Sunday, 14 August 2022

Residents want more bins and benches on meadow land

NEW waste bins and benches could be installed at a Henley beauty spot.

The town council has been working with the Friends of Freemans Meadow, a group of residents, to improve the area off Fair Mile.

It wants to make the meadow more attractive while ensuring it remains a tranquil place for residents to enjoy.

The residents want to ensure the land is properly maintained and improved by:

• Having more frequent mowing, tidying the hedges and carrying out some planting.

• Removing the youth shelter and replacing it with benches.

• Installing better play equipment aimed at younger children and toddlers.

• Adding better bins for both litter and dog mess.

In a report to the council’s open and green spaces sub-committee, residents say they would like to see one general waste and one dog waste bin at each of the four main thoroughfares to and from the meadow.

They also want to limit the number of benches to four to prevent the area becoming “cluttered”. The report says: “There are two serviceable existing benches which are robust. At this stage we recommend adding two new benches.

“In time, when the landscape plan has been developed, consideration should be given to adding benches close to the play area and replacing the old benches with new to give uniformity to the meadow.”

Residents would like to have wooden benches, similar to those in Mill Meadows but 5ft in length.

This would allow up to three adults to sit in comfort but discourage large groups of youths gathering which could lead to antisocial behaviour.

They recommend one bench is placed on the Pearce’s Orchard side and one closer to the corner of Fairmile Court, both leaving room for a wildflower border. One could be a memorial bench.

The residents have asked the council for a timetable for the work and to consider applying for a Green Flag award.

Meanwhile, companies have been shortlisted for the contract to provide an outdoor gym in Henley.

The council wants to install five or six pieces of equipment around the edge of Makins recreation ground, off Greys Road. It has agreed to spend up to £10,000 and hopes to receive the same amount from South Oxfordshire District Council.

Eight companies were asked to provide estimates, including installation and resurfacing.

The sub-committee has shortlisted the quotes provided by the Great Outdoor Gym Company, of Faversham, Wicksteed, of Kettering, and Fresh Air Fitness, of Frimley.

Two of these will be included with the grant application to the district council, which must be made by April 26.

Councillors favoured British companies so there wouldn’t be a long wait for new parts if equipment was damaged.

The council is seeking advice on the best type of equipment from the district council’s staff and the Oxfordshire Playing Fields Association as well as personal trainers and running groups.

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