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Replacements for town welcome signs divide opinion

Friday, 28th October 2011.

New welcome signs are being planned for Haverhill to replace the current ones which are thought to put off investors.

But there is already considerable disagreement about what should be on them.

Haverhill Area Working Party meeting yesterdayreceived a presentation from St Edmundsbury Borough Council's Carol Rowntree suggesting the three current signs were 'tired' and did not portray a good image of the town.

Also, the replacements needed to be further out as the town had grown.

The signs were on the A 143 from Bury, the A1307 from Cambridge and the A1017 from Braintree, but there were also five secondary entrances to the town, from Kedington, Steeple Bumpstead, Helions Bumpstead, Castle Camps and Withersfield, which could have signs.

If signs for these roads were smaller, the project could be achieved for 5,000, members were told, allowing for a simple black on white sign saying Welcome to HAVERHILL, with the CB9 logo above it on the major ones.

Members agreed they only wanted the three major routes to have signs, but were divided over what information should be on them.

Town mayor Maureen Byrne was keen the words 'market town' should be included, while Cllr Les Ager wanted the twin towns of Ehringshausen and Pont St Esprit to be included, as Haverhill was on theirs.

Cllr Anne Gower said: "I agree the current ones do not do us any favours. I don't care one way or the other about the twinning, but they must not be too busy."

Cllr Pat Hanlon said the 'Spirit of Enterprise' should be included, while town clerk Gordon Mussett said information should be on the brown information signs, not on the welcome sign.

Cllr Tim Marks said: "The simpler the better. Welcome to Haverhill full stop." But he was concerned the flower beds planted in front of the current signs by Haverhill In Bloom should be retained, or the group compensated.

St Edmundsbury chief executive Geoff Rivers said: "The Haverhill In Bloom stuff looks like burial grounds for your pet cat. Twinning is for the brown signs. I like simplicity. Less is more."

Cllr Adam Whittaker was unhappy about including the market town wording. "Clear signage is important for business to show this is a town worth investing in," he said.

"The current signs would be more likely to turn off investors. We don't want to get bogged down in the past."

Members agreed there was a plethora of ad hoc signs at the appropach to the town which needed tidying up. Cllr Paul McManus said: "There are signs everywhere. It's a mess and we want it cleaned up."

Mr Mussett urged the design of the signs should tie in with the work of the task and finish group of the One Haverhill board which was focusing on town promotion.

"They have professionals on that group, professionals in marketing, and perhaps they should have the final say on how the town is promoted," he said.

The working party asked the borough to come forward with a range of ideas to a later meeting.

Haverhill Online News

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