Big thank you from

Robert White

Robert WhiteROBERT White, 40, is Lisburn's City Centre Ranger. He is employed by Lisburn City Centre Management (LCCM) which is a "Not for Profit" company limited by guarantee and governed by a voluntary executive committee representing public and private sector interests. Robert's job is sponsored by Lisburn City Council and Knox and Clayton architects.

Robert, who has held his position for 10 years, is thought to be the only Ranger in Northern Ireland of his kind He lives in Lisburn with his son Michaell

My job is varied and every day brings something new. Keeping Lisburn City Centre as a clean and welcoming environment for shoppers and visitors is my job. That includes monitoring and removal of graffiti and fly posting, reporting incidents relating to public realm damage, litter and waste management, bollard and street furniture maintenance.

This housekeeping service is operated in addition to the substantial resource that Lisburn City Centre deploys on City Centre cleaning and amenity provision.

I cycle into work each morning for 8am and first of all I open up the LCCM premises and check everything is ok. I collect my equipment and then I start to inspect the streets in the city.

I check if any damage has been caused overnight and if I can I start to repair it there and then. I try to remove graffiti within 24 hours. I keep a stock of paint and take off the graffiti for free.

Most of the retailers know me so if they have a problem with graffiti or vandalism they know to get in touch. I hear about everything that is going on in the city. Businesses will also tell me their concerns and I will direct them to the relevant agency who can help.

As well as painting over graffiti I also paint bollards and lamp posts to make sure the city looks well.

Once I've finished my inspection I come back to the office and see what needs to be done. I often have to deliver information leaflets to all the local businesses. I might also be out and about fixing radios and replacing batteries for those firms who are part of the City Watch Scheme. This is a partnership approach to addressing issues associated with business crime, anti-social behaviour and reducing fear of crime for the general public, across Lisburn City Centre, towns and villages.

The scheme, based on an effective approach to reducing crime in other cities and towns in the UK, provides business with the benefits of joining RadioLink and Retailers Against Crime (RACNI) backed up with support from manned CCTV monitoring. The scheme primarily operates a communications and information sharing network in conjunction with Lisburn Commerce Against Crime's CCTV and RadioLink systems.

In the good weather I might be out weeding and I like to go round checking for litter too. All of this contributes to making Lisburn look great and attractive to visitors.

Recently an official group from Wales were over visiting and they were so impressed by what I do that they are going to implement a City Ranger where they live too.

I am very proud of my job. Just knowing I am helping to make a difference is very satisfying. When the streets are clean people feel safer. It really is good getting positive feedback from visitors.

* If you need to report any incidents of graffiti or fly posting on public property call the Lisburn City Centre Management office on 9066 0625 and they will arrange the City Centre Ranger to come and sort it out.

Ulster Star