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Mobile library saved by seniors, on seniors day

Hon Judith Tizard
Member of Parliament for Auckland Central

1 October 2008 Media Statement
Mobile library saved by seniors, on seniors day

MP for Auckland Central Judith Tizard congratulated Auckland City Council's Community Services Committee for coming to there senses and voting to keep mobile library services. A petition signed by 288 concerned senior citizens who ardently supported the continuation of the service was put to the committee today.

Because of their importance to the community, Judith Tizard has long opposed the cutting of library services.

"When revelations first appeared that Citizens and Ratepayers (C&R) councillors were up to their old tricks again I called on Auckland City residents to let the council know just what they thought about it. I am glad they did and they've won a great victory today," said Judith Tizard.

"The mobile library is a fundamental service for those who cannot otherwise access the hub of knowledge that is held in libraries. We're talking about elderly who cannot access, and kids that can't afford to buy, books. People of all ages use the educational services that libraries provide."

Judith Tizard said that central government recognises this and is investing $69 million in revitalising the National Library because they understand the importance of having a knowledge economy.

This is not the first time mobile library services have been threatened, nor is it the first time that they have avoided the council's scalpel.

"Right wing councils have tried to cut mobile library services before but public pressure forced them to back down, as was the case in 2003 and now again in 2008," said the local MP.

"This battle might have been won, but the council's war on community services is still raging as talk of selling community halls and cutting staff and services at the city library continues."

Today's Herald contains a long list of community and memorial halls that face the axe in Mayor Banks and the C&R council's effort to raise cash with the wholesale sell-off of community assets.

Judith Tizard said it is fitting that today was International Day of the Older Person and congratulated the 288 concerned seniors who took the time to make their views known to the council. "Kia kaha," she said.


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