owner is not part of a multi-national. What will be next, yellow front doors?


Fantastic Bonfire and Fireworks

image1st Henley and Wootton Scout Troop are once again organising their ‘Fantastic Bonfire and Fireworks’ and this year the event is on Saturday 6th November and as usual it is being held at their troop hut at the Sports and Social Club on the Stratford Road, in between Henley-in-Arden and Wootton Wawen.  

This very well established event is the troop's main fund raiser in the year so we are hoping for yet another excellent turnout from local townspeople. Admission costs have been kept the same as the last 2 years and once again it promises to be a great night - with a great firework display, bonfire plus food, hot drinks, a bar and other entertainments.  

The event is especially suited to families – hence our request, for the children’s safety, that visitors do not bring sparklers.  

We look forward to seeing Henley and Wootton Wawen residents on Saturday the 6th November from 6 pm onwards.

John Johnson 

Fire Safety in your home

imageWarwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is offering all Warwickshire residents a free Home Fire Safety Check.

A Home Fire Safety Check offers fire safety advice on all areas of high risk that are in your home, like kitchens, Open fires, Candles, Electric Blankets, and Smoking materials.

An escape Plan is also a vital area which should be part of your Fire Safety Plan, which can also be discussed during the visit, along with the fitting of free smoke detectors where necessary, and remember this service is completely free.

If you would like to take advantage of this FREE offer call 01926 466 282 and quote ref: 35 CVS.


VASA ( Voluntary Action Stratford on Avon) has recruited six (at present – more to come) very highly qualified volunteers to mentor new business projects. They are people with extensive experience of starting new businesses and then developing their success for the long term. Skills and experience include raising finance, marketing, entrepreneurship (including for manufacturing) and all aspects of business start up for the smallest to very large companies.

Our initial use of them will be for an Open Day to be held probably mid-late November when, just like many of you will have done when taking valuables to be assessed by experts, individuals, community groups and those considering a significant business investment will be able to come along and meet with them and privately discuss and have evaluated the opportunity they are considering.

I must stress that this is support for any of the following –
  1. Any individual who wants to start up their own business in probably any sector, ‘employing’ just their own talents
  2. Any individual who wants to develop a business which will offer several employment opportunities, and is likely to include them investing significantly in the proposed business
  3. Any Community Group – which may include close partners to you as a Parish Council – who are considering a Community (Social) Enterprise opportunity for your village or town: a Community Enterprise being provision of a service for public purpose – a business which invests surpluses back into its activities for the benefit of its community.

More information on the VASA web site

David Morgan
Project Manager Parish Plans & Rural Outreach
Voluntary Action Stratford on Avon District

Local Company Offers Free Financial Advice

imageAn independent financial advisor based in Henley is giving away free financial advice at a seminar on Thursday 21st October at the Henley Golf & Country Club. MPA Financial Management came up with the unusual idea after feedback from customers suggested many people were very concerned about how their pensions were performing in the current climate but totally confused about whether their investments were going to get the best return for them.

Director Eddie Ball said “A lot of people we’ve been in contact with had taken pensions out a long time ago and had either lost track of or were totally unaware of how they were doing.” He explained: “Part of the problem stems from people simply moving and forgetting to update their address. However the vast majority of confusion is because people just don’t understand what their updates mean, despite the industry’s attempts at providing clearer language.”

Eddie hopes the seminar will help people get a better understanding of the often confusing terminology whilst also helping them gain more knowledge on investments they already have or are planning for the future. He added “Our experts will be on hand to give out help and advice on areas such as the golden rules of wise investments. They’ll also be available for one to one advice should people need it. We hope people will be able to come away with a better understanding and a confidence about investing”.

MPA Financial Management Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority. The value of your investments can go down as well as up. Places are going fast so if you’d like to book your place call 0845 644 9371
or email

Claverdon lions maul Wellingborough

Saturday 16th October


Man of the Match – Tom Johnson
Try scorers – Tom Johnson x 2, Ian Wyllie x 2, Andy Wenborn x 2, Tom Bennett x 2
Conversions – Ian Wyllie x 4

imageClaverdon played host to Wellingborough Old Grammarians in the second round of the Junior Vase for what they knew would be a tough encounter. The visitors played in the league above so Claverdon knew they would have to be at their best. The lions had a fully fit squad to choose from with only fly half Doz Ward missing through injury. Some late changes saw the team shuffled around but it didn’t affect the strength of what was a very impressive squad.

The lions started the game slowly and needless infringements saw Wellingborough record the first points of the game with a penalty in front of the posts. This kick started Claverdon into gear and they soon made progress deep into the visitors half. A solid scrum saw the ball fed to fly half Ian Wyllie who showed a turn of pace to jink his way past several defenders for an unconverted try.

It wasn’t long before Claverdon recorded their second try of the game. From a Wellingborough scrum deep in the visitors' half they failed to find touch and the ball fell straight in to the arms of winger Andy Wenborn. He crashed through two men to score in the corner for another unconverted try. Chris Edsall replaced prop Mark Tilson who went off with a suspected broken nose.

Claverdon were now very much in control of the game and continued to press and test the visitors' defence. Winger Tom Johnson was making impressive yards and the return of Sam Horswill to inside centre was having an impact. It was from a Horswill break that Claverdon scored their third try. He broke several tackles and looped a pass to Tom Bennett to beat his man to score in the corner. Wyllie missed the tricky conversion.

The rest of the half was played out with Claverdon showing good attacking options and working the ball up the field well with strong running from the back row trio of James Barton, Jean Visser and Scott Conduit. When the Old Grammarians did attack, the Claverdon defence held firm with big tackling from captain Tom Skinner and Chris Lowe. Half Time 15-3.

The second half saw Jean Visser replaced by scrum half Conor Smith with Harry Cox switching to the wing and Andy Wenborn back in to the pack. The lions didn’t hold back and it wasn’t long before centre Bennett broke free and fed to winger Tom Johnson who cut inside to beat his man and score under the posts. Wyllie made no mistake with the conversion.

Only five minutes later Claverdon recorded their fifth try of the game. Excellent off loading from the tackle area saw the ball fed through the hands of both the forwards and backs before reaching Wenborn to record his second of the game. Wyllie again kicked the extra 2 points.

Next it was turn for Johnson to record a brace of tries. Good lineout work courtesy of Steve Grimsley and James Barton and a perfectly drilled backs move saw the ball finally fed to Johnson who outpaced his man to score under the sticks for another converted try.

It was from a further lineout that Claverdon hit the 40 point mark. A tap down from Skinner to Smith and quick hands in the backs saw the ball worked all the way across the field to Bennett. He made no mistake to touch down under the posts for Wyllie to convert.

Wellingborough were now dejected and the game was secure but Claverdon still had time for another score. Mike Watts replaced the injured Conduit and from some more great phases of play Claverdon were once again in the Old Grammarians' half. Smith fed to Dave Carruthers who burst through a gap to find himself one on one with the visitors' full back. Not renowned for his goose step he gave an unorthodox pass which Skinner collected before offloading to Johnson. Unselfishly Johnson found Wyllie in open space to score in the corner but unfortunately the conversion was missed.

The Old Grammarians did have the last say though with a well worked try in the corner. From the back of the scrum the ball was fed through the hands to the substitute winger to touch down with the full time whistle sounding as the conversion was narrowly missed.

The high expectations from this lions team were visible at the full time whistle as the players clearly looked dejected at conceding so late on.
48-8 Full Time

Claverdon face their toughest encounter of the season so far when they host Old Wheatleyans in the League on Saturday. This is also their Vice President's day so there will be a big crowd to cheer on the lads but all extra support would be welcome.

Match Report by Tom Johnson
Photo Will Barnes

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

A lighter side of Employment Law

John GarnerWith the Government’s spending review upon us I think we are in need of some light relief but as this is supposed to be a business column we'd better keep to the business theme.

Let’s start by looking at some apparently bizarre decisions on employment matters.

  • The Court of Appeal has recently held that a male to female transsexual, who married his wife years before the sex change, (and who turned 60 before the Gender Recognition Act was in force) is entitled to a state pension at 60 as a female; even though she is still married … and has a wife!
  • A Spanish electrician has been awarded compensation after being addressed as “Manuel”; nicknamed by colleagues after the hapless waiter from television’s “Fawlty Towers”. Juan Ignacio from Barcelona, as was Manuel, was taunted by colleagues whilst working at a London hospital.
  • A German Police Officer has won additional pay after convincing a court that he has to spend so long getting dressed for his shift it qualifies as working time. He claims to spend at least 15 minutes each shift checking and putting on all the equipment required by modern officers: pistol and holster, handcuffs, gas canister, baton. His claim was backed by the Police Union and means an extra 50 hours pay per year.

Having discussed the new Equalities Act last week I’m wondering whether this has been properly thought through.

A job advert read: "Wanted - Administrator - good typist and able to use Excel. Successful applicant must be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunities Employer."

A dalmatian applied for the job. He typed a perfect business letter, then produced a sample spreadsheet and database using Excel.

The interviewer was dumbfounded. He said to the dalmatian, “You have fantastic talent, but I can’t employ a dog.”

The dog went to the sign in the window and pointed his paw at the words, “Equal Opportunities Employer.”

The interviewer said, “Yes, I know what the advert says. But it also says you have to be bilingual.”

The dog looked him straight in the eye and said calmly, “Meow.”

For the above I am indebted to David Ecclestone of Employment Law Training

John Garner

Warnings from Trading Standards

Know Your Rights - Be Careful Who You Borrow Money From

imageWarwickshire Trading Standards Service is working with Birmingham's Illegal Money Lending Team to assist people who may be getting into debt over the Christmas period. It is estimated that over Christmas 2009, up to 100,000 households may have turned to illegal money lenders known as loan sharks.

They are criminals who are often also involved in gun and knife crime, counterfeiting and drug dealing. Loan sharks prey on vulnerable people such as single parents, the elderly or people on benefits who do not have access to traditional forms of credit eg bank loans, and as a result can suffer harassment, threats and spiralling financial difficulties.

Loan sharks usually:

  • Offer you a cash loan but do not give you any paperwork
  • Take your benefit or bank card as security on the loan
  • Don't tell you when you will finish paying
  • Charge extortionate high rates of interest
  • Increase the amount you owe even if you are making regular payments
  • Threaten or use violence to get money from you.

The problem can often more widespread than is imagined as people do not like to reveal financial problems and are afraid of reprisal.

If you owe money to a loan shark or want to help someone else who is in trouble with one, call the National Loan Shark Hotline 0300 555 2222, email or text loan shark and the details you want to pass on to 60003

All calls and messages will be dealt with confidentially.

Simon Cripwell - Trading Standards Service
Warwickshire County Council

Make Henley Greener
Save Money - Help Save the Planet

Want to have your say about climate change?

Here are two opportunities. First, take a look at the Warwickshire Climate Change Partnership Action Plan by clicking here. Right in the middle of this page click on the words ‘attitude survey’ and answer a few questions to give your opinions.

Second tell your MP, Mr Nadhim Zahawi, what you think. For more information Click here

John Stott - Make Henley Greener

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

Standards Board to be axed

imageSerious misconduct for personal gain will be a criminal act, while petty local vendettas will no longer get a hearing as the unpopular standards board regime is axed, Communities Minister Andrew Stunell has announced. Mr Stunell said the top-down regime set up by central government to monitor council conduct had become a vehicle for malicious and frivolous complaints. For example, one authority had to fork out £160,000 after receiving over 170 complaints from the same person. Each one had to be examined but only three were considered worth investigating and after investigation all were dismissed. 

Local Standards Committees investigated 6,000 complaints in the first two years - of which over half were judged not worthy of any further action. The Government is axing the entire Standards regime including the central board, which costs over £6 million a year, with investigations of complaints costing thousands of pounds each. Genuine corruption in local government needs to be rooted out and the new Government is legislating to make serious misconduct a criminal offence dealt with by the courts not committees. Councillors will have to register certain personal interests in a publicly available register.

Ministers believe these changes will give voters the confidence that councillors who misuse their office will be effectively dealt with. While councillors themselves will have the confidence to get on with their job knowing they won't be plagued by petty allegations. The public will decide councillors' fates. Under new plans the public will also have greater confidence to challenge poor local services. The Government intends to give the Local Government Ombudsman, the established body for investigating public complaints over the way they have been treated by their council, real teeth. For the first time local authorities will be legally compelled to implement the Ombudsman's findings.

Andrew Stunell said: "The Standards Board regime ended up fuelling petty complaints and malicious vendettas. Nearly every council had investigations hanging over them - most of which would be dismissed but not before reputations were damaged and taxpayer money was wasted. Frivolous allegations undermined local democracy and discouraged people from running for public office. That's why we are axing the unpopular and unelected standards board regime. Instead we will legislate to ensure that if a councillor is corrupt and abuses their office for personal gain they will be dealt with in the criminal courts. If a councillor behaves ineffectively or irresponsibly then it's a matter for the electorate not an unelected quango. This Government is freeing councillors from central prescription and top down bureaucracy so they can get on with their job. In the future councillors must expect to be judged at the ballot box by an electorate with real access to their accounts and personal interests in a new transparent era."

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles added: "The standards board regime became the problem, not the solution. Unsubstantiated and petty allegations, often a storm in a teacup, damaged the reputation and standing of local government, as well as wasting taxpayers' money. But by abolishing the failed standards committees we're not letting councillors off the hook. Failure to register or declare an interest, or deliberately seeking to mislead the public about an interest, will become a criminal offence while a newly empowered Local Government Ombudsman will investigate incompetence on behalf local people."

The Government will also legislate to make it clear that councillors can campaign and vote freely on their issues. Councillors who have been prevented from speaking on the very issues they had been elected on, such as planning matters, will now have the freedom to express their views. This will allow councillors to make comments on such issues as the Henley cattle market redevelopment and the management and cost efficiency of the JPC.

But councillors will have to register certain personal interests in a publicly available register; this could include anything that could reasonably be regarded as likely to influence or affect their actions, conduct when on business for the authority or voting.

The whole Standards Board regime consisting of a centrally prescribed code of conduct, local standards committees with the power to suspend councillors and an unelected central body will be axed in the upcoming Localism Bill.

Beaudesert and Henley-in-Arden have made extensive use of the standards board regime. JPC councillors have had more complaints made against them than all other parish councillors in the SDC area combined. Cllr Bill Leech tops the list for the largest number, with complaints by Cllr Sheila Roy, Miss V Johnson who resides at the same address as Cllr Hubbocks, Cllr George Matheou and the parish clerk. All these complaints were aimed at silencing the campaign to restore democracy and cost effectiveness to the JPC.

The complaint by the parish clerk against Cllr Leech was made on 28th June, despite the statement in the House of Commons on 10th June 2010, see the video above, that legislation is being introduced as quickly as possible to abolish the Standards Board regime. This complaint is still being investigated. All the earlier cases against Cllr Leech were dismissed by the Initial Assessment Sub-Committee of the Standards and Ethics Committee. Each complaint that is referred for investigation costs the taxpayer approximately £4,000, according to Decorum Issue 5, a newsletter published by SDC.




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 should be sent to the at any time. Future diary dates should be notified to Margrit Johnson at:

Meets on the first Tuesday every month in the Memorial Hall at 7.30pm. Visitors are welcome to join us on 5th October when Harry Murch will be giving a presentation on ‘Farms for City Children’. The WI also has groups for walking and patchwork, 792488 for details.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 21st October in the Baptist Church Hall at 8.00pm when Gillian White will give a talk on 'Bess of Hardwick & Hardwick Hall'. Visitors and new members are very welcome. Further details from Pat Kench on 795419.

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.
logoRotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, is an organisation of more than 55,000 men and women who, as members of over 1,850 Rotary clubs, volunteer their time, talents, professional skills and energy to improving the lives of people in their local communities and others around the world. The Henley-in-Arden Club meets at the Golf Club on Monday evenings at 7pm. New members are always welcome.
Please email Rotarian Michael Redman

imageThis association meets once per month to discuss its plans for the next parish council election in May 2012 when it intends to offer residents a manifesto to reduce substantially the running costs of the Joint Parish Council and to give greater participation to the community in the affairs of the town.    You can register your support at: Democracy 2012 Supporters Registration
For further information contact Secretary - Malcolm Coulter - 01564 795504

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
A Town Meeting was held on 17th August 2010, when many residents expressed their concerns about the proposed development on the old cattle market site. As a result, a committee has been formed to prepare for the formal application being submitted and any necessary representations. Read more about the aims of the Market Action Group website If you wish to show your support, please register at:
 For further information contact the Chairman - Lucy Lunt on 01564 794873 email:

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 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

253 High Street
B95 5BG

HENLEY NEWS 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 is a confidential 'Not For Profit' on-line newsletter, exclusively for our registered readers.
Commercial advertisers are asked to make donations to Henley's charities.

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

Privacy Statement

html web counters