Wednesday April 26, 2017
Keen interest in annual plan Nearly 600 submissions on the Hutt City Council’s 20172018 Annual Plan have been received since the calling for submissions a month ago. “This plan is an important milestone in our journey of rejuvenation we started four years ago,” Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace said. “The plan proposes devel-
opment of new and upgrading existing cultural, recreation and events facilities, including the Wainuiomata Community Hub and Wainuiomata Sportsville – and average rates increases are to be kept low . We are proposing only a modest average 2.3 percent rates increase, possibly the
lowest in the Wellington region,” Mr Wallace said. The rates increase in the 2016-17 plan was 2.7 percent. The plan proposes development of new and upgrading existing cultural, recreation and events facilities, including the Wainuiomata Community Hub and Wainuiomata SportsVille.
Submissions close on Friday. The link for online submissions can be accessed at http://submissions.huttcity. govt.nz/consult24ols/ Those who wish to speak to councillors about their submission can do so on May 16 and 17.
Parents the last to know about special needs changes By Dave Crampton
Parents of Wainuiomata’s special needs children still have not been written to by IDEA Services informing them that Explore Services are to take over some special needs services formerly provided by IDEA. But IDEA Services has no idea why their letters weren’t sent, nearly two weeks after Explore was announced as the new provider. IDEA Services, or Intellectual Disability Empowerment in Action, is the operational arm of IHC that provides special needs services. Just before Easter, Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner announced that Explore Services would take on the autism family education and therapy programmes. IDEA Services had cited lack of funding for pulling out of some service provision, such as respite care and holiday programmes. But IDEA Services never told all parents of the cuts, nor who was taking over the services, including Wainuiomata’s Rhonda Rivers, who found out all her information through the media during
Fire collapses house roof A fire that engulfed a house at 40 Sunny Grove last Thursday night will be investigated by specialists after the roof collapsed. Four appliances from around the region attended the scene and extinguished the fire around 9pm, two hours after the fire started. Police received reports of gunshots in the area, but it was the sound of windows exploding.
Chlorination of Hutt Water Supply The recent chlorination of Lower Hutt’s water supply is to continue while investigations into the source of recent positive E.coli test results are underway. Water remains safe to drink. A sample from a bore in the Waterloo wellfield returned a third positive E.coli result on April 12, from water sourced from the Waiwhetu Aquifer. This, plus recent water quality testing across the aquifer showing an increasing amount of bacteria activity, has led to the decision to keep chlorinating the Lower Hutt water supply network. About 70,000 customers in the Lower Hutt usually receive unchlorinated water supply (residents of Wainuiomata already receive chlorinated water).
Lights switched on
Rhonda and Jesse Rivers with Jessie’s teacher aide Heather Forbes.
Autism Awareness month. “Isn’t it crazy? ” she said, “Cutting off things like that. It would’ve been nice to get an e-mail or letter instead of finding out through social media again.” Rhonda’s son Jesse, 11, has severe autism and Down’s Syndrome, but has continued at Fernlea School with a full-time teacher aide, Heather Forbes, after funding shortfalls closed its special needs unit. IDEA Services Communications Manager Gina Rogers was also at a loss to explain why
Wainuiomata families had not received their letters. She said a third update went to families just before Easter, but Rhonda didn’t get that letter either. Rhonda’s family gets respite care for 30 days a year, and a few weeks ago she had started a course called ‘Growing Up with Autism’ to assist her and her family with any behavioural concerns. The last she formally heard was that her course was cut. “It was a 20-week course and we got a letter to say that it was
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cancelled,” she said. “Why even start the course?” Explore Services is apparently taking over her course but hasn’t told her. “I think the whole thing has been handled really poorly, and as usual it’s the families affected that are the last to know anything,” Rhonda said. Lower Hutt’s IDEA Services course co-ordinator, Amy Rainsford, also said she had no idea why those she provides services to did not receive any letters.
The Hutt City Council has installed 3200 new LED lamps to brighten up the region. It switched on the lights about10 days ago. About 1200 lights have been installed in regions such as Wainuiomata, Eastbourne and the Naenae roundabout, with the rest being installed in the central business district. The lights will operate throughout the year and are programmed to change colour during the Christmas period. City promotions manager Brad Monagahan said the lights cost about $50,000 to buy and install.
Wainuiomata News 26-04-17