Off their trol­leys

Coun­cil and West­field at log­ger­heads

Monthly Chronicle - - Front Page - Jenny Bar­lass

Hornsby Coun­cil­lor Nathan Til­bury is ac­cus­ing West­field of mak­ing mis­lead­ing state­ments over the decades long prob­lem of aban­doned trol­leys.

He dis­agrees with claims made by West­field that it is cur­rently work­ing with Hornsby Coun­cil to find a so­lu­tion.

“We haven’t had any con­tact with West­field for over four months,” he said. “The last con­tact was us ask­ing them for a con­crete pro­posal to end this prob­lem. We have heard noth­ing since then.

“If West­field are claim­ing they’re in con­tin­u­ing con­ver­sa­tions with Hornsby Coun­cil on the aban­doned trol­ley is­sue, it’s sim­ply un­true. I’m calling them out on this.”

In what ap­pears to be ei­ther a se­ries of half-hearted mea­sures or a poor PR stunt, last week West­field put up signs ask­ing peo­ple not to take their trol­leys out of the cen­tre as over 500 are found aban­doned around cen­tral Hornsby at any one time.

West­field also posted guards at ex­its for four days re­mind­ing peo­ple they can’t leave with trol­leys. Free ‘granny trol­leys’ were given out, en­abling peo­ple to trans­fer their shop­ping to a more user-friendly re­cep­ta­cle to wheel them home or to their car.

At the same time a se­nior man­ager from Coles flew up from Mel­bourne for a meet­ing with Hornsby West­field and hopes soared that West­field were fi­nally se­ri­ous about fix­ing this prob­lem.

How­ever a few days later there were no guards posted on ex­its and shop­pers were ig­nor­ing the signs. Hornsby Coun­cil’s Gen­eral Man­ager Steve Fe­dorow vis­ited West­field and watched as trol­ley-push­ing shop­pers read the sign be­fore car­ry­ing on through the doors, ig­nor­ing it.

Coun­cil had not been made aware of West­field’s signs and guards un­til it ac­tu­ally hap­pened, said Cllr Til­bury.

It fol­lows over a year of pre­var­i­ca­tion by West­field who, af­ter promis­ing to in­stall the wheel-lock­ing sys­tem within the cen­tre, then said it wanted to see it in­stalled in the four ex­its to the Mall in the sur­round­ing streets.

Cllr Til­bury added: “Coun­cil has ex­pressed reser­va­tions about this as it will clut­ter up the Mall and push re­spon­si­bil­ity for clear­ing aban­doned trol­leys to Coun­cil, at the ratepay­ers’

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