Plans for library may be hastened

Plans for a South Dunedin library may be accelerated after city councillors pushed for faster progress yesterday.

The move came after some submitters to last week's Dunedin City Council 2013-14 annual plan hearing suggested more ambitious plans for a library and community hub in the area could afford to be scaled back.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said there was a ''growing consensus'' the council was not sure what form the development would eventually take.

The council had money in its budget in 2015-16, but needed to do more work before then on the exact form the development should take, he said.

He recommended council staff begin fresh discussions with community representatives about the development, including whether the scope, and budget, could be scaled back, and the work begun earlier.

''We can't keep putting off considering this issue forever. On the other hand, we can't start until we know what we are starting.''

The move was supported by councillors, meaning a report on the options would be prepared in time for next year's annual plan hearing, effectively meaning a one-year acceleration in the project's timeline.

Cr Kate Wilson said any progress would be welcome, even if it was just ''one rack of books'', while Cr Teresa Stevenson welcomed the ''great'' move as ''something positive''.

Cr Lee Vandervis could not agree, saying the move didn't go far enough.

At some point, the council would have to decide whether to spend money or continue ''endlessly considering'' the project, he said.

Cr John Bezett said the council has ''got to do something'', and should begin the conversation to ''get this under way'', while deputy mayor Chris Staynes and Crs Jinty MacTavish and Richard Thomson also expressed support.

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