Policing and parking raised at meeting

Policing at New Year and parking were two hot topics at the last Raglan Community Board meeting.

Senior Sergeant Gillian Meadows replied to concerns raised at the previous board meeting about police staffing levels in Raglan over the busy New Year period.

Raglan had had four extra police at New Year in addition to those already on duty, and there were no major incidents.
She said the number of police needed at New Year was difficult to calculate, as police never knew in advance where trouble could erupt.

However, board deputy chair Matt Holl challenged Ms Meadows, saying: “New Year in Hamilton – it [the population] clears out. It’s your beaches that are your trouble spots, history tells us”.

He said there were concerns that Raglan would get out of control at New Year, like Whangamata had in past years.
Councillor Clint Baddeley said police had not resolved the issue of Raglan’s liquor ban, which was widely breached over the holiday period, with a lack of police to enforce it.

“We have a liquor ban and you put your police in a position where they couldn’t enforce it,” he said. “I believe you put some of your police in jeopardy that (New Year) night.”

Ms Meadows said planning had already begun on staffing at New Year, so police could be “a little better prepared in 2015”.
Raglan Chamber of Commerce’s Charlie Young presented a letter to the board from the chamber about parking in the town, based on a survey of its members.

He said the different parking times in town – some 60-minute and some 120-minute – were confusing for people so the chamber asked for consistency. A sign directing people to the extra parking in James Street would be useful too.

The chamber also asked for a balance between regular parks and those for boat users at the wharf, as parking there had created a safety issue.
Charlie said it had carried out a similar survey of its members a couple of years ago and the same issues had been raised then. Some members were now keen to be on a working party to address these issues.

Councillor Baddeley said some of the chamber’s concerns could easily be addressed, but the reason for the 60-minute parks was for turnover, and parking at the wharf was always going to be a difficult issue.

Matt Holl said Raglan needed some 15-minute parks for local people making quick stops. Two-hour parking should be on the periphery of town, but other parks could become two-hour parks after hours.

Barry Ashby suggested the way to solve the town’s parking problems was to block the main street through town to traffic: “I think it’s high time we looked at turning Raglan into a pedestrian way”.

Rachel Benn

In Brief: Community Board Meeeting

The following matters also came up at the Raglan Community Board meeting last week:

• Alan Vink was made the new chair of the Raglan Community Board, following the resignation of former chair Linda Cole. Matt Holl was the new deputy chair. The board was now looking for two new members to join their ranks, as board member Jon Taylor had moved to Nelson.
• The board awarded $3000 from its discretionary fund to St Peter’s Church to help towards the $17,000 cost of restoring two Crittall windows. The Raglan Community House was also given $500 towards the running of a Tuesday transport service, which was predominantly used to help elderly in outlying areas access services in town.
• The Waikato District Council’s review of gambling and alcohol bylaws has resulted in a ban on any new gambling venues or wholesale liquor outlets being established in the region, Councillor Clint Baddeley reported.
• Board member Bob MacLeod has been appointed the board’s representative to help advance Raglan’s civil defence plan.
• Alan Vink has been attending meetings with local people concerned about water and wastewater quality and said he was keen to pursue this matter further.
• Every household in the region was due to receive a summary of the Waikato District Council Draft Long-Term Plan 2015-2025 soon. It would also be available on the council website: www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz

Rachel Benn

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