It’s not lights out for trou­bled al­ley

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

The Weka Place al­ley­way in Toko­roa, which runs through to Bal­moral Drive, will not close.

South Waikato District Coun­cil has de­cided to leave the walk­way open and in­crease its light­ing.

Dur­ing last week’s Com­mu­nity and As­sets Com­mit­tee meet­ing coun­cil­lors were given three op­tions: that the walk­way be closed; the walk­way re­main open with in­creased light­ing; and that the walk­way re­main open but gated at night.

Ac­cord­ing to the meet­ing’s agenda, Southtech, who car­ried out the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, spoke to Toko­roa po­lice who high­lighted that 38 oc­cur­rences of wil­ful dam­age have oc­curred over the last six years.

Deputy Mayor Jenny Shat­tock said: ‘‘Of those oc­cur­rences 34 of them were to one par­tic­u­lar house­hold.’’

Coun­cil­lor Adri­enne Bell sug­gested the is­sue was per­sonal.

Weka Place res­i­dent Bob Gabolin­scy who, along with his wife Mar­garet, suf­fered head and fa­cial in­juries dur­ing an as­sault in the al­ley­way ear­lier this year, said South Waikato District coun­cil­lors had made a mis­take.

‘‘You see what will hap­pen . . .With some of th­ese lights all you need to do is belt them once and they will go out.

‘‘Then they will have to re­place them,’’ Mr Gabolin­scy said.

‘‘They [coun­cil­lors] have ab­so­lutely no idea what they are do­ing, they really don’t. I am really dis­ap­pointed in them.

‘‘They didn’t speak to any­one who ac­tu­ally owns a house around here, only those who are rent­ing . . .

‘‘Some houses have been va­cant for two years,’’ he said.

Mr Gabolin­scy said the in­stalled lights would be­come a tar­get for more anti-so­cial be­hav­iour.

‘‘If you put a light down the al­ley­way and all the per­pe­tra­tors will do is belt it and then it will go off.

‘‘Then some­one will have to come and fix it and who knows how much that will end up cost­ing us,’’ he said.

Mr Gabolin­scy said more in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tions should be car­ried out and did not ap­pre­ci­ate that 80 per cent of those ques­tioned dur­ing the coun­cil’s pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process, were chil­dren. ‘‘They need to in­ves­ti­gate. ‘‘We need to have peo­ple to go down there and do re­views.’’

Coun­cil’s Group As­sets man­ager Roger Fisher said staff would in­ves­ti­gate the cost and lo­ca­tion of any light­ing in­cluded in the al­ley­way.

At the con­clu­sion of the de­bate coun­cil­lors War­ren Lee and Lyn Cor­ban voted against the mo­tion, while coun­cil­lor Brenda Watkins ab­stained from vot­ing. Toko­roa Se­nior Sergeant Graeme Hill is urg­ing fam­i­lies un­der stress to seek help in­stead of turn­ing on each other. This mes­sage comes af­ter Toko­roa Po­lice had to at­tend 16 fam­ily vi­o­lence in­ci­dents last week­end. Bay of Plenty re­gional coro­ner Dr Wal­lace Bain will visit Toko­roa Cen­tral School to­day to be part of a les­son around bul­ly­ing.

Th­ese For­est View High School year 9 and 10 stu­dents re­ceived South Waikato may­oral awards for gain­ing 380 mer­its: Hay­ley Gib­son, David Mur­ray, Cam­ryn Ni­cholas, Caleb Nunn, Anisha Te Hiko, Shavaughan Uer­ata, Liam Van der Put­ten, Mikayla Pen­nefa­ther and Cody Tay­lor. Toko­roa rugby player Chelsea Al­ley has been called up to play for the NZ Black Ferns. Al­ley, who at­tended For­est View High School, was flown to Lon­don to join the squad on Mon­day night. De­cem­ber 6 at Glen­shea Park in Pu­taruru. Youth Coun­cil is co­or­di­nat­ing the events. Coun­cil’s com­mu­nity devel­op­ment team is plan­ning a se­ries of neigh­bour­hood par­ties, the first was on Novem­ber 16 in Toko­roa. The fi­nal party for the year will be at Pioneer Re­serve in Ara­puni on Novem­ber 30. Toko­roa Cen­tral School’s new ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing was blessed on Mon­day and opens this week. It was opened and blessed by Robert Toki.

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