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Henley begins process to formally become a town


HENLEY has started the process of formally becoming a town by requesting a legal separation from the Beaudesert Parish Council.

In order to legally separate from the joint parish council Henley Parish Council has requested a Community Governance Review with the Stratford District Council.

A Community Governance Review is the legal process during which the district council reviews changes ranging from creating a parish or town council, or a change in boundaries and in extreme cases abolish parishes and towns.

Henley Parish Council Chair Peter Crathorne said: “Henley is a market town, but it has a joint parish council. It’s the process we’ve considered over a period of years and we’re trying to get it to coincide with the election cycle of May 2019.”

Henley’s request will be considered by Stratford District Council’s Audit and Standards Committee on 24 September. If supported, the council meeting on 15 October, will be asked to agree to the commencement of the review.

The cost for the Henley review will likely cost around £400, and will be paid for by Stratford District Council. Typically, the review cost covers printing and postage as they write to every household in the parish telling them what the review is all about and giving them the opportunity to comment.

David Dalby, the Democratic Services Manager for SDC, said: “We anticipate Henley’s review to be completed in time for implementation at the elections in May 2019.”

If the SDC approves the request to separate the joint parish council of Henley and Beaudesert then the councils will hold separate elections in May 2019. It will be up to the newly elected councillors in 2019 to move toward formally making Henley a town.

The town council has exactly the same powers as a parish council with the only real difference being the town would have a mayor instead of a parish council chair.

Cllr Crathorne added: Shipston is not much bigger than Henley, and we feel the kind of place we are fits better with the concept of a town. There’s probably a bit of a PR element to it. It would reflect the fact that Henley is historically a market town.”

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