Councillor Sarah Miller Returns to Mayoral Duty for Second Time

Councillor Sarah Miller has been appointed Henley Mayor for the year 2023/2024 today at Henley Town Hall.  This is the second term of office for Sarah, she was Mayor in 2021/2022.  Councillor Kellie Hinton was appointed Deputy Mayor.

Former Henley Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas proposed Councillor Sarah Miller saying, “I was so pleased to be asked to make Sarah’s nomination for Mayor today.  A vote among our fellow Councillors was unanimous.  When Councillor Miller served her last term of office as Mayor the country was still very much experiencing the pandemic so I look forward to seeing you having a more normal and fulfilling year as Mayor.”

Sarah said, “I am hugely honoured to be elected Mayor of Henley-on-Thames for a second time.  Henley is the town I grew up in.  The town I love. And the town I plan to spend the rest of my life in along with my family.  Henley is, and always will be, in my heart and being elected Mayor means so much to me.  You may recall that when I was last elected, back in 2021, Government restrictions, due to Covid, meant not all my family and friends could attend.  But I am delighted to see a fuller hall today, thank you all for coming.  I would like to thank Cllr. Michelle Thomas for her incredible year as Mayor.  And what a year, as well as juggling her work and family commitments as Mayor, it was a busy time for the UK. The Ukraine crisis, the death of our beloved Queen, the Coronation and so much more, all dealt with in her trademark calm and collected manner. I think I speak for many when I say what respect we have for the way she dealt with an extraordinary year.  Thank you  Cllr. Thomas for all you have done.”

Sarah has chosen Henley Community Hub (the refurbishment of Trinity Hall on Harpsden Road into a hub for Henley Music School and other facilities) and Parkinson’s UK Henley Group as her charities for her Mayoral year.

Councillor Ian Reissmann made a vote of thanks to outgoing Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas saying, “Her organisational skills and passion have been obvious in the way she has performed her role as Mayor. Throughout the year she has acted with dignity, firmness and clarity that being Mayor requires.  At the start of her year Michelle was rightly somewhat daunted by the what was ahead but it has been great to see her grow in confidence and she quickly settled into the role.”

Michelle said, “I’ve been asked a lot – What have been the best bits?  I answer every time is what an extraordinary year it has been.  I am the first Mayor to serve under two Monarchs in 70 years, we have have the first war close to our shores since the WW2 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the worst and most consistent inflation in 40 years, all of this whilst recovering from the worst pandemic in our country.  At this point, the person who had asked wished they probably hadn’t asked me.  As I said at the Town Meeting in March I’ve have seen this town from the inside out.  I stand by my statement that we constantly aim high.  We’re ambitious town and hugely self-sufficient.  I put much of  this down to the outstanding contribution from volunteers.  I’ve delighted to have started the Henley Volunteer Network.”

Michelle presented two cheques – one to Tim Hoskins, Headteacher of Badgemore on behalf of the state primary schools for £6506 for Covid catch-up sessions which included a donation of over £700 from Tom Scott from MySportPro who ran tennis clubs on two days that schools closed for school strikes.  The other cheque was for £1,626 to go towards Greener Henley’s community hub.

Glen Lambert proposed Deputy Mayor, Councillor Kellie Hinton, starting with an exchange of emails with Kellie when he asked if he could get involved in local politics and went to meeting a few days later.  He said, “I’ve never forgotten that first contact with Kellie.  I was part of the Council in 2017 which selected Kellie for Mayor.  What a terrific Mayor she was and I knew she would be tough act to follow, a long time before I thought that task would be mine.  Kellie found herself unexpectedly as Mayor that year and never got the chance to serve as Deputy Mayor.  I would like to put that right today.  I know she will be a pillar of support, just as she always has been with buckets of enthusiasm and a vast knowledge of our town.”

Councillor Kellie Hinton said, “Those of you that know me know that my main interests will continue to be all things green with particular interest to our parks and outside spaces.  Today is about my friend here and the enabling year ahead.”



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