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.
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.