Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:08 am on 17th November 2016.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:08 am, 17th November 2016

My hon. Friend is right to challenge some of the decisions that Walsall Council is proposing to take about libraries. Of course local authorities throughout England have a statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service, and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport has a statutory duty to superintend that local provision. She also has the power to call a local inquiry if she believes that there is evidence to doubt that the local authority is providing the required service. I am sure that my hon. Friend will ensure that, if such a service is not being provided by Walsall Council, she will put a strong case to the Secretary of State.