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April 1, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Mayor in the Chair: Buses, Books, and Better Youth Engagement

On March 26, WCC members and Mayor Justin Lester held a “Mayor in the Chair” meeting to discuss issues with Aro Valley residents. A number of important issues arose.

 

Wellington Central Library Closed

Mayor Justin Lester said the closure was the “last thing we wanted to do”, but reassured the assembly that the proposed pop-up library would offer “between 50,000 to 100,000 books”.

 

Other alternatives were considered in the meeting, including the acceleration of the Johnsonville library development, implementation of e-book facilities, online ordering, and working with VUW libraries.

 

Transport

Despite the change in central government delaying plans, WCC is still attempting to resolve issues with public transport.

Wellington is currently 40 bus drivers short; Councillors cited up to 50 cancellations at peak travel hours.

Councillor Diane Calvert said the issues “compromise the social and economic fabric of our city.”

The Mayor hopes to have a response from the government in April, and further public information by May.

 

Affordable Housing

After a question from a resident, it was made clear that surplus council land could be bought from WCC to develop affordable housing.

 

However, Brian Dawson (Councillor for both Social Development and Housing) stated that “very little land that we own is undeveloped” and cautioned that much of the excess land is “not suitable for social housing”.

 

CupaDupa

CupaDupa will go ahead, in part at least, despite safety concerns following the Al Noor and Linwood Mosque Attacks.

 

Both WCC and NZ Police support the event proceeding, keeping both the Garage Project and Glover Park stages open. However, it is unlikely that security companies will be able to scale up their services in time for the festival-as-usual.

 

Youth Engagement in Local Affairs

Salient asked Councillors how they could improve youth engagement with local body politics.

 

Councillor Nicola Young, and other Councillors, consider the onus to be on young people to “make an effort.”

 

Local body elections are in October this year.

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