Masterplan’s successes are ‘very visible’ in Haverhill

John Mayhew, chairman, ONE Haverhill
John Mayhew, chairman, ONE Haverhill

A leading member of the ONE Haverhill Partnership has defended the progress of Haverhill’s Town Centre Masterplan after it was criticised in a council report.

As we reported last week, a report presented to St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee highlighted frustration at the “apparent slow pace of delivery” among key issues and challenges with implementing the masterplan.

It added that the majority of current actions were at an early feasibility stage, some of the actions were commercially sensitive, and the pace of actions meant it was difficult to show “tangible progress on a short-term regular basis”.

But John Mayhew, chairman of the partnership, is critical of the council report.

He said there had been great successes since the adoption of the Masterplan 18 months ago and added: “With the hard work of so many people pulling in the right direction, there will be many more.”

Mr Mayhew said similar plans for other towns in West Suffolk were keen to replicate Haverhill’s success.

ONE Haverhill, whose members include councillors and business, leisure, health, housing and highways representatives, has been leading a task group which has met regularly to help shape developments in the town.

Taking issue with claims of confidentiality, Mr Mayhew said: “Councillors who sit on the [ONE Haverhill] board and on the task groups must use their judgement as to what they report and what should be treated confidentially.”

Cllr Alaric Pugh, chairman of the task group, cited the council taking control of the derelict Co-op as being among the “very visible” actions to have come directly from the Masterplan.

“Substantial resources have been deployed and work in the background is constant, but this is a very long-term project with long-term goals and aspirations,” he said.