Home Page Haverhill News

Haverhill Poll
Haverhill Poll


Mailing List

Matthew Hancock
Your Local MP

Public demand McGregor face them over High Street

Tuesday, 11th December 2012.

The public forum of Haverhill Safer Neighbourhood Team wants to deliver its fury at the ending of hopes for High Street pedestrianisation direct to the man responsible.

Last night’s meeting demanded its chairman Tim Marks write to Cllr Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for transport and request him to come and explain his arbitrary decision that the idea of pedestrianisation should not be pursued any further now, made after he attended a private meeting in Haverhill from which the town’s police chief was excluded.

Residents were livid to hear how Insp Peter Ferrie, reporting back on his efforts to enforce parking and traffic regulations in High Street, was specifically not allowed in to the meeting Cllr McGregor held on the issue.

They have regularly insisted Insp Ferrie keep this as one of his three priorities for policing in the town when he has told them it is a waste of his officers’ time because it doesn’t stop the illegal behaviour of motorists.

Residents chanted ‘Rubbish’ after hearing of Insp Ferrie’s exclusion and agreed it was unfair Haverhill county councillor Tim Marks, who chairs the forum and yet was also excluded from the meeting, should have to face the flak for a decision which was not his.

They insisted he write to Cllr McGregor to get him to come to their meeting, and copy the letter to the leader of the county council, Cllr Mark Bee, and its chief executive Deborah Cadman.

Insp Ferrie asked the meeting to discharge all three current policing priorities, including the High Street enforcement, and residents eventually agreed.

No evidence had been found for anti-social behaviour in Wilsey Woods or along the Railway Walk, both of which Indsp Ferrie said were probably seasonal problems which stopped with colder or wetter weather.

Residents agreed for the High Street enforcement to be discharged only with Insp Ferrie's assurances police would continue their present work to find a solution and with the caveat that he would report back to every meeting on progress.

Two of the new priorities agreed were safety at zebra crossings, particuloarly at the Cangle, damage and anti-social behaviour causing concern to elderly residents in Clements Drive and Belmont Court.

The third was unusual, but unanimously agreed. Insp Ferrie said Haverhill's most notorious and prolific offender had just been released from prison and there was a great probability he would offend again.

He wanted to devote his officers' time particularly to apprehending him as soon as he did offend again. the offender was not named at the meeting.

A wide-ranging discussion took place about High Street pedestrianisation because two of its main opponents were represented at the forum for the first time, Mark Chapman of Chapmans and Damien Gurteen of Gurteens.

Mr Chapman said virtually all businesses in the street were opposed to the idea. "It would be bad for business and would drive our customers out of town," he said.

"You have a good example of real pedestrianisation in Haverhill. It's called Jubilee Walk, and look what you've got there - shops closed."

But among residents there was a lot of anger at Cllr McGregor's decision to stop it being considered any more, and questioning of his right to make it.

Margaret Marks said: "I am hugely opposed to what Guy McGregor has done," she said. "It's totally undemocratic. We can't have everything being run by council officers.

"He should have come to this meeting to answer our questions. Why should Tim (Cllr Marks) have to come here and take the flak for a meeting he was not allowed to be at."

Residents also agreed with the town council that if there was to be no pedestrianisation it would be a waste of public money to spend the £900,000 proposed on paving, seating and street furniture.

If the money could not be held over to another year, they agreed with town councillor Bryan Hawes they would rather it was spent on something worthwhile, even if it had to be elsewhere.

Haverhill Online News

Comment on this story

[board listing] [login] [register]

No comments have been posted for this news entry.


You must be logged in to post messages. (login now)

© Haverhill-UK | Accessibility | Disclaimer