The candidates for the vacant seats on Henley Town Council which have been vacated by Councillors Martin Akehurst and Dylan Thomas have now been announced. The mid term election will take place on the same day as the County Council elections on Thursday 4 May.
Ken Arlett (Henley Residents Group)
Founder Member of the Henley Residents Group, Ken was born and educated in Henley, married to Dorothy, has two grown up sons Scott and Dan. Ken was HRG’s first Mayor in 1991, a Town Councillor for some 15 years, before standing down in 2007 to concentrate on his business interests. Now with more spare time on his hands, Ken wishes to be re-elected back on to Henley Town Council to work with his HRG colleagues on a number of projects critical to future of the town.
- Improve Air Quality
- Implement the Neighbourhood Plan correctly
- Allocate Affordable Housing to those that live and work here
- Reinstate Deep Cleaning our streets
- Help fund the local bus service
- Secure the funding to the Day Centre
- Make sure we do not lose our PCSO’s
- Reduce the number of HGV lorries in town through the day
Ken says, “As a member of the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan for two years, I asked for my name to be put forward for the Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (NPSG) which was set up in May 2016, the Conservatives refused me a place, with my knowledge of Henley and Affordable Housing this would have been invaluable. After 11 months the NPSG has become nothing short of a talking shop’. As of today, not one Henley family on the District Council housing list knows if they will get an affordable house in Henley, they have been completely let down by the Town Council. Henley is the ‘jewel in the crown’ for South Oxfordshire, 20 years of HRG leadership has made it this way.”
Joan Bland (Conservatives)
Joan has represented Henley as a South Oxon District Councillor since 2008 and was a Henley Town Councillor between 2007 and 2015. She decided not to stand as a town councillor in 2015 to allow ‘new blood’ to be elected. Joan owns Asquiths teddy bear shop in New Street.
As a Henley Town and District Councillor Joan has helped secure funding for refurbishment of the d:two Centre, new cricket club pavilion and supported the grant for the rugby club, a grant of £41,000 for the refurbishment of Headway, the brain injury charity on Greys Road, £188,00 for the new build at Upper Thames Rowing Club.
Joan said, “I am standing for Henley Town Council as I realise that there is much work to be done, particularly in the field of transport, traffic and air quality to keep us safe and healthy.
I will work hard and make things happen and support the Henley Traffic and Transport Committee and campaign to reduce air pollution in Henley. I want this town to be a happy and thriving place in which we can safely live and work.”
Donna-Marie Crook (Independent)
Donna has lived and worked in Henley all her life and runs her own craft business.
She started a petition, campaigned and saved the local Henley bus service and is now part of the Henley Town Council Bus Working Group. She would like to see this be self funding with a greener bus, extension to the existing route to include a stop at the hospital and a more frequent service to encourage more users and to cut down the traffic.
Donna Marie said, “I love this town and the people in it. I am a creative and have vision and forward thinking, I feel I am the right and only candidate for the real people that really do need help. I believe in keeping PCSO’s as many find them a safe reassurance when they are in the town and do so much in the community. If they were to lose their funding we’d lose that reassurance.
“I would also like to have better facilities for dog walkers, a secure place to let your dog run so it has no danger of running off or out on to a main road and more dog waste bins. To teach the people not to put house hold rubbish in to litter bins, they just need to learn to keep it at home, also to get more skips on housing estates. I want to help people that are struggling and this is one of the main reasons I feel so strongly about having to stand and feel I cannot step down and hope people will see this and understand now why I’m doing this, as there are many changes coming to this area such as the introduction of universal credit and it is going to have a major impact on those most in need and this town should be there to help before people are helpless. I myself have had to struggle so I know what it is like. I want people to help themselves but they need to be motivated and encouraged, not ignored and forgotten. Better help for carers – it’s a difficult job and not enough recognition. Somewhere for college students to go where they can integrate, not be moved on because they are not wanted and make a place for teenagers, not every parent can afford to send them to expensive clubs.”
“I have a keen interest in planning and having studied sociology learning all about how towns are put together. I learnt you need all the infrastructure in place before you can build all the extra homes that are needed and all the knock on effects it has on everything, doctors surgeries, schools, roads etc.
Glen Lambert (Henley Residents Group)
Glen moved to Henley ten years ago with his family after falling in love with the town and the lifestyle it offered. Henley punches well above its weight for such a small town. There are so many festivals, shows & events in the Henley calendar each year that there is always something going on and something to look forward to.
Professionally, Glen leads a Software Development team for a Financial Services Institution. For most of his career, he has worked in Software and Web Applications development, IT Consultancy and Technical Training, frequently working around Europe.
Glen said, “I am a logical thinker, creative problem solver and I would love the opportunity to serve the town I love. I want to stand for the Henley Residents Group because of their amazing record of achievement over 25 years in working for the town as Independents, answerable ONLY to the residents. I feel that Henley Town Council should be controlled by people whose first loyalty is to the town and the people of Henley – not to the Conservative Party machine. I strongly believe national political allegiances and party politics should play no role in local council matters.”
“I want an Independent Town Council whose loyalties cannot be questioned. I want Councillors to vote for the good of the Town at every turn, not simply look the other way or abstain when they find themselves caught between Henley and their duty to their National Political Party. I want a Town Council that will fight the policies of District and County Councils when they are bad for Henley, not simply roll-over and implement them on behalf of their higher-ups. Henley deserves better than that!
In 2015, I thoroughly enjoyed canvassing in Henley, meeting fellow residents and hearing their views and suggestions for the town. I met hundreds of local people, some of whom had lived their whole lives in Henley, their passion for the town and its history was obvious and inspirational.”
Glen’s priorities are: To protect Henley’s bus services and PCSOs from cuts; to install intelligent parking signs to smooth traffic flow, easing congestion in our car parks and improving air quality in the town centre; to complete the Skatepark and upgrade our playgrounds; to defend the affordable housing allocations stipulated in the neighbourhood plan.
Yasmina Siadatan (Conservatives)
Yasmina went to school in Reading before studying Economic History at the London School of Economics. She founded the Mya Lacarte restaurant in Caversham and sold it after 10 years of successful trading. After winning the BBC’s Apprentice in 2009, Yasmina went on to work with Lord Sugar and then James Caan from Dragon’s Den fame, honing her business and media skills along the way. She then worked closely with central government on the Start Up Loans scheme, which helps individuals start or grow a business in the UK. This includes low-interest loans and access to free mentoring from experienced advisors. More recently Yasmina has been working to promote enterprise across the UK, regularly contributing to economic and political debate in local and national networks and media. She and her two children have made their home in Henley. She loves the town, likes to keep fit by pounding the pavements, and adores shopping and eating here.
Yasmina will focus on key issues:
- promoting Henley across the UK as one of the best places in our country to live and work
- ensuring that there is an increase in affordable housing for young people living and working in the town
- promoting local independent businesses
- working to reduce the traffic and improve air quality to keep us safe and healthy
Yasmina said, “I believe passionately in helping those unable to help themselves and whilst Henley is one of the most glorious places to live in the UK, it requires careful planning and strategic decision making to improve the quality of life for all its residents.”