The Henley Residents Group contributes a great deal to the quality of life in Henley.
HRG’s energy and commitment have been evident both as a group and individually for the past 20 years. HRG works only for Henley!
Townlands Hospital We fought to keep Townlands Hospital open when it was under threat in 2005. We were successful in this and then pressed for redevelopment to give us a state of the art hospital fit for the 21st century. Planning permission was granted in November 2012 and development will start in 2013. The new hospital will be open in 2015.
Highway at Northfield End We successfully fought to protect this public asset for many years and finally won our battle in November 2012 when the Government inspector ruled that the proposed layout by developers was unsafe and failed to protect this beautiful area of Henley. Our long standing view that this should stay as a public asset is now established and Oxfordshire County Council, as the highway authority, are putting forward plans which will benefit all of Henley's residents.
Henley in Bloom Henley won a second gold award in 2012, which recognises the all round attractiveness of the town and the work HRG councillors have put in to keep our town beautiful.
Henley in Transition
HRG pressure on sustainability and the environment led to the establishment of this group who have registered Henley as a Transition Town and pursued a number of initiatives to make sure that green issues are made a reality.
HRG protests in the 80s and 90s against the closure of our cinema for many years led the Waitrose development to include a cinema which adds to our cultural and social life. We also made sure the Town Council provided financial support so that the cinema could operate in the long term.
Funding of PCSO
We continue to fund a Police Community Support Officer (shared with the Thames Valley Police). This helps the residents of Henley to feel secure.
Henley Cricket Club
We campaigned against plans to turn Henley Cricket Club's ground into a car park. We were successful and the cricket club were eventually offered the land by Brakspears. By supporting a grant of £25k and a long term loan of £200k, the cricket club were able to buy the ground. This secured the long term future of this successful club, which continues to provide the opportunity for 100s of Henley youngsters to enjoy playing cricket. It also protects this beautiful entry to Henley.
We maintain and have enhanced this area where friends and family can quietly remember their loved ones. We have promoted the provision for green burials at the cemetery.
We have continued to improve the services we offer while maintaining council tax at below the rate of inflation.
Eyot Boat Centre
We supported Eyot by awarding them a low interest long term load to rebuild the club, to ensure that many Henley residents can continue to enjoy their sport with modern facilities.
Investment in Recreation
HRG has pushed through a number of improvements to Henley's recreational facilities: support for the River and Rowing Museum; the purchase of Gillotts Field for the town, support for the Skate Park Initiative; the development of Freemans as a play area; continuing improvements of the facilities at Makins for young people. At Mill Meadows we made a Sensory garden and refurbished the children's play area, and are continually looking at way to improve parking at Mill Meadows.
We continue to ensure that our beautiful town is protected from developments which threaten to spoil it.
Links with Business
Under HRG control, the Town Council established the Henley Partnership over 15 years ago. This allows businesses, individuals and third sector organisations to work together on enhancing the social, cultural vibrancy of our town. In April 2012 we funded, jointly with SODC, a Town Centre Manager who works closely with the Henley Partnership on an Action Plan for Henley.
Supported by HRG when its future was under threat in 1992, HRG councillors ensured the purchase of the premises and guaranteed the club's future. The Club has a thriving membership and continues to offer a varied programme of entertainment, hairdressing, chiropody and delicious meals.
We regularly organise special events for Henley, such as hosting the Olympic Torch, celebrating the successful olympic athletes, and providing various spectacles for the Queen's Jubilee.
We continue to operate two large sites at Greencroft and Waterman's. 100s of Henley families enjoy these facilities which allow outdoor activity and generate healthy food for them to eat.
This area was derelict in 1991 before the newly elected HRG run council set about refurbishing it. It is now a beautiful area to sit and enjoy the river.
Pedestrianisation of Market Place
This was a very contentious issue - HRG lost the council elections in 1999 because of opposition to the plan. We stuck to our beliefs and most residents now are very content with the open space this vision has created in the middle of our town.
HRG has fought hard for the provision of lowcost housing at the YMCA (Noble Road) and Southfields and to ensure that Henley people are first on the lists. We continue to insist that development within the town includes provision for low cost housing, to enable our young people to stay in Henley.
In the 90s HRG pushed for the purchase of this land to ensure it's preservation as a recreation area for residents. When it was identified by SODC as possible for development, we pushed for its designation as a village green protecting it against this threat.
Jubilee Park Outdoor Sports Centre
HRG cllrs established this sports centre including an artificial surface for hockey and football, so that these sports can be played all year round.
HRG councillors have worked to improve the town centre environment over many years by planning and funding new street lighting, signage, litter bins, hanging baskets, town entry signs and notice boards, working closely with SODC and OCC to achieve some of these improvements.
Old Fire Station Gallery
HRG pressed for this unused building to be restored and it is now a flourishing and successful exhibition centre.
Kings Arms Barn
In 1997, HRG led a programme of purchase and design of this rundown area on and behind Market Place, which now provides prestigious homes for the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Henley Volunteer Bureau, plus a fine upstairs function room in the for public and private hire.
When the County Council removed funding, HRG ensured the Town Council stepped in to keep the centre going by providing money and support to safeguard this vital service which has been used by generations of our children.
Visitor Information Centre
When the District Council removed funding, HRG ensured the Town Council stepped in to keep the centre going to enable us to welcome visitors and help promote tourism.