Book bus re­prieve

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Heather McCracken

The mo­bile li­brary is likely to stay on the road for at least the next 10 years.

Auck­land city coun­cil­lors have rec­om­mended keep­ing the book bus ser­vice, which was un­der threat from bud­get cuts.

The com­mu­nity ser­vices com­mit­tee re­solved on Wed­nes­day to put $60,000 to­wards re­fur­bish­ing the ex­ist­ing bus when needed.

Chair­man Paul Gold­smith says the coun­cil can’t af­ford the es­ti­mated $650,000 for a re­place­ment.

“The cur­rent bus is work­ing fine, it’s been given a clean bill of health by the en­gi­neers,” he says.

“In about five years they could re­fur­bish the mo­tor and it would keep go­ing for an­other five years.”

He says in the mean­time of­fi­cers will look into other means of reach­ing the el­derly com­mu­nity, such as au­dio books down­loaded from the in­ter­net.

Avon­dale Com­mu­nity Board mem­ber Cather­ine Farmer pre­sented a pe­ti­tion to the com­mit­tee signed by nearly 300 li­brary users in sup­port of the ser­vice.

She is pleased with the com­mit­tee’s de­ci­sion.

“It’s a heart­en­ing re­sponse to the pe­ti­tion and it means there’s cer­tainty of the mo­bile li­brary ser­vice for some time yet,” she says.

“I’m sure that the el­derly peo­ple who signed the pe­ti­tion will be re­lieved to see that they were lis­tened to.”

Ms Farmer says in­ter­net­ser­vices will not be ac­ces­si­ble by all older peo­ple, and the book bus pro­vides a valu­able so­cial ser­vice.

The com­mit­tee’s rec­om­men­da­tion will be con­sid­ered at a long-term com­mu­nity plan di­rec­tion­meet­ing in Novem­ber.

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