If you have a vote on the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan which is to be the subject of a referendum on Thursday November 24th I urge you to vote YES.
I do appreciate that there are aspects of the Plan that remain controversial. The difficulty is that the referendum demands an all or nothing approach and so if you do not vote in favour of the Plan because you object to one or more aspects of it, all the other proposals in it are also stymied by your vote against.
I declare an interest in the result. The Chiltern Centre provides life-changing care for young people with disabilities in South Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley. Unfortunately, the Centre is now at capacity and as of October 2022, there are 14 young people on the ever-growing waiting list.
That is 14 young adults who do not have the chance to build friendships, learn new skills, socialize, and gain independence alongside their peers. 14 families who miss the opportunity to take a break and rest content in the knowledge that their child is safe, happy, and well cared for. 14 families whose lives are significantly harder simply because the Centre is no longer big enough. It is clear then, that the Chiltern Centre is in urgent need of expansion.
Right now, this need is matched by a once in a generation opportunity to relocate to a new build site offered by Crest Nicholson at Highland Park. The proposal for this relocation and expansion is included in the Neighbourhood Plan. If the plan is approved in the referendum, the Chiltern Centre will have a bright future ahead of it.
Indeed, your YES vote could be the vote that changes the lives of those 14 families, and countless more in years to come. If the JHHNP is voted down, the future of the Centre and those it seeks to serve will be severely blighted.
PLEASE VOTE YES
The Chiltern Centre