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Hart of the Matter


David Hart revives his personal take on the week in Haverhill, covering everything from major town developments to what we do with our rubbish. Don't forget you can let us know why you agree with him (or why you think it's rubbish) by contacting us : editor@haverhill-news.com 
At last, Haverhill is in sync politically with the country 10/05/17
So the purple tide went out again just as quickly and decisively as it came in – at least as far as the county council elections were concerned.
Exoneration of rector still leaves tragedy behind for town 07/02/17
A dark cloud has hung over Haverhill for the past three years, centred on the parish church of St Mary, but spreading wider through the community.
Watch out for that Referendum - it could be heading our way 02/12/16
In this secular age in Britain it is difficult to commit anything which is still considered to be blasphemy by the general populace, rather than by the adherents of a particular religion, but recent...
How dangerous can it be to ignore the Voice of the People? 20/10/16
In past centuries, when someone had a flash of inspiration, they often used to attribute it to the Voice of God speaking to them, either directly or via an angel (viz Jon of Arc, or Bernadette).
Corn Exchange project provides us all with a difficult dilemma 19/04/16
Haverhill town councillors had a difficult decision to make last night.
Leap Day special - would you consider divorcing us? 29/02/16
On a day when, according to legend, women have the right to propose marriage to the man of their choice – as if anyone would dare to assert against their rights to do anything nowadays – i...
Christmas gift amounts to less openness rather than more 21/12/15
With the approach of the festive season one might expect that, as well as individual presents, there might be something on the tree, or on Santa’s sleigh, for Haverhill.
Small celebration as derelict site will be made to look a little better 27/11/15
Haverhill seems to be fated to muddle along in a series of incoherent and unjoined-up jerks of planning and development.
Frightener about a crumbling building for Halloween 31/10/15
As it’s Halloween, it might be a good time to consider a horror story which continues to run and run in Haverhill, concerning an old, crumbling building.
From an ancient monument you could get to see a monument to insensitivity 19/10/15
It’s that time of year again when you could live off the countryside if you were so disposed, by picking all the blackberries, crab apples, hips and haws, sloes, hazel nuts, etc which grow in ou...
New road would make all forms of business easier, but when will it come? 09/10/15
For all those who struggle daily along the A1307 to work, this morning’s launch of an official campaign to have the A1307 dualled for its entire length between Haverhill and Cambridge will have been very welcome.
Stand-off over secret meetings leaves pioneering concept in limbo 03/10/15
Returning from my annual tramping of the Lake District heights this week I found myself plunged into a most exciting week for those who take a keen interest in the way Haverhill is governed and its services provided.
Plans are adopted and the market will provide - but will it? 18/09/15
The adoption this month of a masterplan for North-East Haverhill seems to have raised a few issues which one might have thought had been put to bed in the Vision 2031 document.
A few months is a long time in Haverhill politics 11/09/15
So the summer holidays are over and it’s back to the everyday story of how Haverhill is served by its overlords and representatives.
As the holidays begin an old, old problem raises its head 21/07/15
This week sees the start of the long school summer holidays and suddenly the issue of something for the youngsters to do will raise its head again in Haverhill.
Will the new council show any more will to change than the old? 13/07/15
As St Edmundsbury Borough Council comes to terms with the fact that decision-making is not quite so easy when your majority is small, it wouldn’t be a bad time for all borough councillors to take sto...
Now we see ONE Haverhill's obsession with secret meetings could destroy it 29/06/15
Just over a year ago, at last year’s Annual Town Meeting, one of the most controversial issues to be raised was about whether or not the meetings of ONE Haverhill should be open to the public.
Optimism is all very well, but just how practicable is any of this? 23/06/15
Like all the best epic stories, analysis of the draft Haverhill town centre masterplan document is a trilogy, and the third part follows the example of many such enterprises in having a title including the words ‘The Return Of’.
If car parks are to be built on, we may have to wait for another stage in the planning 12/06/15
After last week’s exciting first instalment in the new series of Master Plan: The Continuing Saga, you may remember how the astonishing revelation that we could get a new town square down Jubilee Walk was probably the biggest new theme to emerge.
Draft masterplan focuses a lot of effort on putting right past mistakes 05/06/15
The long-awaited Town Centre Masterplan has begun to emerge from the mists of consultation with the publication of a draft document on which we will all have the chance to comment from Monday.
A friendly start, but you never know where politics will lead 22/05/15
The new councils have begun grinding into action and the new councillors have managed to get their feet under the table at least once, so it won’t be long before we get some sense of the new dynamics which the electorate have created.
Would damaging dual carriageway be a long-term solution to the A1307? 16/05/15
It looks as if there may be some improvements to the infrastructure in the East of England on the way, if we are to believe the manifesto and the subsequent rhetoric of the new Government.
Well, we know it was historic, but just what is it all going to mean? 11/05/15
Every now and again a day comes along which you just know is going to go down in history, and if you are young and then manage to live another 70 years, which people will be interviewing you about as one of those who remember.
How about an election with a turnout of one per cent? That's what we've just had 01/05/15
On Thursday, one hopes, there will be a reasonable turnout at the elections.
If the comedy ground is making way for common sense, it mightn't be a bad thing 27/04/15
You might be fed up with all the political stuff on TV in the run-up to the election, but I can tell you that it is a godsend to someone confined to their settee.
Worried about May 7? Just make a decision and move on 13/04/15
So nominations have closed and the runners and riders are all listed before they make their way down to the start.
The only point of using language is so that people know what you mean - or is it? 02/04/15
I expect we shall hear quite a lot over the next few weeks about what various people think it means to be British, or English.
We may be a footnote, but it may also be a foot in the door 27/03/15
Among all the competing news items during the past week it has been easy to overlook the publication of the Suffolk Rail Prospectus – a prestigious looking document that pulls together the aims for i...
Let's have some ideas which lead to joined-up thinking at last 20/03/15
After a week away catching up with some friends in the West Country, I return to find the public consultations about what should be in the town centre masterplan is in full swing.
Let's be bold and see what these magicians are really made of 07/02/15
I’ve heard of magicians before, and I’ve marvelled at Dynamo, but these consultants that have been brought in to facilitate the town masterplan must really be something else.
Have your say on town centre or this masterplan will be a familiar compromise 27/02/15
This week we got to see some indication of how the long-awaited masterplan for Haverhill town centre might look and, if you haven’t glanced at it yet, you will soon get the chance when it goes out to public consultation the week after next.
Now the dog has a better name, he's disappeared altogether 19/02/15
Do you sit down in front of your TV at teatime and watch the news? This used to be such a prevalent custom, but nowadays, I gather, fewer and fewer people have any interest or the time to be bothered with it.
An old, old story no nearer to a happy ending 13/02/15
When I first began to grapple with the way town planning works, in 1970s Haverhill, I remember attending a public display in the lead-up to the creation of probably the first Local Plan which St Edmu...
Headaches a-plenty for those working on ideas for the A1307 06/02/15
After a month away in NeverNeverland, followed by the best part of a week walking around like one of Captain Hook’s pirates due to an eye infection, and so unable to use a computer, I finally return...
Don't blame planners for shops deficit - the blame lies closer to home 09/01/15
Hardly has 2015 got its nose out of the starting block (Happy New Year, by the way) but there is drama and contention a-plenty with Gurteen’s plans and those for the Bell coming before councillors.
New discovery reveals how 1970s policy was formulated 19/12/14
In a week which sees the retirement of Castle Manor’s longest-serving teacher, after 40 years, it is a curious coincidence that documents from exactly that era have recently come to light.
We need some facts before we can be usefully consulted 12/12/14
Issues within the town centre are beginning to coalesce in the run-up to the huge public consultation promised as part of developing a masterplan for its future.
The price of change is only worth paying if it makes things better 05/12/14
Change, we are always being told, is a good thing, a sign of life and forward-thinking, and Haverhill has had to adapt to higher levels of change than most places over the past 60 years.
There's a reward for all working together - as long as you lot pay for it 28/11/14
Leaders of the public sector in Suffolk are celebrating their latest coup in squeezing £3.
Broad-brush artwork will make the churchyard a brighter place 21/11/14
It’s taken a fair old time to get the project off the ground, but it really does look as if the proposed renovation of St Mary’s Churchyard is going to be quite splendid.
There's more to promoting Haverhill than chrome, glass and steel 07/11/14
At the rate things are going, the parameters of ONE Haverhill’s project to create a masterplan for the town centre will soon be almost as wide as those of the current trouble-fraught inquiry into child abuse in high places.
On a day to beware of scary monsters, make sure you get the right bogeyman 31/10/14
Having had a bit of a break from the usual run of things this week, caused by the arrival of our son’s firstborn, I return to Haverhill matters on Halloween, which seems curiously appropriate at the moment.
One-party line on old mythology will not lead to new vision 24/10/14
My hope that the first public forum of ONE Haverhill for the best part of three years might produce something interesting was not disappointed, although my secondary hope that someone might call for...
At last! ONE Haverhill's public forum - what will happen next? 17/10/14
I have to admit I can hardly wait for next Wednesday.
Why we could soon be shelling out our £'s and p's in a pod 10/10/14
There was a time when a pod was simply something that you shelled peas from.
Church shows how not to get the community on your side 03/10/14
It feels strange to be writing this week in the knowledge that Cllr Gordon Cox will not be reading (and probably taking issue with) what I write – unless there is a direct line to Haverhill from Anot...
How Classics could help answer a three-part question 26/09/14
The features shared in common between ancient Gaul and the Haverhill area may be a complete mystery to town residents.
How far will the last-minute promises stave off independence? 19/09/14
So when the dust had settled and they had counted all the votes, both postal and personal, it was clear that the people had spoken and that those who had espoused independence would have to knuckle down under it – at least for a while.
Easy ride for a bland report shows low aspirations 12/09/14
It may be that surveying the world from a series of Lake District summits, as I was doing last week, gives one rather too lofty a view of the world, but it seems to me the horizons of some of our representatives are very limited.
Not listening to people is the silliest part of the current silly season 29/08/14
The month of August is traditionally known in the media as the silly season, when all sorts of offbeat stories which would normally remain unreported suddenly spring into prominence to fill the gap left by an absence of real news.
One partially down, one with a long way to go for ONE Haverhill 22/08/14
It was good to see this week how ONE Haverhill are really delivering the goods with regard to apprenticeships and youth issues in the town in general.
Once you film something, will it ever be more than an illusion? 11/08/14
Returning from a few days away tramping Welsh hills steeped in history from Neolithic burial cairns to Offa’s Dyke, it comes as something of a culture shock to be preparing for (probably) the first Haverhill Town Council meeting to be filmed.
Let's hang on to our twins to protect us from our Uncle Sam 01/08/14
It’s that week in the year when you come back from walking down the street wondering where everyone is.
Are we really all going to hell on a handcart? 25/07/14
When Haverhill Area Working Party next convenes it will, if all goes to plan, receive the final report of the Kent Business School project – at last.
Why Queen Street is such a prime example of the generosity of St Edmundsbury to Haverhill 18/07/14
It was nice to see earlier this month that town councillors had become aware of the state of Queen Street at last and were looking to have some discussion on the matter, involving borough councillors.
For once, an event which exceeded expectations and banished clouds 11/07/14
We are so used to the hype that now precedes any planned event of any size that it comes as little surprise when it all turns out to be a damp squib, a disappointing anti-climax – in fact, we rather revel in it.
Golden rules to keep feet out of mouths in Bury St Edmunds 04/07/14
With all the sporting fever which is unavoidable at this time of year, however disappointing or triumphant the results may be, there is the inevitable moment when people pick their fantasy team of the tournament, of the year, or of all time.
Is this healthcare merry-go-round ride going to be any different from all the others? 27/06/14
The notice on the door of Stourview Medical centre has re-ignited the whole Haverhill healthcare debate and, as with so many other Haverhill issues, we prepare to step on the merry-go-round all over again.
Promote an honest vision for the town centre, not just political spin 20/06/14
They say you should be careful what you wish for, and anyone who takes an interest in the promotion of Haverhill and the democratic process by which it should be achieved would have felt the truth of that proverb yesterday.
Big plans are coming to fruition, but how soon will we notice? 13/06/14
The past seven days has been another momentous period in the development of Haverhill, although it will have passed most people by entirely because there are no visible results of it yet, nor will be, probably, for a year or so at least.
Here's an anniversary we may not be quite so keen to celebrate 06/06/14
It’s a big year for anniversaries this year – World War One (100th), World War Two (75th), D-Day (70th today), Shakespeare (450th), Ghostbusters (30th), Haverhill Town Council (25th) – and last week Suffolk County Council celebrated its 40th.
Partnership working may be confusing, but it's all we have 30/05/14
The first thing to say about Haverhill Town Council’s 25th anniversary celebration, and the town meeting that preceded it, is that rarely in that quarter of a century has there been such a well-atten...
Garage demolition plan shows how housing has fallen off the agenda 23/05/14
One of the end results of the controls put upon ‘council’ housing provision in the 1980s was that it tended to take the housing issue out of the public and political arena which, in a town so dominat...
Now we've got the best, it's time to promote yer actual culture 16/05/14
With an election in the offing, albeit a European one, which never attracts quite the attention of a General one, it is necessary to steer clear of anything political this week, so instead this is an...
As another one bites the dust, let's look for simple solutions 09/05/14
Well, there goes another one. The latest scheme to reduce illegal traffic and parking in the town centre by making Camps Road one-way beside the market square and reversing the flow in the upper part...
It will take more than 25 years to see the true benefits of the town council 02/05/14
At this time 25 years ago we were preparing for the first election of a specifically Haverhill council, based in the town, for nearly 20 years – two decades of almost complete disenfranchisement, dur...
It's just not good enough to hide a unique artwork away 25/04/14
Well, now we’ve all calmed down a bit, what can we say about the ‘Haverhill Head’ public art project? The first thing is that the project had considerable value as an educational programme and a...
It's time to stop seeing Haverhill as purely a cut-price town 18/04/14
After yesterday’s Haverhill Area Working Party meeting it is difficult to choose which of about half a dozen issues to focus in on this week.
A readily accessible town centre, which people are unwilling to use 15/04/14
After a week away in the West Country catching up with friends who have retired there from these parts, I might be forgiven, you would think, for finding Haverhill just a little mundane – even dull.
Rec upgrade will be great during the day, but what about at night? 04/04/14
In the heated political atmosphere of the moment it is hard to find any subject which cannot be rounded into a neat little football to be kicked around between the various camps, whether they be Fara...
Scrutiny is all very well, but grasp all the facts first 28/03/14
It is really beginning to look as if Haverhill Town Council will have to find a bigger room for its meetings.
Transport meeting highlighted difficulties in getting consensus on a new road 22/03/14
Few subjects in the Haverhill area are as contentious as the road to Cambridge, from the days when it was the A604 up to the present A1307, downgraded for some bizarre reason some years ago by Cambri...
Is this meeting about policing, or is it a lot wider than that? 14/03/14
Haverhill really is the most extraordinary place in many ways and must often give people at regional and national levels cause to scratch their heads.
ONE Haverhill is delivering in a vital area of training 07/03/14
Having had the odd moment of whimsy at the expense of ONE Haverhill, it is only fair that I should pay tribute to the organisation’s successes and this week saw a major milestone when they announced 15 new apprenticeships set up in Haverhill.
Bury chiefs will be baffled by this brush with Haverhill reality 28/02/14
In so far as one can have an independent view of the balance in St Edmundsbury between spending on Bury St Edmunds and on Haverhill, outgoing Haverhill town clerk Will Austin was as close as one can get.
For goodness' sake, will somebody just make a decision for once 21/02/14
This week I received through the post an envelope in which were the key ingredients for experiencing Groundhog Day – a list of questions from Suffolk County Council about traffic regulations in Haverhill town centre.
It looks like Simple Simon is the one left owing the £5 note again 14/02/14
I dare say we shall hear quite a lot about democracy over the next few days as the battle is fought out over if, and how far, our council tax should be subject to a rise – something we have hardly seen for the past three or four years.
It may have been a landmark week for Haverhill's future development 06/02/14
What a week for Haverhill! It’s been quite hard to keep up with everything that has been going on over the past few days, what with the Vision 2031 public inquiry, the decision about the Nosterfield...
How sustainable are either our shops or our shopping behaviour? 31/01/14
It’s been a week of mixed news for Haverhill’s town centre, with two well-loved shops announcing closure, but hints that there may be some movement on the long-boarded-up former Co-op building in Jubilee Walk.
Running out of employment land? Pull the other one! 24/01/14
It doesn’t need much of a turnaround for everyone to be convinced that the recession is over and we are now in for a period of dramatic growth in the economy, even in Haverhill.
HAWP again runs out of minor issues to debate 17/01/14
It is one of the more curious things about local government that it can combine the most pedantic of regulation with the ability to ride roughshod over normal procedure, depending on the political will there exists for either course of action.
So what does last night's Tory disaster mean in the long term? 10/01/14
It probably came as no surprise to anyone that UKIP won yesterday’s two by-elections.
Let's try to keep away from the political song and dance 03/01/14
It may have escaped the notice of many, but we live in a newly-politicised world in Haverhill at the moment and, while that is to be warmly welcomed as far as the health of community debate is concer...
Some seasonal hot air to add to the wind debate 27/12/13
I suppose that during a week in which many people will have made a point of feasting on Brussels sprouts or Jerusalem artichokes along with their turkey it is hardly surprising that the biggest topic for discussion should be wind power.
Dear Santa, please bring us some useful presents this year 20/12/13
It’s that time again when little Haverhill must set about writing its letter to Santa in the hope of receiving some presents on Christmas morning which are larger and more expensive than anything the Parents can afford.
The Inspector is coming - and it won't be an Ealing comedy 13/12/13
So now we know the planning inspector appointed by the Government will come to Haverhill for part of his public inquiry into the Vision 2031 document.
Whose ideas should influence our finances - Machiavelli or Mandela? 06/12/13
In a week when local politics seems to have been turned up a notch or two in the debate over town council finances, it was a curious coincidence that we should have close analysis on TV of the two opposing extremes which drive politicians.
Is ONE Haverhill our dragon-slayer or do we wait for another? 29/11/13
For all the imperfections surrounding ONE Haverhill, it was nevertheless very interesting to hear about the wide range of ideas which were thrown in at their recent workshop about the town centre master plan.
Layers of history as we move imperceptibly towards a new future 22/11/13
By a circuitous route we are beginning to find out the sort of thinking which is going into the making of the next master plan for Haverhill town centre, and some of it is innovative and interesting.
Save these old cottages, but affordable housing has to be built 08/11/13
In one of those mini-triumphs for Haverhill which come along now and again, it seems that people power has managed to save the cottages at the top of the high street which Havebury planned to knock down as part of another social housing scheme.
New clock promises to give us time to disagree 01/11/13
Who would have thought that putting up a clock near the bus station so passengers have some vague idea of the time in case a bus happened to adhere to the timetable could be contentious? It ju...
What does the borough actually do for our money? 25/10/13
Trying to get your head around the ways in which local government is funded is enough to put you into therapy, but the latest developments surrounding the Government’s transitional Council Tax Suppor...
Can the pattern of UKIP success lead to anything more lasting? 11/10/13
After the Suffolk County Council elections in May it was possible to see something which might be a sea change in local politics, with two out of Haverhill’s three seats going over to UKIP from the Conservatives.
It's all right here, in our own home town 04/10/13
Those of a certain age may remember a particularly unpleasant era in the history of the cinema when they tried to introduce other sensory experiences along with the film – Smellyvision, and the rocki...
Borough's failure to support railway idea reveals its priorities 27/09/13
For a project which, we are told, has absolutely no chance of ever coming into existence, the railway renewal idea has certainly stirred up plenty of concern.
If you're voting,just be cautious what you wish for 20/09/13
Years ago, many may remember, you could look out of your window in Haverhill in the morning at certain seasons of the year, and if the weather was warm and close you would know before you drew breath...
Brainstorming session at least teased out an idea or two 13/09/13
If you were in Haverhill town centre on Wednesday morning you probably saw groups of mostly well-dressed people strolling about as if they were on some sort of heritage tour.
Cheap bodged solution the likely high street outcome 09/09/13
There are going to be some interesting moments during this week in Haverhill, so I’m glad to have got back off my hols in time to see what transpires.
Haverhill shows Parliament the way to vote for inaction 30/08/13
So, they put down the motion and couldn’t get it through.
Hail to an excellent history exhibition - as far as it goes 23/08/13
This week I returned from a few days away exploring some more of Britain’s heritage just in time for the launch of an exhibition which details some of Haverhill’s heritage.
If you're a Jedi can't you park your spacecraft in the sky? 16/08/13
In the nearly 40 years since I began reporting on the saga of Haverhill High Street and when or whether it is to be pedestrianised I thought I had seen everything.
It's an unfair world for a dog once he has a bad name 09/08/13
This week we have had a shining and perfect example of the problem which has afflicted Haverhill for more than 40 years, and continues to do so, and which is conveniently nowadays labelled as ‘image’.
Times are changing and we are standing up 03/08/13
With just a week to go before the closing date for public consultation on the Vision 2031 planning documents, Haverhill Town Council have expressed a series of reservations and suggested changes whic...
For once, a biased, self-interested and one-sided opinion 26/07/13
One of the more annoying things about politicians and people in charge of the various agencies that provide us with necessary services, is their continual ability to avoid facing any flak from the public directly.
Don't complain about the heat - you'll miss it when it's gone 19/07/13
You can always tell when summer has arrived, because people start complaining about the heat.
Young people always get the worst publicity - but they have a future 12/07/13
You can make a little bet that any time Haverhill hits the regional or national headlines it will be for the wrong reasons, because nobody has ever yet managed to unlock the puzzle of how we can get into the limelight for the right ones.
What's good for transparency is unlikely to do much for ratings 05/07/13
This week we have seen some pressure, both national and local, for video cameras to be allowed into council meetings, in an effort to transmit their workings to a wider audience than the handful who ever bother to turn up for them.
'Not too bad at all' - is that all we want for the future? 28/06/13
The final consultation period for the Vision 2031 planning document about Haverhill has begun and runs for three months – at least, I think it’s the final one, although if the Government planning ins...
Learn the lesson of the elms and don't believe all they tell you 21/06/13
The election of new councillors, whether you have any sympathy with their party or not, certainly seems to have stimulated political debate in Haverhill – about transport links, about the Vision 2031 documents and about the high street.
It's not Haverhill's problem - it's bigger than that 14/06/13
All those important people in one room to talk about Haverhill’s transport links! You wouldn’t have believed it a year ago.
ONE Haverhill looks like its working, whether on not we understand it 07/06/13
We’ve heard quite a lot about a mysterious organisation called ONE Haverhill over the last couple of years.
Confusion results in people shooting the messenger again 31/05/13
The annual meeting of Haverhill Town Council earlier this week revealed the usual level of public ignorance about what the different tiers of local government are for and how they work.
Visionary times, but have we got the right vision? 24/05/13
There seems to be something in the air in Haverhill at the moment which is less familiar than the old chemical stinks which, as far as I am aware, are a thing of the past thanks to modern technology...
It's the old, old story of uncrossable county boundaries 17/05/13
The revelation that Cambridgeshire’s local authorities have included a renewal of the railway link to Haverhill among the options in the debate which will lead to their transport strategy plan seems...
Past, Present and Future all combine in one week 10/05/13
When people want to highlight how barmy a system is they sometimes use that old image of: "If an alien landed here and saw this he’d think the whole place was bonkers,” or something similar.
A new Haverhill Show will do just that - show what Haverhill now is 03/05/13
There are many ways of testing the strength of a community and Haverhill shows up well in most of them, but the one that has puzzled me for more than two decades is its inability to put on a decent carnival/show/gala, whatever you like to call it.
Get out and vote, but find out about the candidates first 26/04/13
We are often told that people are becoming disillusioned with politics and, particularly, with individual politicians.
May be sea change in view of Haverhill will wipe out county dinosaurs 23/04/13
That old cliché of the ripples on a pool spreading out after a stone has been thrown in could certainly apply to the public meeting held last month about pedestrianisation.
Haverhill is still living with the legacy of the blessed Margaret 12/04/13
Haverhill is not hugely different from any other community in Britain, so it is only reasonable that someone should take up the challenge and analyse the legacy of Margaret Thatcher here.
Planning, distant or in-your-face, can put the wind up you 05/04/13
It’s been a week of planning matters, which might sound rather boring, but is enough to start a series of hares and get everybody arguing about what is best for Haverhill.
Value for money is not just a matter of good or bad services 22/03/13
Next week we enter the new financial year, so you will have had a new council tax demand and you will see that it is exactly the same as the last one.
Meeting showed tactics for dealing with wild animals 15/03/13
It seems that the fame of Monday night’s meeting about Haverhill High Street has spread far and wide, with many expressing surprise, disappointment or disgust at either the process or the outcome - or both.
It's the economy, stupid, at the root of decision-making 08/03/13
As I write this, our poll about whether or not people want Haverhill High Street fully pedestrianised is quite close to 50/50 in the run-up to Cllr Guy MacGregor’s visit on Monday.
The 'difficult decisions' are understandable, the bonkers ones are not 01/03/13
It is probably a relief to almost all Haverhill residents to hear that our council tax is not going up this year.
It's not just the young who need to raise their aspirations 22/02/13
Whether or not you agree with the things which Suffolk County Council’s chief executive had to say on her visit to Haverhill this week, you have to give her credit for actually saying them.
Where have all the new ideas for Haverhill gone? 15/02/13
Over the next few weeks two of Suffolk County Council’s senior figures will be making the long trek to Haverhill for meetings, which might make one think the town has somehow veered into view in Ipsw...
Sometimes the myth is simply better than the facts 07/02/13
It was good to see Haverhill town councillors giving their full backing to Haverhill Local History Group last week, handing them a grant to get them through their immediate financial crisis and saying the group must never be lost.
Mad Hatter's Tea Party - only with buildings 01/02/13
So what are we to make over this latest rumpus over the Burton Centre? Quite the most bizarre one I can remember in Haverhill, and that is saying a lot.
Time to end the catalogue of missed opportunities 25/01/13
High streets around the country have begun in recent weeks to look like the famous sinking ship which the rats are leaving, yet until now Haverhill has largely escaped.
Ineptitude of school league table system shown up again by latest spat 21/01/13
Life is full of surprises – I return from a few days away in Pantoland to find what one might describe as a ‘robust’ discussion going on in the Twittersphere and on this website’s Local Issues messag...
Plans of campaign are needed for High Noon 11/01/13
So the bogeyman rides into town in March to give everyone a chance to take pot shots at him.
How to make 2013 the Year of the People 04/01/13
As we head into the first weekend of the New Year, how many resolutions have you made and broken so far? It is, after all, that time of year when we traditionally review and re-assess our conduct.
2012 - a year with more than its share of good and bad 28/12/12
It’s been a funny old year. If it wasn’t for all the austerity going about, we’d day it was one of the best years ever, thanks to the summer of British achievement. If it wasn’t for the summer of Bri...
The world could end - and still we have no pedestrianisation 21/12/12
For a day when the world was supposed to end, today has so far passed off pretty uneventfully.
It's Localism, Jim, but not as we know it - as they want it 14/12/12
A year or two ago there was a new mantra being bandied around among the national politicians – Localism.
Marking our history can help us be more than just nice people 07/12/12
Each year, when the fantastic fireworks round off a lively Family Christmas Night, we sit back and think to ourselves that Haverhill really is a great community.
How to re-act when someone is negative about you 30/11/12
Did you think four questions was rather a small number for the Any Questions? panel to manage to deal with in 45 minutes last week? Not that I have any sort of axe to grind – it doesn’t bother me at...
There are other ways of improving the town's first impressions 23/11/12
If you follow the message boards on this site, you will know that one issue which has come in for a lot of debate recently is the state of Sturmer Arches.
There is an explanation for why Haverhill's old chestnuts keep coming back 16/11/12
Haverhill has always been a good place for chestnuts – and I don’t mean the conkers down at Hamlet Green, but the old chestnuts, the apparently endless sagas about developments or changes that may or may not happen.
Research park shows how much Haverhill needs the risk-takers 09/11/12
A couple of years ago, when the idea of Haverhill Research Park was first put forward, it seemed about as likely that it would ever happen as that a British cyclist would win the Tour de France.
New candidates in the High Street blame game 02/11/12
Every other week nowadays there seems to be someone new to blame for the failure to sort out the problems of Haverhill High Street.
If we want real improvements it's time for business to get its hands dirty 26/10/12
Whoopee! Another £10,000 to spend on Haverhill town centre.
Fund-it-yourself is only fair if it applies to everyone 19/10/12
Whoopee! This week, news of some big spending, part of which will actually be in Haverhill.
A new push for the railway - but who'll take any notice? 12/10/12
During the news coverage of what is now routinely described as the West Coast Rail Fiasco, we heard all sorts of political posturing about this and other disasters of management and governance, withi...
Should the Olympic Legacy be that you can't drive to the shops? 05/10/12
So the great British summer of sport has finally come to an end.
Why power will never allow itself to be open for too long 280912
So, is it really ONE Haverhill, or is it still us and them? That is the question many people will be asking themselves in the wake of that organisation’s decision to keep its deliberations private.
If we recognise outrageous failings we can overturn them 21/09/12
The history of Haverhill in recent years has been one of roadblocks set up by organisations and authorities based a long way away and divorced from the local scene.
Those that can, do - those that can't, ask for a survey to tell them what to do 14/09/12
The digital world has created a lot of boom industries, not all of them very stable, but, around here at least, the booomiest one has to be that of the surveyor.
The front line may have moved but the war goes on 07/09/12
When there is trouble brewing in some corner of the world, we usually first get to hear about it through a war of words and it may be that Haverhill is no exception.
As the young drink more, the pubs close down 31/08/12
There are rarely many weeks go by without the subject of change being in the spotlight in Haverhill because, in many ways, it is a fast changing place.
Community budgeting seems to be getting more complex, not simpler 14/08/12
The funding of services and facilities in Haverhill is always in the spotlight, more or less, but this week has featured several developments which bring the issue into sharper focus.
Can our town be home to one of the region's richest? 17/08/12
So, own up – what sort of person are you, by this week’s litmus test? Or, to put it another way, what were your first words on hearing that a Haverhill couple had won the unimagineable jackpot of &po...
No holiday from tricky decisions for our councillors 10/08/12
We are now deep into the summer holidays and Haverhill, in common with most other places that are not tourist honeypots, is going through a sleepy period.
End of an era points up how quickly the town changes 27/07/12
When people bemoan the slow speed of change in Haverhill, it very often reflects their own views and interests rather than the actual truth.
Political embarrassment makes for entertaining viewing 20/07/12
Council meetings are strangely unpredictable things and council meetings in or about Haverhill are more unpredictable than most.
A look back to the 1960s which should make us all proud 06/07/12
We are always being told that Haverhill is a forward-looking town, which is a very valuable attribute in today’s world and there are, no doubt, people around who get fed up with old fogeys like me looking back at the past.
The High Street merry-go-round whirls into action again 22/06/12
So, round we go again – the Haverhill High Street carousel has not ground to a halt after all and back we come to the police enforcement stage.
A day for showing off the best that we can do 17/06/12
Are you fed up with the Olympics yet? Just you wait – the Euro Championship football is just around the corner.
After the fire comes the blame game 08/06/12
It may be an unpleasant thought to contemplate, but if a firefighter had gone into Sunday night’s inferno at Castle Hill Middle School in the belief someone was in there and needed rescuing, and that...
Jubilee is a time to remember and protect our heritage 01/06/12
Along with all the jubilation which will be taking place over the coming weekend, there has also come a considerable portion of nostalgia – looking back over the past 60 years, and even looking back...
A field where past meets present and looks to the future 25/05/12
If you travel out of town towards Cambridge regularly you’ll have noticed signs of work going on in the field to your left as you approach the Spirit of Enterprise roundabout.
Why Haverhill High Street is just the place for a bit of drama 18/05/12
If you go down to the market this weekend you’ll be in for a small surprise because you’ll find town councillors out and about talking to shoppers about two major Haverhill issues.
Vote of thanks to the outgoing town clerk should be heartfelt 11/05/12
On Tuesday next week, the annual meeting of Haverhill Town Council takes place, where a new mayor and deputy mayor will be officially chosen and various legal formalities will take place, as they have to do each year.
Lament for the passing of the old corner shop windows 04/05/12
One of the criticisms that is most frequently levelled at town centres is that they are becoming more and more the same, no matter what part of the country you travel to and Haverhill is no exception...
Forum's first outing only served to show its powerlessness 28/04/12
There was a curious irony manifested at the first public forum of One Haverhill alone on Thursday.
School resurgence should give hope for other improvements 20/04/12
A large number of issues affecting Haverhill people have been the subject of detailed scrutiny recently, with not a lot to be said for the results – as yet.
One small step for planners, but what does it say about town centre? 13/04/12
Last week’s little planning decision about the store which currently houses Iceland in Haverhill High Street could be seen as a routine matter, barely worthy of any comment, or it could be seen as sy...
Taxpayers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your irrelevance 30/03/12
Do you ever get the impression that the people in charge haven’t got the first idea what they are doing? In any large organisation you would probably find that those at the bottom would comple...
Destination Haverhill project has come up with some enlightening points 23/03/12
In all the palaver over pedestrianisation (or lack of it), there was another big town centre issue under the spotlight last week which got rather overlooked.
What a shambles! But apathy and cowardice have led us there 15/03/12
I suppose it was always too optimistic to imagine that the latest proposals to pedestrianise Haverhill town centre would come to anything.
Parking issues highlight utopian thinking in Vision 2031 09/03/12
You may have noticed that the parking issues around Place Farm Primary School have been highlighted again this week when they became a priority for the police to address as part of the town’s Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Sites for housing development are the first part of the Vision to look at 02/03/12
If you’re trying to wade through the vast Haverhill Vision 2031 document in the hope of finding something interesting or something which affects you particularly, the best place to start is to look a...
We need more efficient solutions for unemployment 24/02/12
Among the reasons Haverhill town councillors were very keen to freeze their council tax levy this year was the amount of poverty now to be found in Haverhill.
Now it really is our arts centre as we're the only ones paying for it 17/02/12
I suppose it was always going to be unlikely that we Haverhill residents would be getting back any of the extra money we had to hand over in last year’s council tax to ensure the future of the arts centre.
Here we go again - building without infrastructure 10/02/12
Imagine, if you will, driving out of Haverhill towards Bury St Edmunds and, instead of reaching the countryside as you pass the end of Ann Suckling Road, entering a new community stretching out on both sides of the A143.
New church shows the way to make the most of redevelopment opportunities 03/02/12
The building of new homes in Haverhill may have slowed up in the last few years, according to the latest planning document, but the townscape is still changing nevertheless.
Just one statistic in a growing catalogue of local burglaries 27/01/12
There have been a variety of issues raised about Haverhill over the last few days but, in reality, there is only one major talking point all around the town and that is the fear of being burgled.
Re-vamped high street had better be good to make up for all the hassle 20/01/12
From next Friday you’ll be able to take a careful look at the latest plans for traffic management in and around Haverhill town centre – what we blithely call ‘pedestrianisation’.
New health managers have revealed another level of failings
And there was me thinking things might have improved in the management of primary health care around here over the last few years! When I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago about the shambles...
Changing methods of celebration could have serious effects 06/01/12
Changing habits often pass us by almost unnoticed until they start to have more far-reaching effects than initially seemed likely, so it was curious to have one underlined over the holidays.
2011 may have been more significant than it looked 31/12/11
Just a few hours left of 2011 now, so perhaps it’s time to look back over the year and think about what it has brought for Haverhill, good or bad.
Wait until you see the benefits of Haverhill's mystery Christmas present 23/12/11
I suppose everyone has, from time to time, received a Christmas present which they don’t quite understand.
Health centre was a costly experiment that seems to have failed 16/11/12
Over the past few months there have been rumours circulating about the Crown Health Centre in Haverhill, otherwise known as the walk-in surgery or the Darzi clinic.
Serious thoughts on a passenger link seem to be miles away 09/12/11
I never thought the day would come when I would be forced to admit that Suffolk County Council were taking one of Haverhill’s most important issues more seriously than Haverhill Town Council.
Community centres won't be viable without a community 05/12/11
There are going to be a lot of houses built in Haverhill – maybe delayed a little by the economic climate, but inevitable eventually – and over the next few years we shall see more detailed plans for...
Yet another survey, but do it anyway to see if you agree with me 25/11/11
Not for the first time, the impression surfaces this week that Haverhill must be the most surveyed town in Britain.
What broadcasting model should we be looking at for Haverhill? 18/11/11
All of a sudden, local broadcasting seems to be on the Haverhill agenda for the first time for the best part of 20 years.
Torch has the potential to put our town in a new light 11/11/11
So Haverhill has finally gained acceptance as part of the real world, betokened by the promise of the Olympic Torch visiting us, among the other 1,000-odd places on the map announced this week.
What should we sign up to in the way of promotion? 04/11/11
The move to replace Haverhill’s welcome signs on the entrance roads should provide plenty of food for discussion, it appears from the first part of the process when the proposal was put to the area working party last week.
In the current High Street conundrum there may be a bigger question 27/10/11
Last week’s special meeting devoted to the issue of how to take forward improvements to Haverhill High Street was unusual in many ways.
Public concern means its time for joined-up thinking on Hamlet Road 10/10/11
To be honest, Haverhill Town Council meetings nowadays are usually quite quiet affairs – a mixture of information and low-level debate, witnessed by few, if any, residents other than us pen-pushers.
Our politicians should own up to their clear mistakes 03/10/11
All this good weather has been a bit rough on children, parents and teachers, who have just knuckled down to a new term after a summer holiday of the usual damp, changeable climate.
Prettiness is Haverhill's best-kept secret - unfortunately 23/09/11
If you have had the chance to comment on what services you think St Edmundsbury Borough Council could save money on, I wonder where such activities as marketing and promotion figured in you deliberations.
Whatever the anomalies, it's time to make pedestrianisation happen 17/09/11
As the potential ramifications of Suffolk County Council’s latest ideas for traffic management in Haverhill town centre begin to unfold, I expect there will be all sorts of anomalies floating to the surface.
High Street conundrum results from years of compromise 10/09/11
If you were trying to drag something out as long as possible you couldn’t make a much better job of it than Suffolk County Council have done with Haverhill High Street’s traffic regulations.
Have your say about Haverhill next week - if they'll let you 02/09/11
So what bugs you most about Haverhill? Traffic, shops, parking, facilities, transport, crime – any of those? If so, you can get it off your chest at a public meeting next week.
New school year starts with a new educational landscape 30/08/11
When the schools re-start next week we shall see the beginning of a new educational landscape in the Haverhill area.
As more pubs bite the dust, who is to blame? 16/11/08
A few years ago – the last time I was in Nottingham – I took the opportunity to visit The Trip To Jerusalem, the pub in the city centre which dates, as a far as I remember, from 1154.
From a joke to a world-beater in 20 years - can we do the same? 12/08/11
After a week when two highly unlikely things happened on top of each other – children rampaging and looting city streets for four nights running, and England becoming world number one at test cricket...
Who is making money out of Haverhill staying as it is? 05/08/11
Despite Haverhill probably being the most surveyed and consulted town in Britain in recent years, the end results of all that analysis have been hard to discern.
It's time to pull together to keep town centre traffic-free 02/08/11
Either the blitz on illegal parking in Haverhill town centre has worked, or else the police have got fed up with imposing it, because there were only three fixed penalty notices issued to vehicles over the past week.
Whatever next on the Haverhill retail merry-go-round? 25/07/11
The Haverhill retail merry-go-round is certainly spinning at the moment, if everything one hears is to be believed.
Town councillors need to be careful about bandying around 'elitist' tag 15/07/11
The spending of public money has become a much more closely scrutinised process than it ever used to be, thanks to a variety of influences – the Freedom of Information Act, the rise of the Internet, the financial crash, etc.
How much are the council moguls costing us? 09/07/11
As weeks go in the media world this has been a seismic one nationally, but there has been a curious parallel to national events at a more local level.
Fun in the streets, but should community be looking at the far horizon? 04/07/11
Anyone who stubbornly retains the old tendencies to knock Haverhill in general would have done well to get out and about in the town over the last week or so to see several aspects of a positive community in action.
It's summertime, so why haven't we got any tourists? 24/06/11
Well, it’s Midsummer Day and the weather isn’t too bad, although a bit changeable, but where are the tourists? I have to admit to being one of those people who is surprised to see a tourist in Haverhill.
We are starting to decide priorities by who shouts loudest 17/06/11
Two or three things have occurred this week that have made me wonder about the way we – the public – can get the things done in our community which we want doing.
Feedback shows how people find the town centre colourless 10/06/11
Do you remember Vision 2031? Earlier this year there was a lot about it because it’s the fancy name for the consultation about the development framework for Haverhill.
When the public complains about the public, what do the police do? 07/06/11
Consulting the public is a dangerous enterprise, as Haverhill’s police found out again last night, when the public told them something which, I suspect, they didn’t want to hear.
Retail departures require thought but not panic 27/05/11
It’s always the same in this plate-spinning life – the minute you get one thing balanced right, something else wobbles off and goes wrong, and Haverhill is no exception.
How are our NEETS going to mingle with our entrepreneurs? 20/05/11
Two contrasting Haverhill events over the past week served to bring into focus one of the most pressing problems the town faces at the moment – its young unemployed people.
Under-played drama of annual meetings produces new scenery 13/05/11
Anyone unfamiliar with local government who attended Haverhill Town Council’s annual meetings at Haverhill Arts Centre on Tuesday evening would have left rather mystified.
Did anyone see any signs of Royal Wedding fever? 02/15/11
Did you enjoy it, then? All that pomp and ceremony? Or did you just enjoy having a day off work? Or did you moan about it being a bank holiday at all? I think you’d have to be a hard-hearted c...
Whose rules and regulations are we playing by now? 22/04/11
It’s hard to find anyone with a good word to say for ‘Elf An Safety’ nowadays, but it was not always so.
Changing views of public sector have come very late in the day 15/04/11
If you want to get a better insight into the changing world of employment and how different life is going to be for public sector workers forced into the private sector, you could not do better than listen to current planning debates in Haverhill.
It's time for everyone to give the Rec some TLC 08/04/11
Lovely weather we’re having for the time of year - but it brings out one of my old gripes which never seems to be addressed.
There's no quick fix likely for Haverhill's town centre shoppers 01/04/11
So what, in the end, did the town centre shopping survey tell us? It said shoppers want a wider range of non-food products, and would like to see big national chains like Marks and Spencer in town.
If you can't make developers pay, who's going to build the roads? 25/03/11
I suppose it is in the nature of responses to crisis that measures proposed for dealing with it will often contradict each other.
Factory fire highlights good and bad about fire service cuts 18/03/11
In a week when momentous world news has resonated locally – How good are the sea defences at Sizewell? How much more expensive can diesel and petrol get? – Haverhill’s mini-drama of last weekend may well pass almost unnoticed.
This level of disorder is so new we don't know what to call it 11/03/11
Anyone who has ever been to a public meeting will know that the ability to express yourself clearly and, preferably, succinctly is very advantageous.
In a changing world we may find ouselves back where we started 04/03/11
Over the years there have been several occasions when the cyclical nature of things is brought home to us, at local, national and even international levels.
How much is a degree of local independence worth? 25/02/11
Amid all the controversy of Haverhill Town Council agreeing a 20 per cent rise in their fraction of our council tax for the coming year, there was one word which will have struck a chord with anyone...
Vision has got to mean more than parking, street furniture and low crime 18/02/11
So here we are at last – welcome to my long-awaited efforts to wrestle with the question of why anyone would want to come to Haverhill now, or at any time over the next 20 years.
Planning summit scores five out of ten from sceptical observer 11/02/11
If you have been waiting with bated breath for the continuation of last week’s cavalcade of ideas for Haverhill’s future success, you’ll have to wait another seven days, I’m afraid.
Forward-looking or a backwater? Maybe it depends on your age 04/02/11
On Tuesday those of us who attended the first consultation event about the next Haverhill Masterplan had the chance to stick post-it labels with our ideas for the town’s future onto blank spaces under various headings.
Tiny signs of change must grow to encourage the private sector 28/01/11
In a week when Andy Gray and Richard Keys discovered painfully what happens to you when you don’t adapt to changing times, it was encouraging to notice the odd crack appearing in some of the rigid cou...
You can make all the decisions except where the money comes from 21/01/11
Wherever I go at the moment it seems there is only one fundamental issue everyone is talking about – change due to financial cuts.
Please stop asking me questions and just implement some answers 14/01/11
Am I alone in becoming rather confused about my status with regard to local and national government and our many service providers? I used to be a ratepayer and a taxpayer.
Upside down world may be good for cricket but can leave politics in ashes 07/01/11
It doesn’t seem possible that a decade has already gone by since we celebrated the Millennium, but Haverhill Local History Group’s latest exhibition proves that to be the case.
Does this new year deserve the traditional welcome? 31/12/10
As we roll on into another year, I imagine there may be many people who view the prospect with trepidation rather than the more traditional anticipation.
Surveying Haverhill from the air on a whistlestop tour 24/12/10
Christmas Eve is just such a tiring day - I’m still working away at analysing this survey, and I haven’t even started to write Hart Of The Matter for this week.
What type of housing shall we cover our countryside with? 17/12/10
So now it’s official. The location for the next big wave of housing development is to be north-east Haverhill, between the Chalkstone and Calford Green. St Edmundsbury Borough Council agreed the core...
As council strips off, we'll have to pick up the underwear 10/12/10
Regular readers of this column will know that I like to raise your awareness of new words which are going to become important as they appear over the horizon of local government jargonese.
Come to Haverhill, where at least the weather won't disrupt your business 03/12/10
There must have been quite a few disappointed children around this week, as schools all over the country from Scotland to Cornwall were closed due to the weather conditions and yet the snow stubbornly...
Railway renewal must be completely barmy... or is it? 26/11/10
Over the years I have attended quite a few pressure group meetings at Haverhill Town Hall, now the arts centre, but none quite so hopelessly utopian, on the face of it, as those of the Cambridge to Sudbury Rail Renewal Association.
Not enough signs of continuing council commitment 19/11/10
Finding fault with council planners can be a bit of a turkey shoot from time to time, but we should always put it into context by asking what we would have done in the same situation if we had been in charge.
There's only One Haverhill... but whose going to carry the can? 12/11/10
Here’s a new phrase to get familiar with – and remember, you read it here first – because it may well become much-used and/or abused in the near future: One Haverhill.
It's time to blow apart the water company's little scheme 05/11/10
The rapid growth of Halloween has tended to eclipse the importance of this particular date in the calendar.
Remembrance is also about the survivors whose inheritance we have squandered 29/10/10
Every year, as poppies got on sale, I wonder whether this Remembrance thing will go on for ever, or whether succeeding generations will begin to tire of it and lose interest.
Was it fear or apathy which prevented debate on the Project site scheme? 22/10/10
On the street and on the message boards of this site, yesterday’s decision by the council to refuse permission for development of the former Project site for shops and business units seems to have been an extremely unpopular one.
In the Project Cup final between planners and developers, who's the hero and who's the villain? 15/10/10
It looks as though the scheme to redevelop the former Project site in Haverhill is going to come to an exciting climax worthy of a Victorian melodrama next week.
New homes will only benefit town if there is a growth in economic fairness 08/10/10
The ongoing debate about how much Haverhill should grow, how quickly and in what locations, takes it for granted that growth in some form would be beneficial.
If councils have nothing to do, why would we need them at all? 01/10/10
Around a decade ago the leader of a newly-elected council somewhere in England was doing a tour of the departments which provided its various services.
Enjoy the build-up as another survey whizzes past 24/09/10
For a town which mostly seems not to register on national radar at all, Haverhill certainly gets examined enough by experts.
If we are all going to be working, who's left to volunteer? 17/09/10
So we are all going to have to work until we drop.
If we're in charge, we'd better take some responsibility 10/09/10
If you’re as old as me you may remember a comedy series of the 1970s in which Robert Lindsay made his name, called Citizen Smith.
Reason suggests the arts centre's grant should continue 03/09/10
I hope I am right in thinking that the panic button has been pushed a little early about Haverhill Arts Centre.
Even an old cricket fan enjoys the new football stadium 27/08/10
Have you been along to support your local football team yet this season? No? Shame on you! Well, perhaps not, because I can’t say I have been a regular follower of Haverhill Rovers through the years, other than through the medium of print.
We all need each other's skills - so what's wrong with paying for them? 20/08/10
Sadly it does seem as though the ominous sound of belt-tightening up in the spheres of Government is beginning to produce squeals of pain down here on earth in Haverhill.
If they give up on traffic ban - off with their heads! 06/08/10
For all that they are supposed to be surrealistic nonsense, Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking-Glass have an uncanny habit of proving a lot closer to the truth in our upside-down world.
What will fill the habitat of each extinct quango? 31/07/10
When I first heard of quangos I thought they were animals.
Let's hope the vanishing care home doesn't end up somewhere else 24/07/10
Well, that just shows how wrong you can be! Back in March, I wrote in this column about the plan to redevelop the site of Chalkstone Middle School as a state-of-the-art care home, and said of Suffolk...
Nice paving and lampposts - but where's the gratitude? 16/07/10
You have to hand it to St Edmundsbury Council in recent years – they do try very hard to get people to like them and show some gratitude for all the great things they have done.
Learning greater consideration could save a lot more than axing school buildings 09/07/10
All we seem to hear about at the moment is cutbacks of one kind or another.
Are we downhearted? No, probably not enough, yet 02/07/10
You might think that after Sunday afternoon’s sporting debacle in South Africa, and George Osborne’s doom-laden budget, people would be feeling a bit down.
Now is the moment to make a plea for sport in hard times 25/06/10
If, like me, you are struggling to keep up with the wave of sporting excitement which has engulfed us in recent days, perhaps it is time to sit back, draw breath and think of something else.
Is Haverhill set for another house-building tsunami? 18/06/10
Whether or not you believe in ‘new politics’, you have to admit that you do not always get what you expect from the people you elect nowadays, even if it’s your choice that gets in.
It's time to hit the cheap alcohol not the kids who drink it 11/06/10
Every month various agencies in Haverhill, led by the police, get together to sort out any particular problems which have arisen anywhere in the town which could threaten people’s safety in any way.
What's in a name? Sometimes, a bit too much 04/06/10
It is often said - and I should know because I’ve often said it – that one of Haverhill’s problems is that it does not have a particular image to conjure up in the mind of visitors.
New politics filters down but still has a long way to go 28/05/10
Now we are all settling down to the ‘new politics’ of coalition Government, the dust is also beginning to settle on some of its new policies and how they might affect Haverhill.
The art of debate is alive and well. Let's use it. 21/05/10
I went along to a debate in Haverhill yesterday, but it wasn’t between politicians opposed to or defending the new coalition, it was between schoolchildren about something very important to them – and very impressive it was, too.
Not everything fits together as neatly as a coalition 14/05/10
What a week! Although change is all around us and moving faster all the time, no one seems to have been ready for the political roller-coaster which ended in the almost fairytale optimism of the garden at 10 Downing Street.
A mystic utterance from democracy in action (mostly) 07/05/10
So, the country has spoken, but as I write this (around 10am) no one is quite sure what it has said, other than that it doesn’t really know its own mind.
The deluge must not wash important things away 30/04/10
The elephant in the room at the moment goes by the name of Cuts.
Achievements of dull councils will pass unnoticed 23/04/10
If you have never been to a council meeting – and I guess that’s pretty much everyone because virtually nobody other than councillors or reporters attends in Haverhill – it probably sounds very dull.
Surviving the the nightmare of getting elected 16/04/10
In case you were unaware of it, there is a certain event due to happen on May 6 and, until it does happen, in the interests of democracy, this column needs to remain unbiased and fair to all sides whi...
One size fits all doesn't work for town retail offer 09/04/10
The unexpected little retail and business park scheme which has come forward to revive the former Project site has brought into sharp focus again all the quirks which exist in the way we view how Haverhill should develop.
A vision of education for a changing world 02/04/10
Not that I believe any of this star signs rubbish, but Taureans like me are not supposed to be very keen on change, and I have to admit that is not a good starting point in the 21st century.
A wonderful opportunity that has nearly passed us by 26/03/10
It is not difficult to understand why people generally have a poor view of their public representatives nowadays – and not just because of the scandal of MPs’ expenses.
A place where people matter most can be tidy, too 19/03/10
When I first worked in Haverhill, and its reputation as a town was rather poor, it used to surprise me that so many people who moved away found themselves drawn back here, often saying they had not found anywhere else as nice.
Partnership should punch through the invisible wall 12/03/10
After perceiving some joined-up thinking at work within Suffolk County Council last week, in using the site of the soon-to-be-redundant Chalkstone Middle School for a replacement for Place Court care...
Chalkstone plan - joined-up thinking or railroading? 05/03/10
If the economic catastrophes of the last couple of years are going to produce anything positive, you would think it would be in the way they teach us to pay a bit more attention to what we spend money on.
Skeletal remains of a giant Haverhill institution 26/02/10
Anyone writing or filming a social history of Britain could do a lot worse than focus their attention on little old Haverhill.
Groups need people, not cash, to deal with bureaucracy 19/02/10
There have been all sorts of ideas put forward for a share in the Haverhill Community Partnership pot, and next week decisions will be made about which ones will get something – in fact you may get a chance to vote on it.
Relieved at Bury council's survival? Amazing! 12/02/10
It is a tribute to the work of councillors and officers of St Edmundsbury Borough Council in recent years that Haverhill people will probably be rather relieved to hear that the council is to continue...
Economic recovery never seems to apply to lost services
I suppose it is a natural result of the economic catastrophes of the last year or two that there will be cuts in services and rises in taxes, whether they be paid to local or national tiers of government.
We should talk about council tax more before it hits us 29/01/10
It’s that time of year again when the minds of councillors and officers turns to budgets and council tax (yawn).
Haverhill should not have to be afraid of car parking charges 22/01/10
There was the inevitable whimpering this week as car parking charges were raised in St Edmundsbury, including Haverhill.
Exhibition shows how much Haverhill has lost 15/01/10
If you get a chance over the next few weeks, pop in and take a look at Haverhill Local History Group’s exhibition about the lost commercial buildings of Haverhill.
Gurteen site could be the key to elusive 'civic pride' 08/01/10
The development brief for the Gurteen site in Haverhill is likely to provoke a good deal of interest, argument and controversy over the next however many years it is until a scheme finally comes to fruition.
One decade of progress needs to usher in another 31/12/09
So we have come to the end of another year – indeed, another decade, which always makes it seem more significant – but the most astonishing thing to me is that it is now ten years since the Millennium.
Change is at hand, but is it the right amount? 24/12/09
After nearly a week of slithering around on the white stuff, one might be forgiven for thinking we have suddenly been transported to eastern Europe or Alaska.
It really is time to enforce the law in High Street 19/12/09
I can’t say I’m sorry to see the police being persuaded to crack down on driving and parking illegally in Haverhill High Street.
Flagging up only the best puts us all in a spin 12/12/09
I wish I’d had my own personal spin doctor when I was young.
Local roads are likely to be a bumpy ride for Santa 04/12/09
As Christmas comes galloping towards us again I notice I can tick off one of the items on my list to Santa before I’ve even sent it.
Flood defences have left us an ugly legacy 27/11/09
After the horrendous experiences of the residents of Workington and Cockermouth last week, it is not surprising if people are beginning to get a bit twitchy about global warming.
Enjoy the countryside around us while it's still here 20/11/09
When Haverhill’s business exhibition was on last month, as well as showing the wide variety of products which the town has a hand in creating or manufacturing, it was also an opportunity for people li...
Lessons from the past show no sign of fading 13/11/09
Standing in the afternoon sunshine up at Haverhill Cemetery on Sunday and looking around at a good crowd of people who had come out to support the parade, I was encouraged that this Remembrance thing...
What is Haverhill really like? 06/11/09
All right, own up! Who has sat there in our new(ish) Prezzo, taking in the pleasant ambience, the enjoyable environment and agreeable conversation of friends or family, and has either leant back and s...
Increasing signs of activity for lorry-spotters 30/10/09
You could tell it was getting close to the official opening of the refurbished Queen Street when the last bit of Lordscroft Lane finally started getting resurfaced this week.
Tesco is a starting point, not a solution 23/10/09
You may have seen recently the surprisingly dramatic call by the chairman of business group Haverhill Enterprise for the demolition of Queen’s Square and the north side of Queen Street.
Bus station may be a warning for the future 16/10/09
Anyone who has been down to Jubilee Walk and seen elderly people with shopping trolleys or mums with pushchairs struggling through or round the new Meccano assault course which council engineers have...
Change really can be for the better – 09/10/09
There comes a time in life when viewing a documentary is no longer a history lesson but is now just a trip down memory lane.
Hart of the Matter 02/10/09
I can’t quite recall who it was – some long-forgotten minor British prime minister, I think – who came up with the phrase about feeling the ‘hand of history’ on his shoulder.
David Hart is Back
Well, hello again. It’s not quite a year since I disappeared from view in another place, and here I am again, thanks to the wonders of modern technology. Firstly, let me apologise to those dinosaurs...
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