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Minister approves of ONE Haverhill pilot scheme

The Rt Hon Don Foster MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, will visit Haverhill on Friday to meet with ONE Haverhill and find out about how plans are progressing for a community budget.

The Rt Hon Don Foster MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, will visit Haverhill on Friday to meet with ONE Haverhill and find out about how plans are progressing for a community budget.

The minister overseeing the Government’s community budget scheme has given his approval to the work of ONE Haverhill.

The minister overseeing the Government’s community budget scheme has given his approval to the work of ONE Haverhill.

Don Foster, parliamentary under secretary of state for communities and local government, met with members of ONE Haverhill at Chauntry Mill on Friday (November 2) to discuss how the formation of the group’s community budget is going.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Bath was keen to here about how the umbrella group, made up of representatives from schools, churches, the police, the NHS councils, businesses and more, is getting on with forming a community budget.

ONE Haverhill is specifically aiming to improve youth prospects in the town and beautify Haverhill. It is one of 12 UK towns to be chosen as a pilot scheme as the Government continues devolving power to a local level.

“We are learning from these pilot schemes how we can give much greater opportunities for local people to have a greater say in the activities and services that are provided locally and make a real improvement in their community,” said Mr Foster.

“The enthusiasm of people giving up time and making things happen by volunteering and working with elected representatives has been amazing.

“This is the way forward and it’s the government’s aspiration to ensure that we can make it really work, and although schemes like ONE Haverhill maybe pilots it’s obvious already that they are successful.”

When asked what he thought of ONE Haverhill not admitting the public to its board meetings, Mr Foster said it is still a pilot scheme with people learning how best to operate the group and that all decisions still need the backing of democratically elected members before funding is spent.

“Let’s have a debate about that – that’s what we’re doing – but the real test is do the public get what they want at a local level?”

ONE Haverhill vice chairman Sarah Howard said: “The fact Government is taking us so seriously shows what we are doing is worthwhile.

“Mr Foster wanted to learn about what we are doing, how we are making it work and where we started from.”

Town clerk Will Austin said: “The aim is to give local people a stronger say in what their services are and get organisations right across the town to work together to deliver these priorities.

“One reason the minister came is because we’re one of the pilot schemes that is regularly singled out as making progress.”

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (November 15) Echo.

 

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