Press Release – Hamilton City Council
Proposals around reducing library hours, cutting the book collections budget and charging for adult fiction borrowing at Hamilton’s six libraries have been pulled back by Council at yesterday’s meeting.Council softens libraries proposals for draft 10-Year Plan
21 October 2011
Proposals around reducing library hours, cutting the book collections budget and charging for adult fiction borrowing at Hamilton’s six libraries have been pulled back by Council at yesterday’s meeting.
Councillors did not accept the recommendation from staff to charge $2 per book for adult fiction borrowing, and modified the proposed book collections budget from a $500,000 reduction to $200,000, taking this budget to $1.3 million.
Reduced libraries opening hours proposals were also scaled back, with agreement that staff report back on how best to reduce total library opening hours by 25 hours a week from the current 303.5 hours per week. Council expressed preference the Chartwell and Garden Place libraries remain open as currently, and suburban libraries reduce hours outside of core weekday opening.
Proposals agreed were that the currently vacant library position relating to tangata whenua services and collections be disestablished, and that charges increase for overdue books to 50c/day and for book reservations to $2.50.
Two recommendations to end the $80,000 Maori and Pacific Project Fund, and to extend the recording and broadcasting of Council meetings online, at a proposed cost of $6,000 were both not agreed.
Increases to cremation fees of $55 and to burial fees (5%) and other cemetery related fees and charges (6%) were also agreed. This would see these services provided without a rates subsidy, with charges in line with other similar cemeteries.
Fifteen members of the public and representatives of organisations took the opportunity to share their views at the public forum at the start of the meeting.
Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker says: “This was another meeting where hard decisions had to be made, and Councillors are pleased they were able to achieve savings while at the same time maintain a good level of library services to the city.”
The guiding in principle decisions will feed into Council’s draft 10-Year Plan for 2012-22, which will go out for public consultation next March, before going live from next July.