Library access decision disappoints

Dynes Fulton

Hamilton City Council’s rejection of a proposal which would have resumed library access for Waikato District Council residents is disappointing, says Waikato District Council Hukunui-Waerenga ward councillor and deputy mayor Dynes Fulton.

At a closed session last Thursday, HCC turned down a $250,000 offer from WDC to re-establish library service and said it would initiate wider cross-boundary discussion with WDC.

Hamilton City Council chief executive Richard Briggs said the way people live, work and travel in the Waikato was not defined by territorial boundaries.

“We each need to look after our own ratepayers, but also acknowledge the cross-boundary connections we have and find a way to support this in a way which is fair for all.”

The service has been discontinued since 30 September. Dynes Fulton said it was not the outcome Council was seeking or expecting. “I am very disappointed for our residents.

“It appears to me as if the HCC library debate has not stayed focused entirely on the library issues, but instead has shifted into incorporating a bracket of other cross-boundary issues that were not relevant.”

Cross-boundary collaboration and shared services across the Waikato were constantly being discussed, he said.  WDC was presently funding $50,000 on work to create a cross boundary library services to the region, starting with Hamilton City, Waikato District and Waipa.

HCC’s decision to reject the libraries offer, made while further work was being developed, did not appear encouraging.

HCC had emphasised recently the number of strategic, practical and political challenges facing both councils and that it needed to work collaboratively with WDC.

“For the benefit of all the residents affected by this library decision, I hope a resolution encompassing the bigger picture may be achieved in the near future that provides the benefits ratepayers expect from Council services.”

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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