Monday, 19 August 2019

Posters permitted for events held elsewhere

COMMUNITY groups in Henley will still be allowed to put up signs promoting their events even if they are happening elsewhere.

The town council, which regulates signage in the town centre, was set to approve a new policy stating that posters would only be allowed if they promoted non-commercial activities taking place within Henley.

But several arts and music groups said the change 
could affect audience numbers as they often organise events at larger venues outside Henley which can hold more performers.

They argued that they should be allowed to continue promoting these as most of their members and supporters are from the town.

At a meeting on Tuesday, several councillors said the new policy wouldn’t affect this as the town clerk could still make exceptions to the new rules but others argued that a future council could misinterpret the rules so they should explicotly allow outside events run by local groups. The amended policy was then approved.

Judy Whittaker, who chairs Henley Symphony Orchestra, said: “We’d like to hold all performances in Henley but the facilities haven’t existed since the old Regal cinema was torn down in the Nineties.

“Advertising in Henley in the week before a concert is a really important way to communicate with audiences and we would continue to remove the posters in a timely fashion.”

Susan Edwards, who chairs Henley Choral Society, said: “Most of our concerts are in Henley but every few years we perform at Reading concert hall as it can take up to 200 singers and an orchestra of 50 or more.

“We rely on advertising and publicity and have a large following in Henley. It’s important that people see these posters and think ‘I must get my tickets’.”

Councillor Lorraine Hillier replied: “You’ve clearly identified a need to permit certain events outside Henley and we thank you for coming forward and explaining your case so well.”

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley or email letters

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