Town Centre bench refurbishment

Visitors to Haverhill town centre in recent days may have noticed that nearly all the public benches, 22 in total, have received a much-needed make-over. Haverhill Town Council is committed to making the High Street and Queen Street a nicer place to visit and so embarked on the refurbishment project that has seen all manner of improvements made, including replacing grimy wood, painting chipped metal work, and substituting worn-out fixings.

The street furniture is owned by West Suffolk Council; Colin Poole Haverhill Town Clerk explains why the town council was happy to get involved.

“Our town councillors recognise that there are always competing calls on West Suffolk’s budgets, and never more so than in the midst of a pandemic. Town councils have a specific remit to look out for their own community,  improve wellbeing, and make Haverhill a pleasant place to live, work and visit.  The benches may not be ours to maintain, but they are ours to sit on, so I support the judgement of our town councillors when they decided this was a project worthy of our attention.”

Aaron Luccarini who represents Haverhill in West Suffolk Council as well as being a member of Haverhill Town Council for Haverhill Central added:

“The improved benches have made a huge difference to the street scene and I look forward to seeing them being enjoyed in the nicer weather. Haverhill Town Council staff have done a fantastic job in repairing them. The staff truly deserve all the praise they have received both in person and through social media.”

Ben Prickett, who under normal circumstances works in the technical department of Haverhill Arts Centre led a team of Haverhill Town Council employees, some of whom are furloughed, on the renovations. Ben said

‘Our team mostly had no experience of this type of this work but we went out with a can-do attitude, got stuck in, and it really paid off! ‘We’re proud of the result and hope it will make a difference in Haverhill for years to come.’

Local company Bradnams supplied the wood and work continues to finish all the benches.

Cllr Susan Glossop, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Growth, who chairs the Haverhill Masterplan Group said:

‘During the pandemic West Suffolk Council has concentrated on supporting businesses and the most vulnerable while delivering services in these very challenging times and conditions. The Council has worked very closely with partners in Haverhill, including the Town Council, One Haverhill business representatives and Suffolk County Councillors on a range of initiatives. This way of partnership working is a model we will pursue across West Suffolk and it has helped deliver this initiative in Haverhill. I hope, as soon as the national COVID guidance allows, people will be able to get back into Haverhill town centre and use these benches’

Notes:

Facebook quotes

‘Good workmanship – thank you.’

‘Wow! That’s awesome!

‘Saw them at work, they’re doing a cracking job’

an old bench in the town
staff replacing the wood on an old bench