Book battle erupts
BALLINA Shire Council will be asked to sort out a war of (printed) words tomorrow.
Lawrence and Gene Trim, the owners of the River St second-hand book shop, Ballina Bookhaven, have made a complaint to the council for allowing Friends of Ballina Shire Libraries to have rent-free space in the council-owned Wigmore Arcade for their pre-loved book shop.
In a letter to the council, the couple, who opened their business 12 months ago, argued that the Friends, who raise money for Ballina's libraries, do not sell their books at market rate "but at a give-away".
"It would be disappointing if Ballina Bookhaven was forced to close down because of the Friends of the Library book- shop," they said.
Council staff report the problem has arisen as "council has no policy position on this type of issue and to date staff have been attempting to manage Wigmore Arcadetenancies in a very difficult retail market".
"Whereas private landlords can make all sorts of arrangements to attract and retain tenants, this is not so easy in a public domain," the report stated.
Council has been given the options of terminating the arrangement with the Friends, continuing the current arrangement or receiving a report on a policy.