Public Libraries: Essex

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 2nd May 2019.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations he has received on Essex county council's proposed closure of its libraries.

Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions (a) he and (b) his departmental officials have had with Essex county council on its (i) proposed closure of libraries and (b) statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

DCMS has received a number of representations from local people and bodies about Essex County Council’s proposed Future Library Services Strategy for 2019 to 2024. The Council consulted on this from 29 November 2018 to 21 February 2019.

DCMS officials are in regular contact with Essex County Council officers to discuss its libraries proposals and the importance of it meeting its statutory duty to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service. We understand that the Council is currently analysing the responses to the consultation and their aim is to finalise the strategy and present to their Cabinet in Summer 2019.

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