Henley-in-Arden is a delightful little town with a mile long high street of listed, black and white buildings about seven miles south of Stratford.

There is an Ancient Guild Hall, as well as two very old churches and a free Heritage Centre, where the town's history is set out in an interesting way. The ice-cream is famous.

We have a 40-year-old Henley and Beaudesert Society, whose aims are to preserve and protect the features of historic interest in the town and to encourage a high standard of architecture and planning in the town.

We have recently obtained planning permission to restore our ancient milestone.

Now Henley residents are up in arms that their long-awaited CCTV cameras need be so ugly and intrusive, on thick, ugly, free-standing poles.

They seem to be built capable of withstanding a nuclear attack and more suitable for a motor-way interchange than a pavement in a conservation area.

The one by St. John's Church spoils the iconic view along the High Street, which tourists and visitors frequently photograph.

The other is right outside the, ironically, now defunct police station. Originally, Henley Parish Council had asked for a police presence, particularly at night, to combat the spate of burglaries and vandalism on the High Street.

It took the Henley and Beaudesert Society a year to obtain planning g permission to restore the milestone and yet these poles suddenly appeared overnight with, apparently, no need for planning permission and, apparently, no consultation as to position and design.

We are struggling to find out who is responsible and did they know it's a conservation area?

If they did what is the point in having conservation areas? A conservation area is one that is considered to be "of special architectural or cultural interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance".

We are at pains to discover why Henley is obliged to have these thick, ugly poles when those in Stratford are mounted on buildings and those in Warwick are incorporated on to slender lamp-posts.

We have the support of two national societies, The Association of Small, Historic Towns and Villages and The Council for the Preservation of Rural England.

CCTV is said to be installed for our safety but who will safeguard the beauty of Henley's historic High Street?


by email


Why we are saying no to fluoride in our water

I would like people to sit up and take note of the fluoride in our tap water supply. Here in Bromsgrove, we've had it forced on us since 1985.

Worcestershire PC Trust says it consulted the public on it, but the strategic health people said to us in writing that no such consultation every took place. Alan Johnson wants the UK to opt for fluoride across the country [2014] at present, this government is backing the Isle of Mann in adding fluoride in their water supply, and I understand that this will be used as a model to follow.

The EU countries have said no to it because of possible side-effects like cancer of the colon, sterility in men, headaches, fluorosis of the teeth and bones.

There is sufficient natural fluoride in our water, meat, poultry, cereals, milk and so on, so that, with a balanced diet, you get the protection you require.

I want people to take this issue seriously and to start finding out more for themselves. We have and so have millions of others around the world that are saying no to fluoride!

S FRANCIS by email


Cashflow at station toilets

Dear Editor, While the main focus of the current credit crunch centres on the rising price of fuel and food, can I draw your attention to the scandal currently being perpetrated at New Street Station?

A few years ago, a 20p fee was introduced to use the station's toilets. Now, on a recent visit, I found to my disgust that this has now risen by 50per cent to 30p. Someone is taking the piss in more ways than one.


Kings Heath