Town centre improvements will make a difference

Haverhill town centre

Sometimes simple steps can make a big difference.

So has been the case in Haverhill High Street where West Suffolk Council this week announced a series of measures aimed at supporting businesses and keeping our town centre safe for all.

A headline initiative was the £10,000 pledged by Haverhill Town Council to support a new ‘Shop Local’ campaign.

During a week of bracing ourselves for more Government guidelines, the drive towards supporting our own local businesses has never been more pressing.

Our task group, Heart of Haverhill, looks forward to supporting the Town Council to promote this crucial message.

One of the other standout announcements by West Suffolk Council was investment for some simple but effective changes to improve the shopping and living experience of local disabled people.

A few months ago, I walked the High Street with someone who has been campaigning for changes for quite a while.

They pointed out improvements that could be made and I was more than happy to pass these comments on.

This week, it was announced that ticket machines would be lowered to allow for wheelchair access in the Arts Centre car park.

Improvements have been made to the provision of disabled bays across the town with lines repainted and signs advising users of the optimum route into the High Street.

While the town centre car parks have also all passed the Park Mark inspection by an external body for Disability Discrimination Act compliance.

It is great to see these plans now coming into fruition thanks to the hard work, engagement and planning of our council partners across the three tiers of local government.

In other news, it was heartening to read about the appointment of PC Cheryl Claydon as a new Community Engagement Officer for Haverhill and the surrounding villages.

Engaging closely with the community has been a priority for Kevin Horton, the Locality Inspector for Haverhill, and we wish Cheryl all the best for her new role.

Kevin is a member of the board of ONE Haverhill Partnership and has quickly impressed all after starting his role just before the national lockdown.

His aims to engage with the community more closely has even taken to Twitter where the @PoliceHaverhill account does a great daily job of keeping everyone updated.

It is a great use of the social media platform at a time when communication has never been more important.