Friday, 25 June 2021

Your letters...

Think small for success

Sir, — I’d like to reply to Henley town manager Helen Barnett asking residents to be more positive (Standard, June 15).

Yes, we do compare Henley to Marlow as Marlow has so many interesting retail shops which are thriving in very small units.

I am not sure what she means by “Henley has so much more to offer”. May I suggest she spends an afternoon with some councillors in Marlow for some inspiration and a tape measure and sees how a high street should be and can thrive? She will find no empty shops.

Yes, perhaps it would be a good idea to get out and promote Henley high street because, without being negative, that is what Marlow has done and attracted some big names to move into small units with hardly any charity or coffee shops.

Would the Marlow town manager perhaps help Henley Town Council and our town manager with some advice on how they have attracted such wonderful shops?

Perhaps Henley should get out and market itself with maybe a fresh pair of eyes, so I put the challenge to you, Ms Barnett. — Yours faithfully,

Sara Dobson

Upper Bolney Road, Harpsden

Encourage coach parties

Sir, — Further to G Morse’s comments regarding Henley looking run down (Standard, June 15), the only reason that anyone would open an individual shop would be that they could be reasonably certain of making a profit.

They would judge the footfall, which means were there sufficient people coming into the town who were looking to go shopping rather than eat their sandwiches by the river?

I will repeat what I have been saying for several years now — people brought in by coach will buy a keepsake from one of the shops to remind them of their visit.

If they live within a reasonable drive from Henley and they enjoyed their coach visit then they might come back for a more leisurely look around but first you have to bring people into Henley who have never been here before.

The tourist office and the town manager are obviously are failing otherwise Henley would not be slipping into the run-down state that it is presently in. — Yours faithfully,

Gloria Wright

Twyford

New benches only please

Sir, — It is, and always has been, my understanding that all three benches in Station Park, Henley, were to be replaced.

However, the town clerk has stated in an email to me that only two are now being replaced and the third bench will be repaired.

This is not acceptable. The third bench constitutes a dangerous hazard just as much as the other two benches. All three benches should be replaced.

Furthermore, I think the paving should be pressure-washed by the council’s parks team. — Yours faithfully,

Steve Ludlow

Station Road, Henley

Saying no to more homes

Sir, — “I will stand up for my community” is what Councillor Sue Cooper put in her leaflet for the recent by-election in the Benson and Crowmarsh ward of South Oxfordshire District Council (which she won).

So why, on Wednesday last week, did she speak at the council’s planning committee in favour of another 240 houses for Benson with no added infrastructure for school places, medical facilities or parking for shopping facilities?

You can’t park in Benson now so what it is going to be like when all these houses are built I do not know.

Those of us living in outlying villages will simply have to go elsewhere.

Benson Parish Council also supports more housing on large development sites in the village as it put them in its neighbourhood development plan, which goes to referendum on Thursday.

I, for one, will definitely not be supporting this plan as it stands and urge other residents to vote against it too.

The parish council and Cllr Cooper may want everyone to live in concreteshire but I certainly do not! — Yours faithfully,

Chris Stanley

Preston Crowmarsh

Garage move is welcome

Sir, — I cannot understand the people who have complained about the proposed move of Farina’s car maintenance establishment to Kidby’s Yard in Kennylands Road, Sonning Common, (Standard, June 15).

The relocation of Farina’s would keep an important business in the village, employing many people.

I feel that objectors have a vested interest in Farina’s closing, especially when it would only be open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

We need two repair garages, particularly as the housebuilding in the village is growing.

I support Gary Catt in his endeavour. He has worked hard to increase the service Farina’s gives to the village and should be supported.

The plans show that trees would be planted between the houses and the garage to screen the gardens that back on to the proposed site.

Finally, for objectors to say the move would increase traffic is laughable considering how many houses are being built in the village.

I sincerely hope that South Oxfordshire District Council will give Mr Carr the go-ahead. — Yours faithfully,

Ann Dayton

Kennylands Road, Sonning Common

Beware gang of ‘workmen’

Sir, — There are three suspicious men going around this area.

One, who is tall and in his forties, states that he is a surveyor looking into problems with local drainage.

The other two are short, well-built workmen in a plain white van and wearing white T-shirts.

They appear to be cowboys. Do not take their word for it if they say you have a problem with your drainage. Do not sign any papers and do not give them any money.

Get an independent survey done by a bona fide engineer. Men who knock on doors without being invited are usually up to no good, especially where elderly people are concerned. — Yours faithfully,

Ms M Butler

Peppard Common

Good idea by bank

Sir, — I was pleased to see that my local Lloyds Bank has as its current charity partner Mental Health UK.

Funds raised by customers and staff will be going to a pioneering service launched in November to support folk with mental health problems who are struggling with their money or whose money problems are affecting their mental health. (Those in financial difficulty have a much higher chance of developing a mental health problem).

If nothing else, this partnership will promote greater awareness of the correlation between mental ill health and money problems.

So well done, Lloyds, and good luck to you and the charity. — Yours faithfully,

Paul Farmer

Wensley Road, Reading

Theatre is booming

Sir, — After record attendances and ticket sales in the current season, the Kenton Theatre in Henley has a new, user-friendly website ahead of the launch of its 2018/19 season.

The site is image-led, presenting the wide range of shows on in a clearer and more attractive way, and offers an improved visitor experience.

It also includes information on hiring the theatre and travelling to the venue.

As well as displaying the shows in chronological order, the site allows visitors to search by genres, including comedy, drama, family, music, talks and more.

It was developed by local agency Gallant Bureau in collaboration with graphic designer Alexandra Nicoley, of Al Creative.

The 2017/18 season — the most successful in the theatre’s 213-year history — comes to a close in July with shows including a comedy night during regatta week and a Tina Turner tribute.

After a summer break, the venue returns in mid-September with a packed schedule.

Autumn and winter entertainment include talks with Henry Blofeld and Michael Portillo, music with Blake and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, the best in local drama with the Henley Players’ Brassed Off and Henley Amateur Operatic and Draamatic Society’s White Christmas and family shows Guess How Much I Love You and How to Hide a Lion.

After last year’s acclaimed Robin Hood, Immersion Theatre returns with this year’s professional panto Dick Whittington.

For more information, visit kentontheatre.co.uk — Yours faithfully,

Tom Ryan

Programming manager, Kenton Theatre, New Street, Henley

Race not to be missed

Sir, — I would like to congratulate the organisers of the Checkendon run, which took placeon Sunday.

It was only the third year the races have taken place but what an impressive set-up.

The 10km route had spectacular views and a variety of terrains, which involved running through both beech woods and open countryside.

There was great catering from Blue Tin, runs for the youngsters, face-painting and a cake stall. Andrew Triggs Hodge handed out the prizes.

I’d definitely recommend this event as one not to miss next year. — Yours faithfully,

Dr Ralph Drury

Checkendon

Brave and generous

Sir, — On Sunday, August 5 Justine Small, one of my brilliant learning support assistants at Gillotts School in Henley, will be completing a 14km open water swim for charity.

The Thames Marathon (previously known as the Bridge to Bridge Swim) will require her to swim along the River Thames from Henley to Marlow.

It is important to mention that this will be a truly magnificent achievement due to Justine having had a couple of operations on her back.

It has been a lengthy recovery process for her to be able to swim again and Justine has had to put in hours and months of training in order to be ready to take on this amazing challenge.

The reason I am writing is because Justine has very kindly offered to donate all the money she raises to the learning support department at Gillotts for resources to improve the provision we can offer our special educational needs students — a truly kind and generous thing to do for the school.

We invite you to donate whatever you can to support the department with purchasing resources such as software programmes to guide study skills, technology to use during targeted intervention sessions and a few other useful tools.

Being able to purchase all this, and maybe more, will depend entirely on the generosity of our wonderful Gillotts parents and others.

You can make a donation at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/claire-collyer

Thank you for your support. — Yours faithfully,

Miss Claire Collyer

Special educational needs co-ordinator, Gillotts School, Henley

Flats look like prison

Sir, — I am a big fan of modern prison architecture and, as you can imagine, am so excited to see the new Hill View apartments, on the corner of Reading Road and Newtown Road in Henley, reaching their completion. — Yours faithfully,

Luke Butcher

Belle Vue Road, Henley

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