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WCC candidate welcomes coalition to fight library cuts

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington City Council candidate, Malcolm Aitken, today welcomed the creation of the Wellington Library Coalition and pledged his support.

"Recently I attended a public meeting on potential cuts to library services. To the clear annoyance of a council manager who addressed the meeting, who clearly wanted to present the cuts as a huge saving, I insisted on having the figures broken down. It transpired that substantially reducing hours at one library would save only a few hundred dollars per week," said Mr Aitken, who is the Labour candidate in Onslow-Western Ward.

"Threatening to reduce a precious service like this for a few hundred dollars is unacceptable. A sizable social cost for a small financial saving. This is not good enough.

"The council must be responsible in its spending, but surveys show how much the people of Wellington value their public libraries, and, this wouldn't save much anyway, just to top it off.

"Additionally, lots of families don’t have the money to buy books. Kids learn to love learning at libraries, they get help with their homework. Libraries host free storytelling and fun activities for babies and young children. So, the callous disregard with which a number of councilors have treated our libraries means this Coalition hasn’t come a moment too soon.

"Many people, who don’t have home computers, let alone mobile technology, use libraries to apply for jobs because they can’t afford to do so elsewhere. People who want to access community services such as Citizens Advice Bureaux use libraries. Senior Wellingtonians value the chance to catch up with their friends at the library.

"They are community hubs and should be treated with more respect by the council.

"Congratulations to the Coalition for stepping up."

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