In May 2016 Haverhill Town Council commenced its Parish Handyman service. The idea behind the Parish Handyman is to improve the quality of life in Haverhill by tackling public realm issues that are simply not being addressed as quickly or as well as we would like, by those who have a legal responsibility to do so.
Generally speaking most public bodies will only look after their own assets and in times where funding for such work is tight, they do what they can. The Town Council does not regard the parish handyman as a replacement for reduced services. We won’t compete with the Borough or County Council, or Havebury Housing to get to a new issue and resolve it before they can. These bodies have established systems for the public to report issues such as fly-tipping, potholes or damage. We focus the Handyman on remedying long-standing issues.
The Parish Handyman clears litter from areas of land where ownership is unknown or it is privately owned ‘public areas’, such as some of the walkways between the High Street and Eringshausen Way car park. The Handyman will also tackle overhanging trees and hedges, mow verges and paint street furniture. The ownership of these things is immaterial – what matters to the Council is whether Haverhill is a nice place to live and rusty street furniture, litter, weeds and overgrown walkways don’t contribute to a sense of wellbeing.
The ethos underpinning the work of the Handyman is that of community self-help and pride in where we live. Therefore we encourage residents to adopt their verges or green spaces and, if it is safe for them to do so, look after them in the same way they look after their own front garden.