The Events Committee of the Town Council this week agreed that the Christmas Festival just need to be “tweaked” for next year.
The feedback from residents was generally good but a couple of stallholders and businesses in Bell Street didn’t agree with one commenting, “Smaller than previous years, didn’t reach our stand therefore we got little foot traffic which we weren’t expecting given previous years when it stretched the length of Bell Street.”
The main feedback was that there was not enough advertising of the event by the Council beforehand. There were no posters around the town advertising the event. Laurence Morris from Laurence Menswear suggested that a well-designed sign could be installed on the far-side of Henley Bridge which could have spaces for boards advertising different events throughout the year to be slotted into.
Despite the Council requesting that silent running generators be used, there were still some noisy polluting ones this year. It was agreed that the Council should carry out a green audit for events and will bring back recommendations to the Committee. Sara Kandiah from Greener Henley and a member of the Council’s Climate Emergency Group spoke at the meeting making a proposal that all town events should be eco-friendly. She proposed a four elements to achieve that – reducing carbon emissions, wasteful and plastic packaging, help suppliers reduce their carbon footprint and have clear measurements on the environmental impact at wash-up meetings afterwards.
A suggestion to extend the Festival to a 3 day event was tabled and discussed. It was agreed however that the Council would continue with their organisation of the one-night Festival and they would invite other organisations to pitch their events for the town including an ice-skating rink. New Town Centre Manager, Paul Carey to look at these.