We are lobbying for improvements to the town’s streets and pavements, particularly in relation to the uncleanliness of the area. We have met with an SODC Councillor and the Waste Team Leader to discuss the challenges and have been invited to propose potential changes to any revised waste contract. We would also like to see HTC, via the Town Centre Manager, encouraging businesses to take responsibility for keeping the pavement in front of their building clean, as a matter of civic pride – a practice that has declined in recent years,
The ‘H’ graffiti on the side of Henley Bridge has been in place for over a year now. Wokingham Borough Council is the authority responsible for removing it. Sadly, matters move slowly but we continue to press the Council.
The condition of the Marsh Lock Horsebridge, closed since May 2022, is another concern, with any likelihood of reopening unclear. This is a part of the important Thames Path, which is now only accessible due to the generosity of Mr. Schwarzenback who has allowed a diversion over his land. You may have seen recent comments from the Estate Manager who believes that the situation is being put on the back burner. Apparently ‘ownership’ of the bridge is now being questioned.
We recently noted that some of the plots on the Council-owned Waterman’s Allotments have been covered in old fencing, broken chairs and other discarded household rubbish. The Town Clerk has now informed us that HTC will undertake to clear the said plots. Should the offending plot holders be asked to contribute to the clearance? Or have their plots taken from them?
There is a length of pathway on the Marlow-side of Grade 1 Listed Henley Bridge where contractors, over two years ago, removed paving slabs to insert broadband wiring. As a Health and Safety measure with the Royal Regatta approaching, the area was tarmacked. Regrettably the slabs have never been replaced and the contractors concerned have since gone out of business. We are pressing Oxfordshire County Council to obtain the correct slabs and replace them. However, it appears this might not be in their work schedule until 2024.
On the Planning front, one of the documents that we refer to, is the Shop Front Guide which is due for revision by the Planning Authority, SODC. Our Planning Committee’s subgroup is studying the Guide and will recommend any revisions we think SODC should consider. Along with many other County organizations, we made contributions to the current document.