When ONE Haverhill Partnership was formed in 2011, one of its initial aims was to improve the physical environment of the town.
This was a priority following extensive community engagement with local residents.
While our task groups now range from focusing on health and education, crime and the volunteering sector, we have always continued to look at ways of improving the town for residents and visitors alike.
The most obvious example of this is the Town Centre Masterplan, a wide-ranging document detailing how our community want Haverhill town centre to develop over the next five, 10 or 20 years time.
More recently, we have started the ‘Heart of Haverhill’ task group which places a greater emphasis on communication and promotion of our town centre businesses.
You can find out more by searching for Heart of Haverhill on Facebook or @HeartHaverhill on Twitter, while a marketing document giving more information is currently being prepared.
Much of this work is quite a big undertaking, involving huge planning, consultation and communicating between stakeholders and the three tiers of local government.
Then there are the smaller projects that can still make a big difference to many.
Over one day in the summer holidays, you may have noticed volunteers, councillors, council workers and local tradespeople joining forces to give some Queen Street shopfronts a facelift.
If ever there was an example of partners working together for the good of our community, this was it.
We had volunteers from AXA and board members from ONE Haverhill Partnership lending a hand in work that was funded equally by Haverhill and District Chamber of Commerce and West Suffolk Council, and supported by Haverhill Town Council and West Suffolk Council’s Waste Services.
The initiative was based on West Suffolk Council’s shop front scheme together with Government money awarded under the Portas High Street project.
But the best thing about this partnership-approach was the difference it can make to businesses in our town centre by simply sprucing up their buildings.
I am delighted to report that we are currently looking at undertaking more work like this in the near future.While we know there are issues to be resolved in the town centre, there is still so much work going on to make it attractive for all.
For instance, the Haverhill in Bloom team have once again done a fantastic job as you walk through the High Street.
While discussions are always going on regarding the bigger projects in our town, it is great to see some smaller measures taking place for the good of our community.
May I thank everyone who has contributed to these recent successes.
By John Mayhew, Chairman of ONE Haverhill Partnership