Mosman Park council puts The Grove operations under microscope

The Grove library and community centre.
The Grove library and community centre.

MOSMAN Park Council wants to investigate operations at The Grove library and community centre it jointly runs with Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove councils on Stirling Highway, Peppermint Grove.

“We are still operating under the original construction agreement and there are areas in that which are no longer relevant,” Mosman Park Mayor Ron Norris said.

The councils partnered to building the $17 million, environmentally-designed facility commissioned in 2010 that also houses Peppermint Grove Council.

The building had teething costs linked to some of its environmental systems, and the community centre is seen as a financial drain by some Mosman Park councillors.

After opening, issues included the centre losing $63,000 in 2012-13, $147,000 for a new hot water bore and a wind turbine being too low.

In 2016, Mosman Park agreed to review The Grove, and after closing June’s meeting to the public councillors agreed to again ask Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove for reviews of the building’s management agreement and library business operations.

They will give the review’s business case to Peppermint Grove Council, ask for an investigation into “commercialisation” of the community centre and discuss $40,000 for the investigation in the 2017-18 Mosman Park budget.

The requests follow Cr Zenda Johnson writing a case for the reviews, statistics gathered comparing The Grove with other WA libraries, and lawyers McLeods reviewing the management agreement, before suggesting changes.

Asked if his council wanted to cut costs at The Grove, Mr Norris said there was “no question” all the councils wanted it to deliver to residents, but “optimum” use had to be considered.

“Perhaps the library, the community areas and the garden could be used for commercial events which would generate additional revenue, but we won’t know unless we look and that is what the proposed review is intended to achieve,” he said.

Shire of Peppermint Grove chief executive John Merrick said was “impossible” to comment because his council had not been told of Mosman Park’s proposals, and Cottesloe Council spokeswoman said it would comment after talks with the other councils.

MORE: Man charged after allegedly hitting parking inspector with car

MORE: Legally blind woman wants to educate after taxi driver refused seeing eye dog

MORE: Man recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes urges people to be aware of warning signs

MORE: Man charged over alleged assault on boy in Balga park

MORE: Dedicated area slashes pregnancy monitoring wait times at Fiona Stanley Hospital

MORE: Canning Vale plumber has licence suspended for disciplinary breaches