Saturday, 19 August 2017

Community groups and charities given £5,000 by council

MORE than £5,000 will be handed to charities and community groups in Henley.

MORE than £5,000 will be handed to charities and community groups in Henley.

Eight applications were approved by the town council’s finance and strategy committee.

The Town and Visitors’ Regatta was awarded the highest amount of £1,500 towards the cost of the annual event.

Regatta secretary Mark Davies wrote in his application: “Due to the constraints of the sport, competitor entry fees cover less than half of our costs, making the survival of this traditional event dependent on the support of our subscribers, other donors and the success of our social events.”

Councillor Pam Phillips said: “I would like to propose that we look favourably on this request.

“The regatta is open to the whole town and you don’t have to save all your pocket money to buy a ticket.”

Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak added: “If you look at their balance sheet they are a very lean machine. It is a wonderful event.” Councillor Will Hamilton suggested telling the organisers not to rely on council grants, adding: “They might like to use that £1,500 to market it more so they don’t have to come back to us year after year.”

Cllr Phillips said she was disappointed with the lack of signage at this year’s event.

She said: “I knew it was on but I spoke to one or two people who didn’t. There were people who would have gone but didn’t.”

Councillor Elizabeth Hodgkin said the organisers were looking into signage as it was the main issue raised at a wash-up meeting.

The Berkshire MS Therapy Centre received £1,000 towards running chiropody, counselling and physio classes at Brunner Hall, off Greys Road.

Deputy Mayor Martin Akehurst said: “I lost a member of my family to MS earlier this year and the support is patchy at best. Berkshire is doing an excellent job and I would be delighted to support this.”

Cllr Gawrysiak added: “It is giving a small amount of money to volunteers.”

The Henley Aliquando Choir received £627 to cover the costs of staging a charity concert at St Mary’s Church next month.

Victim Support was awarded £500 which will fund three volunteers who provide support for the victims and witnesses of crime.

Councillor Ian Reissmann, who chairs the committee, said: “This is a very worthwhile organisation. Although it is national, there is a Henley dimension.”

The Sports and Fitness Academy, based at the Henley Leisure Centre, will receive £500, less than a quarter of the £2,200 it applied for.

It says it needs the money to buy equipment such as punch bags and gloves for boxercise classes as well as to help with advertising.

Councillor Lorraine Hillier said: “I get worried about the amount they are asking for. It is like starting up their business.” The Henley and District Theatre Organ Trust received £450 towards hire of the town hall and general running expenses.

David Eggleton and Paula Isaac, who have set up a residents’ group for the Gainsborough estate, were given free use of the town hall, worth £270, to host a charity fund-raising event next Saturday.

Cllr Hillier said: “They have been going around the businesses, myself included, for sponsorship and I think that should be applauded. They are trying to bring the money in themselves.”

Cllr Hamilton suggested giving them an extra £250 to help with the marketing of the group but Councillor Kellie Hinton said they didn’t need it. The committee decided against awarding the extra money on the casting vote of Cllr Reissmann.

Henley Rotary Club was awarded £212.50 to stage its annual bingo night at the town hall.

The full council is due to ratify the expenditure totalling £5,069.50 at its meeting next Tuesday.

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