CRAIG HOY invited residents and regular visitors to take part in his online survey “Help Craig to Help Haddington”.
Nearly 300 residents, business owners and visitors from nearby villages participated in the survey and he is pleased to have released the headline results and his “Five Point Plan of Action” for the town.
Craig says: “It’s clear that Haddington is a beautiful town with a lot to offer those who live, work and move here. But beyond the current Covid crisis, there are also some major local issues to address.”
Craig asked residents to explain how they felt about a number of key indicators, from the state of buildings to the issues of pollution, to satisfaction with dental and GP surgeries.
Craig says: “This is a fantastic place to live, work and play. But we owe it to everyone who lives and visits to improve the town centre. That means preserving parking, tidying up the town and making sure each and every visitor feels welcome.”
Craig is particularly concerned about the lack of facilities for young people (which scored the lowest of all indicators at just 2.3 out of 5) and will shortly announce key plans to address this issue across East Lothian, which needs collective action and funding.
Table 1: Residents Views on Key Issues (from 1 to 5 with 1 being ‘very poor’)
Other key concerns include the lack of affordable housing, litter, the state of roads and pavements, the maintenance of some buildings, particularly in the vicinity of Brown Street and some of our historic closes, and the lack of hotel and tourist facilities which could hamper the local economic recovery post-Covid.
Many residents took time to flag up problems associated with alcohol, drugs and Anti-Social Behaviour, often involving youths in the town centre.
These were the three biggest concerns raised about the town centre in Craig’s survey. While Craig wants to maintain some sense of perspective on these issues he also wants action on what is a clear problem facing town centre residents.
Table 2: Residents Concerns About Key Issues (on a Scale of 1 to 5 – with 5 being ‘very concerned’).
Craig adds: “Haddington may be no worse than any other town but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the problem. In recent months, I have worked closely with local Police and the Anti-Social Behaviour team and have joined a local multi-agency Problem Solving Partnership. But we need to do more.”
He says: “It is clear that serious concerns persist and I want to lead a concerted effort to deal with the causes and effects of Anti-Social Behaviour. So let’s work together to fix this problem once and for all.”
Craig’s Top Five Priorities for Haddington Town Centre: