Public Libraries

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 6th July 2016.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if he will consider the proposal from contributors to the report entitled Ambition for Public Libraries in England 2016 to 2021 to redefine what constitutes a comprehensive and efficient service under the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Culture Media and Sport)

Responses to the Leadership for Libraries Taskforce’s Ambition consultation are being carefully considered and the Ambition document will be published in due course. There are no plans to amend the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

The 1964 Act does not seek to be overly prescriptive in defining comprehensive and efficient, and it is a matter for local authorities to determine how to provide a public library service to their local community, within available resources.

The ‘Libraries as a Statutory Service’ was published in December 2015 and contains information on the legislative framework for library services under the Act. This sets out the factors to which the Secretary of State gives consideration in response to complaints about whether a local authority is providing a comprehensive and efficient library service.

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