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Inside The Sun
Wednesday March 17, 2010
New Ford owners Lindsay goes green Lindsay Thomason is celebrating both St Patricks Day and his birthday.
Crusading principal Wayne Hegarty is an outdoors man at heart.
Page 10 DRIVE ON BRO: Paul and Andrew McKendry in the driving seat at the Ford dealership in Nelson Street. Photo: Richard Miller.
McKendry brothers win takeover deal
Marlborough’s great axeman A tribute to Geoff Hocquard.
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By Richard Miller Local car dealership McKendrys Motors has revved up business by taking over Blenheim’s Ford dealership in Nelson Street. Managing director Paul McKendry said he was delighted to have clinched the deal that will see brother Andrew and himself become owners of McKendry Ford on April 1. “I have had my eye on it for some time and I am delighted that we have been successful,” said Paul. “We intend to grow the business with more stock, more staff and more selection of Ford products.” He praised the “loyal staff” of ten and said
they would remain and more would be added as the business expanded. “It will increase our opportunity to have more market share and is really pleasing as it will give another string to our bow.” He said nothing would really change either for customers or staff except he personally would be moving to head the new Nelson Street premises while the rest of McKendrys 18 staff would remain at its High Street base. He said it was especially pleasing that a local business with more than 40 years experience in the motor industry in Blenheim was taking over from out-of-town owners.
“It has been a very amicable arrangement and it needs to be that way to ensure a natural transition for all staff and customers so that they can carry on business as normal.” He said the motor industry in Blenheim faced a difficult time for the balance of the coming year but he wanted to concentrate on the positives of developing an exciting new business. MS Nelson Ford boss Alan Kirby, who has managed the Blenheim Ford dealership since 2006, said it had been “really challenging” running the business from Nelson.
Continued on page 3
Wednesday March 17, 2010
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Residents lash out at notices By Celeste Lodewyk Blenheim residents Leigh and Ted Worthington are â€˜appalledâ€™ at a $60 fee from the council to trim back a small garden strip between their fence and the council footpath. The couple recently received an Overhanging Growth Notice from the council stating that a portion of their 42cm long garden strip had grown over the footpath by 15cm, and the charge for someone to trim it back would be $60. â€œWe appreciate that they have public safety in mind but what annoyed us was the ridiculous charge for them to do it. â€œWe inquired what the fee was for and they said they had to pay someone to trim back the garden as well as supply a truck to take the trimmings away â€“ but the amount of trimmings would have fit in your back pocket,â€? Mr Worthington laughed. Mrs Worthington said she had tenderly cared for the garden for nearly 20-years despite the fact itâ€™s on council land. â€œWe have always kept the garden nice and tidy with small flowers and now we receive a letter to say six plants are over the footpath slightly. â€œSurely a wee garden outside the fence is nicer than a bed of weeds or dead grass, 15cm over the edge is just so picky,â€? she said. In response Marlborough District Council Reserves and Amenities Officer Robert Hutchinson said the notices sent out were â€˜in responseâ€™ to the many complaints fielded by the council each week. â€œWe average four or five complaints per week from people who come across overhanging growth throughout Marlborough which has proved to be a nuisance and safety risk. â€œItâ€™s about keeping footpaths safe for the
disabled, handicapped, elderly and blind, and generally 95 percent of the population is very good but there is five percent who need to be served with a notice. The Sun has received many letters and phone calls about this issue during the past weeks with residents furious at the fees stated in their notices. Mr Hutchinson said the council plays no part in the fees charged and says the council is simply a customer of the contractor who carries out the work. â€œTo carry out this job we have employed a contractor who has to charge for the use of their truck, machinery and man power and like any contractor they have their set call out fee. â€œIf the resident does not comply with the notice within the 10 day period stated then the contractor carries out the work, bills the council and then itâ€™s up to us to recoup the money from the property owner. â€œPeople need to understand that the notices are not against them personally. We have issued 360 notices for half of the town so as you can see we are not picking on individuals, everyone is given the same treatment,â€? he said. Since receiving the letter the Worthingtonâ€™s have decided to pull the garden out and leave it up to the council to care for. â€œNo more garden for us outside the gate now, let the council look after itsâ€™ own land from now on. â€œItâ€™s the principle, if they are going to treat you like this and charge absurd amounts for a handful of insignificantly overgrown plants then why should we look after their property,â€? Mrs Worthington said. Pointing out that their garden strip is council land, Mr Hutchinson said it was the residentâ€™s
GOODBYE GARDEN: Leigh Worthingon prepares to pull out her garden which is on council land.
responsibility to either maintain the area or reinstate it to how they first found it â€“ in most cases lawn. Re-inspections are due to be carried out in Blenheim as of next week.
Donations made in wake of Plunket burglary rooms where they stole a cash tin containing money raised for the purchase of new infant car seats. To date, the community has banded together to donate around $700 to the carseat rental scheme, made up of small and large contributions from members of the public. â€œI am completely blown away - we all are by the phone calls, do-
By Celeste Lodewyk Tears well up in the eyes of Plunket carseat rental scheme co-ordinator Maureen van Gelder (pictured) as she praises the many kind donations made following the recent burglary of the Blenheim Plunket rooms earlier this month. Thieves removed a plane of glass to gain access to the
nations and cards sent by people, I can see how this has really touched the community,â€? she said. Upon speaking to the Sun Maureen opens a card sent by an anonymous person containing â€˜beautiful wordsâ€™ and a $100 cash donation. Wiping the tears from her eyes Maureen stammers, â€œI just canâ€™t believe how generous people really
are at a time like this. â€œI want you all to know that this money is going toward something really good and because of your generosity you have made it possible for us to reach our goal of purchasing 10 new car seats.â€? â€œWe had a bad start to last week but this week is getting better and better, so I wish to say a big fat thankyou to the community.â€?
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