HGV campaign delayed after meeting is cut short

PLANS to stop heavy-goods vehicles using Henley as a “rat run” have suffered a setback. Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, who represents the town on Oxfordshire County Council, was due to put a motion forward at full council on Tuesday. He would have asked for support for an environmental traffic regulation order, which would put a 7.5-tonne limit on vehicles with no business in the town.

However, the meeting was cut short following a seperate motion on domestic abuse. The view was taken that councillors were not in a fit state to continue and councillor Gawrysiak’s motion – along with six others – could not be heard. This means that the earliest opportunity for it to be presented will be after the elections on May 18.

He said he was “hugely disappointed” not to have had the chance to deliver the motion, as he was confident it would have been supported. However, he felt the reason for the delay was incredibly worthy and that cutting the meeting short was the right thing to do. He said: “As soon as the motion is passed, we will then have the chance to work on this with the county council.

The whole point of the motion was to get it passed, so that we could clearly work to bring about a HGV limit in Henley. “It was a shame. I had done an enormous amount of preparation with the groups leaders to try and garner support for my motion.

I am absolutely convinced that it would have gone through because I definitely had enough votes lined up.” During the meeting, councillor Deborah McIlveen asked the county council to ensure there was adequate support for victims of domestic violence locally and to campaign for increased funding from central government in this area. Councillor Gawrysiak explained: “The motion was principled and measured, but it was a highly emotional debate, with four councillors who spoke movingly from their own experience. They spoke very bravely about the domestic violence they had incurred.

As you can imagine, this was a very traumatic 20 minutes of debate.

“The council at the end of the debate was very raw and emotional and it was the right decision to cancel the rest of the business.”

For the full story, see next week’s Henley Standard.