Suburb fights alone
ISMAIL MOUSA has been cleaning up rubbish and broken bottles in Mt Albert every day for 10 years.
Mr Mousa, from Kuwait, says helping out makes him happy.
“People in this country should be helping each other,” he says.
But he’s becoming frustrated by the lack of assistance from Auckland City Council.
“Sometimes I go away and come back and find papers blowing around and bottles blowing around,” he says.
“There should be someone who cares for this area.”
But Mt Albert has been left out of the council’s proposed budget top-up for street cleaning.
Remuera, Mission Bay and St Heliers are among the eight suburbs in line for extra attention.
Eden Albert Community Board member Pauline Anderson is frustrated at missing out.
“I’ve lived here for nearly 22 years and I’m sick of the fact Mt Albert gets nothing,” she says.
“The few nice things we have got are the direct result of the business owners doing the hard work.”
She says the work shouldn’t be left to residents like Mr Mousa.
“I don’t think we have any idea how much he actually does. Without him goodness knows what the place would look like.”
Mt Albert does receive 90 minutes of street cleaning services a day, more than several other centres.
Suburbs missing out entirely include Mt Eden Village, Balmoral, Royal Oak, Greenwoods Corner and all of Dominion Rd’s shopping strips.
The proposed budget increase would give St Heliers, Ellerslie and Mission Bay service for the first time.
Remuera, Onehunga, Glen Innes, Otahuhu and Panmure would get a top-up on existing levels.
Town centres were chosen for the $400,000 budget boost based on demand for service and the need to have the same level of cleanliness across the city.
Maungakiekie Community Board chairwoman Bridget Graham says she’s thrilled to see Onehunga on the list.
“We have brought up in annual plan submissions quite often that extra cleaning is needed,” she says.
“I’m delighted that at last someone has decided the centres aren’t clean enough.”
Street amenity services manager Kevin Marriott says cleaning orderlies work during daytime hours to clean up litter, empty bins, remove graffiti and service public toilets.
Community boards will have a chance to comment on the proposal before being signed off by the arts, culture and recreation committee.
What’s your town centre like? Email a letter to edcl@ snl.co.nz. All letters will be considered for publication unless marked otherwise.
Clean up: Pauline Anderson with some of the bottles collected by Ismail Mousa from the Mt Albert shops. Ms Anderson says Auckland City Council should be doing more to help with the clean-up.