A real opportunity for people in Haverhill to directly influence how and where money is spent in the town has been given to the community in a new Government pilot. ONE Haverhill is an independent board that is bringing organisations and resources together to make them more effective and efficient in the town. Members of the board include all three tiers of local government, the business sector, education, police, health, the voluntary sector, Havebury Housing, Abbeycroft Leisure and the faith community as one voice with the aim of improving the quality of life for people in Haverhill.
In December 2011, the Government announced that Haverhill had been chosen as one of just 12 areas in the UK to pilot a new way of giving local communities more say in the way budgets are spent.
All organisations will still hold their funding and their responsibilities, but the board will work on bringing organisations round the table to ensure that the money is spent locally to provide the services local people value the most.
Anne Gower, Chair of ONE Haverhill, explains: “We hope people in the town will give their views on the services which are important to them. For the first time ever we as a town have the chance to have a real say in what money is spent on and have a single conversation. For example, it is known that three organisations in the town employ grass cutting services in Haverhill. If we got these three organisations around the table and agreed that one supplier did all three areas of the town and we employ a local supplier then we could make sure the money was spent more efficiently and keep the work in the town.”
ONE Haverhill has identified two key areas of public funding to look at first, monies spent on improving the physical environment and opportunities for young people. Local people will decide which of the areas under these headings are most important through a series of consultations. Representatives from ONE Haverhill have already started to canvass views in the town by attending the torch relay and the Big Day Out event on the Recreation Ground.
A link to ONE Haverhill’s online survey can be found by visiting www.onehaverhill.co.uk, the site of the board’s new website which is currently under development. Paper copies can also be obtained from Haverhill Arts Centre.
For the latest information on ONE Haverhill visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OneHaverhill and follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/onehaverhill]]>