Break-in kept quiet

Coun­cil si­lence stuns vol­un­teer groups

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - DAMIAN BESTER

MEM­BERS of two of New Nor­folk’s hard­work­ing vol­un­tary groups are dumb­founded that the Der­went Val­ley Coun­cil did not ad­vise them of a re­cent break-in at their shared head­quar­ters.

Ex­ten­sive dam­age was dis­cov­ered in one of the build­ings at the Carinya Ed­u­ca­tion Park in Blair St last week when Der­went Val­ley Tidy Towns mem­bers went to col­lect equip­ment for one of the group’s reg­u­lar com­mu­nity clean-ups.

When they re­ported the find­ing to the Der­went Val­ley Coun­cil — which leases the build­ing from the Crown — they found the coun­cil had known about the in­ci­dent for a fort­night.

A Tidy Towns spokesman said the coun­cil did not re­gard the dam­age as sig­nif­i­cant but ex­ten­sive dam­age was done to walls and doors as well as to the con­tents of the rooms.

The build­ing is also used by the Friends of Fras­cati to store equip­ment for its work­ing bees at the his­toric house and gar­den the group cares for at Wil­low Court. The Carinya build­ing is also used by a num­ber of other com­mu­nity groups for meet­ings and stor­age.

Ev­ery door was kicked in and graf­fiti was painted on many walls and doors.

The Tidy Towns spokesman said that far from be­ing in­signif­i­cant, the in­ci­dent at Carinya amounted to break­ing and en­ter­ing, bur­glary, van­dal­ism and de­struc­tion of prop­erty.

“A win­dow was bro­ken to gain en­try and once in­side, ev­ery locked door was kicked in,” he said.

Rooms were ran­sacked, prop­erty was thrown around and spe­cial paint in­tended for use in graf­fiti clean-ups was in­stead used to de­face the walls and doors.

Mem­bers of the two groups were dis­heart­ened by the coun­cil’s re­sponse be­cause they are of­fi­cial coun­cil vol­un­teers and mem­bers of coun­cil com­mit­tees ap­pointed un­der the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act.

But Der­went Val­ley Mayor Mar­tyn Evans said the Val­ley’s clean-up group was ex­tremely val­ued.

“For me, I would like to see Tidy Towns’ dam­aged prop­erty re­placed, and I would wel­come with open arms a grant ap­pli­ca­tion to fix the dam­age,” he said.

“Tidy Towns is very valu­able for our com­mu­nity. They are like a work­force and re­ally beau­tify the town.

“Th­ese vol­un­teers are a fab­ric of the com­mu­nity.”

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