Monday 29th April 2019

I remember being instantly intrigued when I took the phone call.

Sarah Howard, who had done so much to bring about success for ONE Haverhill Partnership, was stepping down as Chair.

Sarah asked if I had considered standing for election as Chair – an open process available to all board members.

I had been on the board of ONE Haverhill Partnership for three years and had proudly watched it grow and create a real difference.

It’s impact on creating so many apprenticeship opportunities was a prime example of how it could bring about substantial and successful change in our town.

I didn’t have to think too long about standing for election and I was delighted to win a vote of board members in September 2016.

It has been a whirlwind three years and I have relished the opportunity to lead an organisation that remains so passionate about Haverhill.

Any success the town has comes about because of people – and the commitment and drive they have for changing our community for the better.

We all want Haverhill to be the best it can be for everyone who lives, works and visits our town and I think ONE Haverhill Partnership should be rightly proud of its achievements.

I write this as my term as Chair draws to a close in September 2019. I still have a few months left before I complete my three-year role – the maximum length of term stipulated within the constitution of the organisation.  

But thoughts inevitably turn towards a successor.

Once again, this will be done through an election where all board members get an equal vote.

The exception is any officer from the three tiers of local council who are a vital part of the day-to-day achievements of ONE Haverhill Partnership, but who are not allowed to vote.

In future columns, I will pay tribute and give thanks to those who have helped and supported me during my chairmanship.

I have no doubt that the calibre of candidates will be high as there are so many people willing to help bring about change and improvements throughout our town.

It is a fantastic, hugely satisfying, role and one that brings about huge levels of support from colleagues and throughout all three tiers of local government.

With representatives from across councils, education, health, police, the volunteer sector, faiths, housing, leisure, Citizens Advice and the business community, it is impossible for everyone to agree on everything.

But that level of representation also brings about fresh ideas, healthy challenges and a real chance to make a difference.

I, for one, am very glad I took that phone call from Sarah and I look forward to continuing to support ONE Haverhill Partnership as a board member representing Suffolk Chamber in Haverhill and District.

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