No catalogues for Coledale: Residents demand answers

THE Coledale community is demanding answers after revelations its catalogue delivery service is coming to an abrupt end.

Pauline Bielefeld, who each week distributes brochures to 650 homes in Coledale, was told last Friday she was no longer needed.

The news is a bitter blow for families in the suburb relying on the pamphlets to alert them to specials at some of Tamworth's most popular shops.

Ms Bielefeld, with the help of her daughter Bonnie, 10, who has a heart condition, began delivering the advertising material on their mobility scooters in February.

It represented the first time in years that such brochures were to find their way into the letterboxes of residents in the often-maligned community.

Ms Bielefeld, who lives in Coledale, said no explanation for the decision was given, and The Leader's inquiries to contractors Salmat confirmed only that the route had been "closed". "The amount of positive comments we've received from people (about the delivery service) has been amazing," she said.

"So I just don't understand it. They have given us no answer. No one's given us a reason for it to stop."

Ms Bielefeld said she was so angry that she devised a petition, which has already attracted more than 100 signatures, calling for the service's reinstatement. She said the deliveries had become a surprisingly important community-building exercise that people looked forward to each week.

Her penchant for handing out lollipops to the local children as she did her rounds soon earned her the moniker of the "Pied Piper of Coledale".

Angry mother-of-three Crystle Hines said the advertising pamphlets were vital for people worried about the rising cost of living.

She said it had been a godsend to be able to flick through catalogues from stores such as IGA, Coles and Woolworths and decide where to shop.

Last year pizza giant Domino's suspended all deliveries to Coledale after a spate of assaults on its delivery drivers.

But Ms Bielefeld said she had never felt threatened and residents had treated her with respect at all times.

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