Alan Tristram reports the Kāpiti Coast Council has now restored the libraries’ book budget after the savage cuts last year which led to the ousting of three sitting councillors.
The KCDC says the books and materials budget for the proposed 2020-21 Annual Plan is $410,828.
Last year it was cut to just $211,000, down from $402,500.
There was no consultation with the community or warning of the cuts.
The council gave as a reason for the cuts the need to pay for the Waikanae Library, which was closed because of toxic mould.
A protest group — Restore Our Books Budget (ROBB) — sprang into being to represent the view of the 42,000 library users in the District.
Its chair, Christopher Ruthe, said at the time that the Mayor K Gurunathan and the then sitting councillors had slashed resources for one of the most important council facilities (after the water supply, rubbish collection and infrastructure).
Yet, said Mr Ruthe, the Mayor Gurunathan and councillors claimed to be there for the health and wellbeing of the community.
the Restore Our Books Budget was strongly supported by a new councillor candidate, Bernie Randall — who was later elected to the Council by a convincing majority.