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Thursday October 15, 2015

Stalwart recognised for his work in the community By Nikki Papatsoumas

A community stalwart has been recognised for eradicating graffiti and reducing crime in his neighbourhood. Former Mount Victoria resident Grant Burley was the recipient of one of 11 2015 Safety in the City awards. The annual awards are presented by the Wellington City Council. He was presented his award by Wellington City Councillor Justin Lester, and Police Operations Commander, Inspector Terry Van Dillen, at a ceremony earlier this month. Grant said about four years ago he noticed the amount of vandalism and anti-social behaviour there was in Mount Victoria, where up until recently he lived with his family. “Our neighbourhood was a real mix of people, families, elderly folk, students, young professionals. Because of that you attracted a massive range of individuals into the area.” Grants said he decided to do his bit after he got “fed up” with unsightly graffiti and vandalism in the area.

inbrief news National ShakeOut drill Wellingtonians are encouraged to drop, cover, and hold at 9.15am today as part of ShakeOut, the national earthquake drill. This year, organisers are hoping 1.5 million Kiwis will get involved in the initiative, which would make it the biggest ShakeOut drill per capita in the world.

Quake shakes lower North Island A 5.7 magnitude quake rattled the lower North Island around 9pm on Monday night. GeoNet said the quake was centred 15km east of Pongaroa at a depth of 23km. The quake was described as “severe”. On the GeoNet website, almost 6000 people reported feeling the tremor. Despite this, no damage was reported as a result of the quake.

Grant Burley receives a Safety in the City award from Wellington City Councillor Justin Lester and Police Operations Commander, Inspector Terry Van Dillen.

“Once you have graffiti it attracts other kinds of behaviour whether it’s smashing bottles or breaking into cars.” Through engaging with his community, Grant was able to minimise crime and anti-social behaviour by eradicating graffiti

in the area. “It was about safety and trying to reduce crime, as well as a general feeling of wellbeing in the community. Grant said his story highlighted how easy it was for others to make a difference in their neighbour-

hoods. “It was a self-serving interest because I was fed up with it. I wasn’t doing it for any other person other than I had had enough. “Hopefully it will encourage other people to do something similar.”

Kilbirnie supports BID model Kilbirnie businesses have voted in support of the Business Improvement District model. Business Improvement District (BID) is a policy which allows local businesses to invest in projects and improvements that will support economic development in the area. A poll to gauge support for a new targeted rate to fund a BID closed early this month.

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The result returned last week showed 64 per cent of local businesses were in support of a BID proposal. Of the 209 eligible voters, just 34 per cent took part. However, for a BID to be approved under the policy, at least 25 per cent of those eligible to take part need to vote and a majority of those must be in favour. Once a BID is approved, Wellington City Council will

collect a targeted rate from all commercial property owners in the area. The amount collected is then provided to a business association that will be set up to work on the area’s behalf, and fund agreed objectives. Wellington City Councillor Simon Marsh said last week’s poll result would be a huge boost to improving the business district of Kilbirnie. “The council has been sup-

porting this BID proposal, so it’s good to see it heading in the right direction – and we hope other business communities follow suit. “Suburban centres in Wellington have so much to offer, but sometimes they just need a helping hand, and to recognise that collectively they can achieve so much more.” Miramar and Khandallah have previously adopted the BID framework.

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Wellington authors and illustrators Juliette MacIver, Ruth Paul, Paul Beavis and Philip Webb will be at a very special storytime for children under the age of six at The Children’s Bookshop in the Kilbirnie Plaza from 11am on Saturday October 31. This will be followed by a book signing session at 11.30am. Later that day award-winning Wellington author Fleur Beale will be at The Children’s Bookshop from 1pm to 1.30pm to meet her readers and sign copies of her books.

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