Trader blasts council for soaring vandalism

By EMMA CORNFORD

VANDALISM is rising and Clarence Valley Council is not taking the problem seriously.

Those are the sentiments being expressed by one Grafton business manager, Danny Scott, who last week attended a vandalism meeting with CVC representatives and police.

"I felt cheated, disappointed and frustrated," he said.

"The council is doing no- where near enough. They've had years to put programs into place but they've done practically nothing. All the programs they mentioned were implemented in the last month."

Last year Mr Scott's business, Black Toyota, was the target of vandalism that cost him around $10,000. In two years costs have totalled $20,000.

He now hires a security firm to patrol the business during the weekends but said businesses around town still suf- fered and the CVC needed to take a more active role.

"Business owners, police, the entire community are all frustrated and as I see it, the blame lies fairly and squarely with the council. I think the business community have a right to be upset at the lack of action on their part," he said.

But Clarence mayor Ian Tiley vehemently denied the charge of a lack of action. He said council had a number of projects in place to curb anti-so- cial behaviour including workers liaising with youth, crime prevention plans and a pending application for federal funding.

"To blame the council like this is unfounded. We are not sitting on our hands," he said.

"We are serious about this issue (and) I am very proud about what we've done.

"We have a core of things we need to fund and we don't have an endless bucket of money ... but we are concentrating on anti-social issues."



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