Councils refuse to give more money to the library
RICHMOND Tweed Regional Library has received a number of negative responses to a last-minute request for extra funding from Northern NSW councils.
In June, the library requested extra funding for its 2020/21 budget.
Although the library has not confirmed the full amount, some councils have confirmed it represented an extra $40,000 per council.
Ballina Shire Council was the first one to vote down the request in its June meeting.
Kelly Brown, director of corporate and community services at Ballina council, confirmed both “the Richmond Tweed Regional Library (RTRL) Manager and Lismore City Council (who oversee management of RTRL) were both formally notified by letter of council’s decision in this matter”.
A Tweed Shire Council spokeswoman confirmed councillors agreed to offer a smaller contribution than the one requested in June.
“The Richmond Tweed Regional Library (RTRL) operational budget is reviewed by the Executive Council of Lismore City annually. The Executive then seeks a contribution from member councils based on the population of each local government area,” she said.
“Each year, Tweed Shire Council considers library services within its annual budget cycle.
“The library services budget covers the RTRL contribution, library buildings and expenses for maintaining and running the three Tweed libraries at Kingscliff, Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads.
The representative said RTRL requested Tweed to contribute $2,582,164.
“Tweed Shire Council resolved to contribute $2,538,900 – an increase of 3.25 per cent on its 2019/20 contribution of $2,481,717,” she said.
“As well as its direct contribution to RTRL, Tweed Shire Council also resolved to provide a further $129,473 towards operating the three libraries within the shire.”
A Byron Shire Council spokeswoman said this topic will be debated as part of an extraordinary meeting to be held next week, on Thursday July 30 to discuss the budget.
“Our budget allocation proposed for 2020/21 takes into account the additional amount requested by the RTRL,” she said.
A spokesman for Lismore City Council decided not to comment on the issue, despite being the council that administers the operations and houses the administration of the library.
“The RTRL budget is yet to be adopted and as such any comment would be premature at this stage,” he said.
Richmond Tweed Regional Library declined a number of interview requests.