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Shoppers asked if they want a high street traffic ban

Monday, 14th May 2012.

A traffic-free High Street and improved healthcare in town were highlighted when town councillors met the public on Saturday.

Haverhill Town Council held the first of a series of market stalls in the town centre, to assess the level of public support for pedestrianisation of High Street, and to continue its campaign for better healthcare following NHS Suffolk’s recent announcement that the Crown Health Centre is to be closed in October.

Town councillors listened to the views of hundreds of shoppers, who were asked to complete a ‘ballot paper’ asking whether the High Street should be closed to all traffic between 10am and 4pm.

“This is a simple, low-cost but very effective alternative to holding a town referendum on pedestrianisation, which had been suggested in a recent letter to local newspapers," said town mayor Cllr Maureen Byrne.

“It also has the advantage of giving people a chance to discuss the issue direct with councillors – in the right surroundings! – and we will repeat the event so that anyone who missed out on Saturday can still have their say.”

The results of the survey will be presented to St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council to keep the issue of improving of the high street ‘live’.

Visitors to the town centre were also invited to sign a petition calling on NHS Suffolk to deliver improved healthcare facilities for Haverhill.

Their decision to close the Crown Health Centre with no apparent plan that caters for its patients has caused outrage locally, and the market stall followed the recent launch of a press campaign to force a rethink.

Cllr Byrne said: “Over 800 people signed the petition in just a few hours, which shows the depth of feeling about the appalling way our town has been treated by NHS Suffolk.

"But this was only the start – we will be holding more market stalls so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to make their voices heard in Ipswich where this ridiculous and dangerous decision was made.”

Further market stalls are planned for Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19 (9am to 4pm).

Haverhill Online News

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