To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether the Arts Council superintends the library service; how contraventions of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 are identified to her; and whether this affects her ability to exercise her statutory duties of oversight of the service.
Under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1954 it is the duty of the Secretary of State to superintend and promote the public library service. The Arts Council England (ACE) contributes to this function by acting as a development agency for libraries, a role they have been administering since October 2011. ACE work closely with, and use their investment to support, local authorities to understand a range of approaches to deliver a modern efficient library service which meet the needs of their local communities. The Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 requires all library authorities to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service based on local need within available resources. Where a breach to this statutory duty is considered to have taken place a complaint is made to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend Maria Miller, and this does not affect her ability to exercise her statutory duty of superintendence.