THE position of Henley town centre manager was created in 2010 by South Oxfordshire District Council
THE position of Henley town centre manager was created in 2010 by South Oxfordshire District Council together with equivalent roles in Wallingford and Thame. Oliver O’Dell was first to hold the part-time post. He resigned after 18 months after being criticised by town councillors for not doing enough to increase visitor numbers or boost business. His idea to put up advertising banners around Henley was rejected by councillors.
The post was left vacant from August 2011 to March 2012 when it was filled by Peter McConnell, who stayed in post for three years. He oversaw a grants scheme to help improve shop frontages and helped to bring wi-fi to the town centre. He also tried to launch a retail loyalty reward card scheme in 2014 but it failed to take off. In his final report to councillors. Mr McConnell recommended the post was made full-time.
The vacancy was filled on an interim basis from July last year by Rachel Rae, from Wallingford, who oversaw the first Henley Hootenanny in December. She left in April.