Monday, 18 October 2021

'We want affordable housing and better transport'

RESIDENTS of Henley want better transport and affordable housing for local workers, according to a survey.

Henley Residents’ Group carried out the online survey in March and the beginning of April as it prepares to contest next month’s election for the town’s single seat on Oxfordshire County Council and two town council by-elections.

It asked people what should be the county council’s most important responsibilities and what should HRG focus on.

About 70 people responded, two thirds of them women, with roughly the same number of people aged over 45 as those under.

The council’s three most important responsibilities were, in priority order, roads and traffic followed by services for children, young people and families and then social care.

For men, commissioning and scrutinising health services was the second priority above services for children, while for women, local state schools were second alongside services for children.

The three key priorities for HRG were to:

l Improve transport, including bus services, pothole repairs and reducing heavy goods vehicle traffic.

l Provide affordable housing for workers.

l Provide facilities for residents, including better social care packages and reinstating the Henley children’s centre, and ensuring adequate leisure facilities.

HRG leader Gill Dodds said: “We set up the survey to inform us of the views of Henley residents on key issues.

“However, we believe it is of value to share these views on an open and transparent basis to give council policymakers a better understanding of Henley residents’ concerns.”

Town and district councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, who is HRG’s candidate in the county council election on May 4, said: “What is relevant is that, both at county level and also locally, the most important priority relates to roads, traffic and transport.

“We must act to improve these services for Henley residents.”

The seat is currently held by Conservative David Nimmo Smith, who is also a town and district councillor.

He said: “It’s something I’m trying to do as well for the residents of Henley and have been doing so for as long as I have been a county councillor, which is 12 years, and I hope to be able to continue to do so.”

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