Thursday, 24 May 2018

Councillors want town centre manager to be full-time

COUNCILLORS want Henley to have a full-time town centre manager.

COUNCILLORS want Henley to have a full-time town centre manager.

Rachel Rae, who took up the part-time post in June after Peter McConnell left, has recommended the role is expanded.

Speaking at a meeting of the town council’s town and community committee, she said: “This started before I was in the post. In Peter McConnell’s outgoing report it recommended the role became full time.

“I’ve noticed from doing the role there are a lot of things I can’t do as well as I would like as time does not allow.”

She said the idea was supported by the Henley Business Partnership, adding: “They feel there is not enough presence in my role to support them and what they do.” Mayor Lorraine Hillier, who owns a tea shop and coffee house, said she believed the town centre manager needed more time to work with all the retailers. Councillor Kellie Hinton said: “The report speaks for itself. I think we should have a full-time town centre manager.”

Councillor Will Hamilton said he was happy to support the idea but South Oxfordshire District Council should be asked to contribute more to the cost. Currently the district council contributes £10,000 towards the salary cost of £25,695 per year pro rata. The current contract runs out on March 31.

The committee resolved to recommend the role be made full-time, subject to equivalent financial support from the district council.

Mr McConnell, 52, a marketing expert, was appointed in April 2012 after branding and event management expert Oliver O’Dell resigned after only 18 months due to criticism from councillors.

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