Tom Buckley was co-opted on to Henley Town Council last week at a special Full Council meeting after filling the casual vacancy created by the resignation of Councillor Paula Isaac last month.
Tom is an independent councillor, originally hailing from Newcastle, Northern Ireland. He lived in Yorkshire for nearly twenty years before moving to Henley four years ago with his wife. Both came to the area for professional reasons. Tom is a Retail IT Consultant and his wife is a teacher.
Tom and his wife fell in love with Henley as soon as they arrived. They have also made some great friends here.
Tom credits the closure of Lovibonds Tap Room in 2019 with firing his interest in local politics. He said, “If it hadn’t been for Jeff and the taproom, we’d have struggled to settle here, and I know quite a few of the regulars have said similar things. I was sorry to see it go. The more places there are to help small groups of people come together and thrive, the stronger a town like Henley can become.”
Tom added, “My own experience means that I am able to support those new to Henley to integrate into the community here, and really make it their home.”
In the event of a vacancy (sometimes referred to as a ‘casual vacancy’), the Proper Officer usually sends the Town Council a notice of a vacancy. The town council then has a duty to display this notice for 14 working days. An election can be called if ten residents write to the Returning Officer requesting an election. If a parish or town council has wards, the request must come from ten registered electors within that same ward. In this case, no request was received. This meant that the vacancy was filled by co-option.
Deputy Town Clerk, Cath Adams commented, “We would like to thank Paula Isaac for her great contribution to Henley during her tenure on the town council. Councillors volunteer their time and expertise to ensure that Henley continues to be a wonderful place to live, work and visit. We appreciate all that they do and we are delighted to welcome Tom to the fold.”
Mayor of Henley, Councillor Sarah Miller added, “Tom’s skills and experience will further enhance Henley Town Council and we look forward to working with him.”