Kāpiti’s Deputy Mayor Backs Library Book Cuts

Janet Holborow, the Kāpiti Coast Deputy Mayor, has defended the swingeing cuts to the District’s budget for library books.

In answer to detailed questions from the Independent (many of which remain unanswered) she says:

“There was a reduction in budget for books through the Annual Plan process this year.

It’s important to see this within a wider context with funds needed to re-house the Waikanae Library. 

“Due to the reduction in prices with better technology and access to Smart Libraries there shouldn’t be a noticeable reduction in availability of books for library users.”

Hi Janet. So we will be basically bludging on the rest of the Welington district library network by not pulling our own weight funds wise? You and your crew wreck a local library and then petulantly take it out on users, well done. Over the years council has got away with quite a lot. Getting the feeling you might have over stepped the mark somewhat yet?

Do the all the Councillors who voted for this proposal realize how stupid it was to try it a mere 2 months before we all go to the polls? I am hoping retribution will be swift and long lasting. Remember when Maggie Thatcher tried to push through her poll tax. She had got away with so much but that proposal brought her decimating rule to an end. We can only hope that Kapiti ratepayers see this ant-social and revengeful act in the same light. Keep defending the indefensible though, it makes for good political entertainment while we wait for voting to begin…

Emotive language is not helpful when looking at this decision to reduce the spend on library books.
Janet Holborow says :
“Due to the reduction in prices with better technology and access to Smart Libraries there shouldn’t be a noticeable reduction in availability of books for library users.”
I tested this using the Kapiti Library online catalogue and found that the Smart Library region wide network of 18 libraries gave me what I wanted at no cost. Yes, I had to wait a little but that’s a small price to pay for the efficiency and low cost of this system to Council/Ratepayers.

Feel free to vote for your mentor then. Just don’t try to soft soap her anti reader decision to the rest of us friend. When does the barby at her place start tomorrow?

Ah but being fiction (election) year will not change much of anything nor has it ever. Voting for unknown professional liars to join those already in the ranks has and will never work. Some have their hearts in the right place but usually ‘get turned’ while in office for one reason or another. Take Guru for an instance. Intelligent, moral man who fought for ratepayers rights until he became the mayor. Since then he does not behave in the same way because I suppose the system does not allow him to. We ratepayers were better off with him on ‘our side’ than we are today. This new young fella Compton who wants the job will do no better because real power resides in the office workers who we have no say over. They feel quite safe from any wrath we may have for the simple reason that you are unable as a ratepayer to criticize them at any council meeting. It’s against the rules you know? Ratepayers don’t really have any control over any of these people. You could always go to a meeting and wait three hours to speak to folks who aren’t really listening but why bother? Three minutes is all your worth to them, three whole minutes…

I agree with James Michaels… there’s no democracy in local government. The bureaucracy has full, unbridled power.

In full support of Cr Holborows statement, and to address some of the comments
* No, councilors did not try to sneak a reduction in books into the annual plan without consultation. Staff added a proposal for a reduction in the general library budget (not specifying books), to help cover unforeseen costs of the temporary library setup, along with another 6 or so last minute budget requests in the annual plan AGENDA, four days before the meeting and ‘after’ councilors had deliberated on and set the plan. It was still not unanimously voted in.

* No councilor wants to temporarily deny the community books, the council will still be buying 8,500 new books with the budget and staff did not tell any councilors they were going into a meeting with ‘Friends of the Library’ last Friday, to announce a 50% reduction in the book purchases. If they had, we could have asked for reconsideration of the area of budget cut.
Regardless, I do not think that any regular book reader will even notice the temporary short fall in new books on the shelves, given there is still access to book sharing across libraries.

* No, council does not have funding for big projects, in fact the district has only been able to achieve any significant new assets like the Kapiti College Performing Arts Centre, by council partnering with the college, and the districtwide cycle ways and shared pathways connections through NZTA funding partnerships. There have been No big projects in 5 years, while this and the previous council has used common sense and prudently paid down debt while maintaining the current public amenities where it was ‘known’ they need attention to increase their usable lifespan. The Paekakariki seawall is the next major future asset build the council is already budgeting for along with continuing underground pipe replacements. (Not exactly exciting stuff)

* Council staff may have salaries in line with the private market salary ranges, but elected members remuneration sits around the minimum wage level without the normal legislatively required allowances like kiwisaver, sick pay or holiday pay it is actually difficult for anyone to remain long term as an elected member of council without a second job or income.

* Its been an interesting discussion given a mayoral candidate has complained bitterly about the councils overspending for 6 months and is now complaining the council has been under-spending. It may be helpful to know council is part of a multi-library procurement group for book buying before commenting.

Kia Ora Cr Elliott
We are now asking all commentators to keep their remarks to 200 words. Best wishes, Editor, Alan Tristrwm

Thank you Mr Tristram for exposing this and exposing this easy target, but deluded budget cut idea of Council.

I am glad so many people are in support of fighting against this.
I am happy to go on the street, again, with lists for ratepayers to put their signatures on to inform Council of their opposition.
Yes, it is election year, no better time to get organised.

I’m surprised at the Deputy Mayor’s support for her fellow Councillors decision to reduce the number of new library book.

Electronic technology and devices such as Kindle are fine for a younger generation but 30% of our population are over 62 and they prefer to hold physical books. But Councillors want to deny them that pleasure. Shame!

It is sad that Councillors decided to sneak in a reduction of library books in the Annual Plan without consultation with the wider community.

When seen in a wider light with a council wage packet of $5,000,000 a year which I take includes the overcharging private contractors that are council’s preferred way of doing business, well you just have to wonder at their mindset. There is always plenty of funds for anything they want to build but not enough for what is probably council’s most used service. This public institution has a rather bad reputation that has spread throughout the country, is it any wonder why?

It’s an interesting response from the Deputy Mayor, especially when the Annual Plan explicitly says on page 14 “this includes limiting new book acquisitions temporarily”.

It would be useful if the Deputy Mayor could clarify what is meant by “shouldn’t be a noticeable reduction in the availability of books”.

$200,000 would buy an awful lot of new books. Going off the average price of books for public libraries in the United States (based off data from the School Library Journal for 2018), we’re potentially talking about thousands of new books not being purchased, which would suggest a noticeable decline in the availability of new books.

Thanks Gwynn.. what I was referring to is the Smart Library system whereby books are shared across the region. Therefore people can access books through that process which is particularly useful given the rdrastic reduction of shelf space in Waikanae.

Really? Libraries are the heart of many communities. How about cuts on office morning teas, manager high wages and those useless seats and planters popping up I coastlands but funded by our rates. Thank God it is fiction year.


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