Victims of vandals want all alleyways closed
A Tokoroa resident who fought to close the alleyway running beside his house believes all alleyways in Tokoroa should be closed.
Following Bob and Margaret Gabolinscy’s assault from individuals using the alleyway next to their house, public commentary has been rife around whether alleyways should remain open.
Sam Biggerstaff and his wife Sue along with their neighbours were successful in closing their alleyway in 2010 after years of discussions.
Mr Biggerstaff said life was much easier now. ‘‘It is quieter, much quieter.’’ The alleyway’s closure has given the Biggerstaffs the vandalfree life they had always strived for after having their fences kicked in and ripped apart by youth who used to congregate in the alleyway which runs from the end of Mountbatten Place.
South Waikato District Council has 55 alleyways open, while 25 have closed over the years.
‘‘I think that they should all be closed,’’ Mr Biggerstaff said.
After more than four years fighting to have the alleyway closed, the Biggerstaffs received a letter from the council in 2010 advising the couple that they could close the alleyway.
‘‘One day there was a letter in the mail saying that we could close it. It was a bit of an anticlimax after four years of trying to get it closed. We have never seen anyone from council come by, to even see the alleyway now.’’
However, council assets group manager Roger Fisher had earlier explained the closure system as being a potentially lengthy process.
‘‘In order to progress walkway closure the council often has to confer with as many as six neighbouring properties,’’ Mr Fisher said.
‘‘But it is not only these people that are surveyed. Quite often while neighbours wish for the walkway to be closed, there are many other people who use the walkway to get to shops or schools; after all Tokoroa was designed with many walkways for this purpose.’’
Within a week of receiving the letter the alleyway had closed and Mr Biggerstaff had made the necessary adjustments to his fence line.
Tell us what you think, should alleyways in Tokoroa be closed or left open?