Thursday, 23 September 2021

Town centre manager resigns

HENLEY town centre manager Peter McConnell will leave his role on June 10.

HENLEY town centre manager Peter McConnell will leave his role on June 10.

The 52-year-old marketing expert, who lives in King’s Road, is moving away to take up a new job.

Mr McConnell took over the position from Oliver O’Dell in April 2012 and had his contract renewed for two years in April last year.

He has spearheaded initiatives, including the shop front improvement scheme, which provided grants to shop owners, tenants and landlords to improve the appearance of their premises.

Mr McConnell said: “I’m moving on to a new opportunity. I’ll be leaving the town but it’s only temporary.

“The job has not been without its challenges but I love Henley and the people in the town. I liked working for and with the businesses and it has been an enjoyable few years.

“There’s a few things we’ve done that I’m proud of. One is the shop front improvement scheme, which is still going if any shops want to apply before I leave.

“I’m also really pleased with the way we’ve brought people together with events like the Brakspear Jazz Festival and the Henley House and Garden Show. I’m pleased to have brought the first pop-up shops to Henley. We hadn’t had that before.

“I love the town. I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years and it’s a wonderful place. I go running and cycling round here and I have an awful lot of friends. I’ll miss my colleagues at the town hall who have been fantastic and don’t get enough praise for the hard work they do. I’ll even miss some of the councillors!”

At a meeting on Tuesday, members of the town council’s town and community committee recorded their thanks and appreciation to Mr McConnell for his work.

The position of town centre manager was created in 2010 by South Oxfordshire District Council together with equivalent roles in Wallingford and Thame. Branding and event management expert Mr O’Dell was the first town centre manager in Henley but resigned after 18 months after criticism by councillors.

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