Monday, 23 October 2017

Red Lion Lawn contract may not be renewed

A HOTEL is set to lose the right to serve refreshments at Red Lion Lawn in Henley.

A HOTEL is set to lose the right to serve refreshments at Red Lion Lawn in Henley.

The Red Lion Hotel was awarded a contract by the town council in 2013 to put up tables and chairs on part of the riverside beauty spot for paying customers with the rest being open to the public.

It paid the council, which owns the land, £1,500 a year.

Now the council?s town and community committee has recommended that the contract is not renewed after debating the issue in private.

Nicola Taylor, senior committee administrator, said: ?A few of the councillors felt that Red Lion Lawn should be open [exclusively] for public use.

?Some felt that the public didn?t feel they could use the area and that it should be made available to them.?

In October, town councillors accused the hotel of misusing the lawn by taking up too much space for commercial purposes, which was denied by owner Sam Gill.

At the time, Councillor Dieter Hinke said: ?They are clearly doing well because they have increased their tables.?

Councillor Joan Bland added: ?I think they should go back to the amount of space that they have been allocated. It is also a public space and we should enforce it.?

The committee has also recommended inviting bids for exclusive mooring rights at Red Lion Lawn.

Hobbs of Henley paid £4,000 to the town council in August last year to operate a river taxi service which will expire on July 31.

At the time, Hobbs was one of two pleasure boat companies that applied to use the moorings on an exclusive basis.

A final decision on both recommendations will be made by the full council on May 5.

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