In less than four weeks time, Tim Marks will become mayor of St Edmundsbury Borough Council.
It is an achievement in itself but it becomes all the more important to local people as he is the first Haverhill resident to have been successfully nominated for the post since Mary Martin took on the role in 1998 – 14 years ago.
A Haverhill town councillor from 2003 to 2007, a Suffolk County Councillor since 2005, a borough councillor since 2007 and mayor of Haverhill from 2004 to 2006 Cllr Tim Marks will become mayor at a mayor making ceremony at the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds in May. He and his wife, Margaret have lived in Haverhill for the past 12 years and in addition to being part of St John Ambulance, he was a founding member of Haverhill Community First Responders.
Although the role is apolitical, the 75 year-old is hoping that his new post will enable him to make changes for the better in the local community – in particular, changing people’s perceptions of the town he’s called home for more than a decade.
“I think it’s important that Haverhill has at long last got a mayor of the borough,” Cllr Marks explains. “The last one was in 1998 and since that time the investment in Haverhill has been absolutely enormous and the changes here have been enormous in terms of demographics.
“We’ve had a lot of growth and I would say we have got a lot of young professionals here now who balance out the rest of the town.”
Cllr Marks also believes that the town’s amenities and facilities are being improved as the town grows but there are a few bugbears that he wants to address during his year as mayor, such as the long-running saga of the pedestrianisation of Haverhill’s High Street.
“The abuse of the High Street is appalling. If a PCSO (Police Community Support Officer), was match funded by the town council then they would have a say in what that PCSO does, which could be parking enforcement and I would very much like to see that happen,” he comments.
He would also like to see the construction of a northwest relief road that links the A143 to the Meadowlands roundabout to reduce traffic, which is close to his own home on Withersfield Road, Haverhill.
Cllr Marks has selected St Nicholas Hospice Care and Haverhill-based charity REACH as his two mayoral charities during his term in office.