Here we go again. Another ‘report’ into an issue that reared its ugly head years ago and is still to be resolved – the toy library.

Magee and Pilling moved on November 13th that a report be prepared:” “on the Carnegie Toy Library currently located within the Carnegie Pool facility. Concerns have regularly been raised with Councillors about the inadequateness of this arrangement. This report should detail all options for improving the present service including:

‐ expanding the present facility

‐ identifying alternative suitable sites to relocate the service

‐ any grants or funding opportunities available.

The MOTION was put and CARRIED unanimously.”

History tells us that two and a half years ago this problem was known. In fact the library raised their concerns about a Health and Safety issue in June 2010 and made a submission to the budget at that time. Since the spin is continually about how this council is so concerned about its health and safety record we are amazed that for nearly 3 years nothing has been done to eliminate all potential risks. Below we feature the reports from the time in chronological order.

Full toy story for Caulfield’s library of fun

7 Jul 10 @ 10:20am by Jenny Ling

Toy library president Kym Arthur, with Liam and Zoe, says the library is running out of space.

A CRAMMED collection of toys at a Carnegie toy library has become a safety hazard for parents, staff and children, a report has found.

With membership numbers nearly tripling in 10 years, the Caulfield Community Toy Library is appealing to Glen Eira Council for funding so it can expand.

Library president Kym Arthur said up to 300 Glen Eira families now used the borrowing facility, up from 100 families when it opened at the Carnegie Swim Centre in 2000.

The number of toys has increased to 2500 to match demand.

A report, by design consultant Space Matters, said the small area had created a “serious occupational health and safety risk” and was “impacting the functionality, quality and range of services, as well as the safety of members and visitors”.

“We have just run out of space,” Mrs Arthur said. “We’re literally packed to the rafters. It’s very dangerous.”

The report, submitted to the council, proposes $7500 funding for extra storage space or $180,000 to construct a demountable building on the site.

The construction of the $41 million Bentleigh East aquatic centre had also put pressure on the library because equipment was being stored at Carnegie during the work, she said.

Glen Eira Mayor Steven Tang said the council would “look at the future of the library as part of any decision about the future of the Carnegie site after GESAC is opened”.

“If they have identified an occupational health and safety issue they would need to resolve it,” Cr Tang said. “One way of doing that would be to reduce the amount of stock at that premises.”

Now, two and a half years later, the Leader has run this story –

Cramped Carnegie toy library needs space

7 Nov 12 @ 05:00am by Andrea Kellett

GLEN Eira families have new hope that a solution can be found to their toy library’s space problems.

Caulfield Community Toy Library members are delighted Glen Eira councillors have called for a report into expanding their “cramped” service.

Council officers have been asked to consider options including expanding the existing space at the Carnegie Swim Centre, or relocating it. Parents have for years begged the council to help them find more room. They have nowhere to hold meetings, nowhere for children to play, little room to move, no heating, no dedicated space for toy repairs and not enough display room.

President Jo Prendergast said meetings were held at a local pub and half of the children’s costumes could not be displayed. “There are so many good toys here and you can’t see them or get to them,” Ms Prendergast said.

She has grand visions for the toy library to become a “community space”. “This could be more than just a toy library.” But for now, she and vice-president Corinne Goudge are pleased the library’s needs are “on the council’s radar”.

Cr Neil Pilling asked for the report, saying volunteers were “drowning in toys”. Mayor Jamie Hyams said the problem had dragged on for years.

The Caulfield Community Toy Library is at the corner of Moira Ave and Lyons St, Carnegie.

COMMENTS:

  • GESAC has been operating for 6 months now, but clearly nothing has been done to solve the issue
  • Why has it taken nearly three years for any action to eventuate – especially if there is a health and safety risk?
  • 6 of the current 9 councillors were in office at the time this was first brought up. What have they done to resolve the issue in the meantime, especially after the toy library’s comprehensive budget submission of 2010 (uploaded here)
  • How long will it take for the officer’s report to appear? Will it actually provide funding, sensible recommendations, or will the status quo continue?