Saturday, 21 July 2018

Councillor attacked over boundary vote

A HENLEY town councillor has been accused of “insulting” her colleagues by voting against their wishes.

Henley Town Council had agreed to request that land south of Greys Road should be moved from Harpsden parish into Henley as it includes Highlands Farm, which has been earmarked for 190 new homes under the parishes’ draft joint neighbourhood plan.

But the district council accepted a recommendation of its working group to make no change.

Joan Bland, a town and district councillor, voted for no change and came under fire at a town council meeting last week.

Deputy Mayor Jeni Wood, who is also a district councillor, said: “Unfortunately, although it had been agreed at full council about bringing Highlands Farm into Henley, one of our councillors did not vote with us so we lost the vote but we put up a very good fight.”

Cllr Bland replied: “We are always saying that when we have small working groups they work so hard, they come to a conclusion after weeks of hard debate and this group had come to this conclusion. I thought it was only respectful for them to have their way.”

Cllr Wood responded: “We were all asked to be there to give our views and not just to say ‘okay, well if you as a committee feel this then go ahead with it’.”

Councillor Ian Reissmann added: “We spent a great deal of time looking at it, researching it, and we did that three times. I think it’s a little bit insulting of Cllr Bland to say that the effort was irrelevant.”

The district council agreed to move land north of Gillotts Lane, including Gillotts School, from Harpsden into Henley, as the town council had requested.

But it refused a request to switch land south of Rotherfield Road from Henley into Harspden.

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