Lismore City councillors have unanimously supported returning to a shared managament of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library (RTRL), ending a growing campaign by opponents of Lismore running the service.
The decision at last night’s meeting (Tuesday) follows doubts raised recently by both Byron and Ballina shire councils on which model to consider for running the service, sparking fears the library service would be split.
The other library member council, Tweed, last year resolved to stick with Lismore’s administration of the service under a draft five-year agreement struck almost two years ago by the library committee (made up of the four councils).
Doubts as to the legality of the regional library’s county-council or co-operative style of management led to the decision to hand over administration to Lismore, but recent changes to the Library Act paved the way for a return to the former arrangement.
Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell welcomed the full support of her council for the staff report recommending the move.
‘The reason we’re doing this is because our community wants all four councils to stay together in the library, it’s what gives it strength,’ she told Echonetdaily.
‘We want to put the past behind us, work co-operatively and will reconvene the (library) committee to work with the mayors and general managers to find a way forward.’
The seven-part staff recommendation calls for Lismore City to support the library committee’s investigation of alternative business models in providing a regional library service, which resulted from a joint meeting in Mullumbimby in February of the committee, mayors and general managers of member councils.
It also asks the library committee to investigate, within two years, any ‘unresolved governance shortfalls with the existing library agreements’.