Friday, 12 August 2022

Meet the Candidates: Michelle Thomas (Henley Residents Group)

Meet the Candidates: Michelle Thomas (Henley Residents Group)

MICHELLE THOMAS, 49, lives with her husband David Horsley and children Eleanor, nine, and Tom, 12, in Belle Vue Road, Henley, and works as an office assistant at Leander Club.

“OVER the last few weeks I have been out in Henley South ward and would like to thank all residents who have taken time to chat.

These conversations have made me certain I am on the right track: the right housing for our young, traffic and pollution, infrastructure and diversity of our town to keep money flowing in Henley.

There is an immediate vacancy on the planning committee. Having built up a solid knowledge of planning during my time as the leader of Keep Henley Active, I know I would settle quickly on this committee.

I have proved that I am not afraid of taking on developers and planners.

I get that people are disillusioned with the neighbourhood plan, but on balance I would rather have one than not. Henley Residents Group has already used it to successfully argue for housing instead of another care home opposite the college and all developments over 11 units are back on track to deliver 40 per cent affordable housing.

The current plan leaves certain sites which are supposed to be protected under the local plan vulnerable and this will be tightened up in the revised version.

Traffic and pollution reduction and parking is crucial to our comfort and the survival of our town centre. The “intelligent” traffic lights system isn’t working and we need to push South Oxfordshire District Council for a clean air zone. I’d also like an extension of the 20mph zone around all the known “rat runs” in our town.

As a former retail business owner, I understand what it takes to start and grow a business and the pressures that the internet, rent and rates put on businesses.

HRG is inviting all landlords around the table to discuss rents and I’d like to support the Mayor Glen Lambert in his mission to bring a low-cost business hub to Henley. The rates system needs reform at a national level.

To the last day I will be out meeting as many of you as possible on the doorstep, but for those I have missed I will be in Market Place tomorrow (Saturday) from 10.30am to noon. Please come out and vote and thank you for your support.”

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