Town centre fails to deliver, claims MP
A GROWING Suffolk town is failing to meet the expectations of newcomers, a MP has claimed in an impassioned rally cry to a business community.West Suffolk MP Richard Spring said shoppers were turning their back on Haverhill and called on planners to show the same “development focus” they had in Bury St Edmunds.
A GROWING Suffolk town is failing to meet the expectations of newcomers, a MP has claimed in an impassioned rally cry to a business community.
West Suffolk MP Richard Spring said shoppers were turning their back on Haverhill and called on planners to show the same “development focus” they had in Bury St Edmunds.
Mr Spring said a café society - advocated in Bury - would also benefit Haverhill and more effort needed to be made to attract larger stores.
Speaking at a meeting of the Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Mr Spring said: “A town which suffered from high unemployment and relatively high crime has seen employment grow and crime levels drop below the county average and below that of other comparable towns in Suffolk.
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“There is a much greater sense of optimism about Haverhill and many people now express to me their pleasure and contentment as Haverhill residents.
“Yet the town's infrastructure and the town centre have failed to match the expectations of many of the newcomers who join the exodus from surrounding villages and the town itself to go shopping in Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge.
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“It is a source of the deepest frustration that the town centre fails to attract people sufficiently.”
Mr Spring, West Suffolk MP for seven years, said Haverhill residents are no longer negative in their comments about the town but more still needed to be done.
He added: “I have a clear vision for the town centre - a town centre to match the new, optimistic and outward-looking Haverhill, for a community which is more affluent and demanding than in the past.
“I want to see it be a magnet for people, not only in the town but from the surrounding villages.
“We really need to make a quantum leap in imagination to what it could be.”
Paul Donno, chairman of the newly formed Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Mr Spring's comments saying: “We also believe there is not enough being done to attract people to the town and we will now be looking at what we can do to promote the Haverhill and progress forward.”