Graeme Lynn, who is the president of the Ratepayers Association of Iluka, are gobsmacked by Clarence Valley Council’s failure to respond to their requests, following the removal of four tables from the shelter adjacent to the skate park.
The tables were removed just before Christmas.
“[The council’s open spaces and facilities manager] rang me and stated that Council wanted to take away the tables and chairs from the shelter on Leeson Oval,” Mr Lynn wrote in an email to all of the valley’s councillors.
“His reasoning was a small number of kids were causing trouble and this would make them not hang around the park.”
Mr Lynne said he and other volunteers at the Iluka markets on Sunday January 3 “were bombarded with complaints about the removal of the chairs and tables”.
“You[‘ve] got to think what motive Council had removing these table and chairs on Christmas Eve when they knew what was going to happen over the busiest period of the year,” Mr Lynn said.
“As the club that donated the tables and chairs we want them placed back straight away as we have heard no valid reason for taking them away.”
The tables were donated by Iluka Fishing Club and Iluka Woombah Rotary Club (two tables each).
Mr Lynne concluded his email: “The best thing Council can do is place the tables back today or tomorrow and apologise to Iluka Residents, Iluka Woombah Rotary Club, Iluka Fishing Club, Marine Rescue and the two Coffee Vendors….”
One councillor, Karen Toms, attempted to initiate the tables’ return before the January 3 market.
Councillor Toms also notified the council’s works and civil director and the general manager on January 8, pointing out that Iluka Men’s Shed members had offered to sand and paint the tables, which are stored at the nearby Johnsons Lane depot.
However, the general manager Scott Greensill, advised her that the matter was “operational” and that “no external assistance would be required”.
On Monday, Mr Anderson advised the Independent that Mr Greensill’s advice stands.
He said in an emailed response that the “tables were removed for two purposes: 1. due to Anti-social behaviour that was occurring at and adjacent to the site; and 2. For maintenance”.
When asked “why hasn’t the council prioritised the tables’ return, given that it is the busiest time of the year when they are most used?” – Mr Anderson said: “Council has advised that the tables will be reinstalled following the school holiday period.”
He did not respond to the following invitation from the Independent: This action has clearly upset wide sections of the community, many of whom are volunteers working for the betterment of the town – could you please make a public statement that considers and addresses these sentiments.