Residents fear lack of Merivale facilities

BUS: The mobile library used to stop on Aikmans Rd but the city council won't be considering bringing it back.

A Merivale group is worried about the lack of facilities for its ageing population.

So the Merivale Precinct Society came up with a solution – to put the mobile library bus stop there again.

Deputy chairwoman Denise Leighs approached the Fendalton-Waimairi-Harewood Community Board, which then raised the issue with the city council.

However, the city council said Merivale does not meet the criteria to get the mobile library bus back anytime soon.

“The mobile library idea was discussed at our May meeting as an ongoing conversation about the lack of facilities for the ageing population,” Mrs Leighs said.

She said the library bus used to stop in Merivale before the earthquakes outside the JDV cafe entrance on Aikmans Rd.

But city council libraries and information manager Caroline Robertson said the city council would not be considering a stop in Merivale.

“Previously the mobile library did stop at Merivale but, at the time, the area did not have access to the same number of library facilities it does now,” Ms Robertson said.

In assessing the need for a mobile stop, city council staff have to consider a number of factors.

“The mobile library operates a service that targets specific sectors of the community. This includes travelling to those parts of the city that do not have adequate library facilities and also sectors of the community that are socially isolated or vulnerable,” Ms Robertson said.

She said the city council is also mindful of the distance to the nearest library.

Merivale Mall is 2.9km from the Papanui Library, 2.4 km from the Peterborough Library and 3km from the Fendalton Library.

“In light of these aspects and due to the need to service other areas of the community . . . at this time, we will not be considering offering a stop in the Merivale area,” Ms Robertson said.

Mrs Leighs will take the response back to the Merivale Precinct Society. The mobile library route has 23 stops, including various retirement villages around the city.