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Parish handyman could help out in the community

Litter pick in Haverhill by the Town's Community Ambassadors, pictured with Mayor of Haverhill Roger Andre ANL-140806-003338009

Litter pick in Haverhill by the Town's Community Ambassadors, pictured with Mayor of Haverhill Roger Andre ANL-140806-003338009

Plans to bring in a parish handyman to do jobs around Haverhill were greeted with enthusiasm, despite concerns over costs.

The plans were debated at a full meeting of Haverhill Town Council on Tuesday.

Town Clerk, Colin Poole, outlined the suggestion from One Haverhill to bring in a parish handyman, whose responsibilities would extend to assisting with small maintenance and social tasks around the town such as removing graffiti and repairing damage.

The handyman would contribute to the work done by community ambassadors and, it was argued, would offer a value for money solution to some of the town’s problems.

“It’s just going to make the town a nicer place to be,” said Mr Poole. “If there’s a project community ambassadors can do we can deploy a person to help.

“We can have someone out along the High Street straight away.”

Mr Poole cited the success of a similar scheme in Exmouth, which cost about £14,000 a year, as a model for Haverhill.

He said it could be a cost -effective way to solve a large number of the town’s minor issues.

Mayor, Roger André, agreed: “It’s a solution to small scale problems,” he said.

Councillor Betty McLatchy questioned the idea, raising her concerns over the cost of the handy man and the work he would be doing.

“I can’t see it should be necessary,” she said.

Councillor Maureen Byrne was supportive of the idea, but questioned who should be responsible for funding the position.

“We pay our taxes,” she said. “If we are considering having a parish handyman, we should look to both the borough and the county council to make a considerable contribution.

“I think we need to think about this carefully. Should we really be doing jobs that are the responsibility of those authorities?

“We have really got to look at what the job description looks like and whether it is value for money.

“We need a proper description before we make a decision.”

 

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