Saturday, 21 July 2018

New councillor 'will listen'

THE new district councillor for Sonning Common says he is going to listen

THE new district councillor for Sonning Common says he is going to listen.

Conservative Will Hall won the seat on South Oxfordshire District Council with a comfortable victory in a by-election on Thursday last week.

He received 635 votes and defeated Labour?s David Winchester with 200 votes and Liberal Democrat Susan Cooper with 127. The turnout was 17.3 per cent.

Councillor Hall lost his seat on the council at the elections in May. He had represented Henley and was also the council?s cabinet member for finance.

The Sonning Common ward includes the parishes of Binfield Heath, Rotherfield Greys, Shiplake, Eye and Dunsden, Sonning Common and Harpsden. Cllr Hall said: ?I am delighted to be re-elected and I want to carry on helping the district council do a good job.

?The most important thing for me now is to go to parish council meetings and listen to what they have to say.

?The result in May was disappointing but then there are other ways of getting involved in the community. I rather enjoyed going back to walking around Henley and having a go at the local councillors.?

Cllr Hall replaces fellow Conservative Martin Akehurst, who stepped down on health grounds having only been elected in May when he also retained his seat on Henley Town Council. The former mayor has been on leave from town council duties since June after a dormant growth in his neck began ?playing up?.

Councillor Hall, who lives in New Street, Henley, said he had no hesitation in standing again.

He said: ?I had thought that I wouldn?t get another crack but then the by-election came up in a ward I have had connections with since I was 12 or 13. My mum used to drive me to the church in Dunsden every Thursday and Sunday because I sang in the choir. I really got a feel for the local community, albeit in my formative years.?

He said the main issue raised with him while canvassing was development and planning.

?The neighbourhood plan in Sonning Common needs to be done well. People are also interested in services,? said Cllr Hall.

?I want to see the parishes supported and see how the district council can do that, such as through neighbourhood plans and making sure the services we provide are good quality.?

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