Haverhill High Street - the row continues

Guy McGregor, from Suffolk County Council  at King Street for a story about him defending the crossing and the money spent on it.
Guy McGregor, from Suffolk County Council at King Street for a story about him defending the crossing and the money spent on it.

A Haverhill county councillor has pledged to contact three of Suffolk County Council’s highest ranking officials to emphasise the weight of support for pedestrianisation in the town.

Cllr Tim Marks announced the move at Monday’s (December 10) Haverhill Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) meeting.

During the meeting, criticism was fired at Cllr Guy McGregor, the county council’s portoflio holder for roads and highways, for his decision not to support pedestrianisation of the High Street.

Cllr McGregor wants to instead push on with a £900,000 enhancement scheme for the town centre, which would see kerbs, speed ramps, new paving and new parking spaces installed.

Cllr Marks, said: “I will write to Guy McGregor and copy it to Deborah Cadman (SCC chief executive) and Mark Bee (SCC leader) so that everybody knows the feeling here.” Margaret Marks had earlier called it a ‘disgrace’ that Cllr Marks and Haverhill police chief, Inspector Peter Ferrie had been refused permission to join a meeting in the town in October attended by Cllr McGregor, after which he made his decision.

Mrs Marks added: “It was absolutely wrong that Tim was not allowed to be there.”

Haverhill Town Councillors Roger Andre and Bryan Hawes had also condemned the option favoured by Cllr McGregor.

Cllr Hawes said: “The town council does not want that money spent on statues, ornaments and plastic seating.

“We would much rather that money was held over for a positive move towards pedestrianisation.”

Cllr Andre went on to say: “We think it would be a waste of public money to spend it on cosmetic changes.”

The public meeting was actually called to discuss what policing issues in the town should be adopted by the SNT as their priorities for the next three months.

Clamping down on motorists who illegally parked their vehicles in the High Street had been a priority for the past six months, but those in attendance voted to drop it from the list after dozens of penalty notices issued had little impact.

Anti-social behaviour on the Railway Line and in Wilsey Woods were also dropped due to a lack of problems found in each place.

It was decided via a vote to instead focus on anti-social behaviour being reported by residents of Belmont Court and Clements Drive, road safety issues at zebra crossings, particularly the one at Cangle Junction.

It was also decided to give priority to allowing SNT officers to concentrate more resources on monitoring a prolific offender who has just been released from prison.