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Morrison vows to maintain library hours

CAROLINE BROWN
Last updated 17:04 22/05/2013
John Morrison
CAROLINE BROWN
SAVE OUR LIBRARY: Katie Brown, 9, hands her own petition, filled with signatures she gathered at school, to Councillor John Morrison.

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Wellington City Councillor John Morrison has promised to maintain Khandallah library hours, saying the council is "shuddering" under the determination of residents.

The council's draft Annual Plan proposes to reduce the library's hours.

After hearing submissions on the proposal during the council's draft Annual Plan on Tuesday, Mr Morrison said the number of submissions on the issue was well into three figures. A petition with 723 signatures was also presented to the council.

Earlier, Mr Morrison said the plan to change the opening time from 10am to 1pm was now seen as "pointless, petty and silly".

"We're not going to close this thing, I can promise you . . . the council is shuddering under the impact of the submissions from the community."

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown promised the strong public response would be taken into account when the council decided the library's fate.

Save the Khandallah Library and Owners of Wellington Libraries groups both made submissions.

Save the Khandallah Library representative Jenny Smith said she was disappointed with the council's actions.

"There has been no effort to speak to library users directly."

The budget and submission documents were available at Khandallah Library, but there was nothing telling visitors the library could be closed for half the day, she said.

Mr Morrison praised the way the community fought for a cause.

"It is really good that residents are making noise so that the council knows what is important to them."

Khandallah was a showpiece for what a village should be and the library was the heart and soul of the community, he said.

The council has received more submissions on the Khandallah Library proposal than for anything thing else in the budget.

"The number is astronomical, the community has spoken loudly," said Mr Morrison.

The council's strategy and policy committee will deliberate on submissions at the end of this week, before making a decision on the final annual plan at the end of the month.

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- The Wellingtonian

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