Thursday, 19 July 2018

Councillor to stand down after eight years

A CONSERVATIVE member of Henley Town Council has decided to stand down at the elections next month

A CONSERVATIVE member of Henley Town Council has decided to stand down at the elections next month.

But Joan Bland will fight to keep her seat on South Oxfordshire District Council.

Councillor Bland, who owns Asquiths teddy bear shop in New Street, was elected to both councils in 2008 when she was lobbying for CCTV cameras to be installed in Henley town centre after her business was been broken into several times.

She said would now be able to focus on running the shop and her role as a member of the district council?s planning committee and chairwoman of its Community Investment Fund panel.

?I thought I should step aside to make room for some new blood after eight years ? we need to get more new councillors involved,? she said.

?It?s always been nice to be able to improve things for the people of Henley and to look after their interests.

?I will miss it but we?ve got some very bright, brainy people lined up. They are enthusiastic about the town?s wellbeing and will carry on the good work.?

The Conservatives are fielding 12 candidates in town council elections on May 7, half of whom are newcomers to local politics.

They include incumbents David Nimmo Smith, Lorraine Hillier, Will Hamilton, Sam Evans, Dieter Hinke and Mayor Martin Akehurst.

The last two quit rival party Henley Residents? Group last year before joining the Conservatives in February.

The new faces are Dylan Thomas, Simon Smith, Julian Brookes, Dr Fiona Galton-Fenzi, Helen Chandler-Wilde and Rown Fuller.

The two district council contenders are Will Hall, the current member for Henley South ward, and Cllr Hillier.

Cllr Hillier was a district councillor but was unseated in 2011 by Councillor Elizabeth Hodgkin, who was HRG leader at the time but is now independent.

Meanwhile, HRG have announced their two district council candidates.

They are town councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, who was mayor last year, and Simon Narracott, the secretary of Gainsborough Residents? Association.

Mr Narracott, of Gainsborough Road, is a former marketing manager for Microsoft and IT director for internet service provider Tiscali. He now runs an IT investment firm.

The party will announce its town council candidates next week.

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