In May 2016 Haverhill Town Council commenced its part time Parish Handyman service which was replaced by a full time Community Warden in July 2019. The idea behind the Community Warden 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 Community Warden as a replacement for reduced services. We won’t compete with the District or County Council, or any housing association, 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 Community Warden on remedying long-standing issues.
The Community Warden 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 Ehringshausen Way car park. The Community Warden will also tackle overhanging trees and hedges, mow verges and paint street furniture. The ownership of these things is immaterial – what matters to the Town 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 well being.
The ethos underpinning the work of the Community Warden 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.