News

Government denies library statutory protection is under threat

The government has denied the legal protection for libraries could be under threat, after fears were expressed upon the launch of a review into local government statutory duties.

There was widespread concern yesterday [14th March] when it emerged three of the 1,294 duties identified for the review apply to the library service under the 1964 Public Libraries Act, including the statutory requirement on local authorities to provide a "comprehensive and efficient" library service.

However, a spokesperson for the Department of Communities and Local Government moved swiftly to play down concerns, indicating the published list was simply a full list of councils' current duties. He said: "This story is complete fiction. The government is not removing statutory protection for libraries."

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It clearly is under review and therefor under threat. The headline of the article is "Review of statutory duties". It is still, as of now, on the list. How is it NOT under review?

It's not been taken off even though, clearly, the DCLG is clearly aware it is there:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/decentralisation/tacklingb...

The website adress is "reviewstatutoryduties" for goodness sake. The relevant items are DCMS_026, DCMS_027, DCMS_028 on the spreadsheet "Review of statutory duties - other government departments (7 March 2011)"

That's three mentions on the same page of the word "review". Until it is taken off, we need to see it as a threat to the statutory legal protection of libraries. Go this site for more info ....

http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/wordpress/?page_id=1365

Absolutely. If it is not under review, remove it from the Review. Otherwise the DCLG's "denial" does not wash. More to the point, where is the Minister, Ed Vaizey's statement on this matter ?

I hate the fact that if you respond to the review - you discover that they have classified all statutory duties as 'burdens'. If you want to add extra comments you are even asked to email: burdens@communities.gov.uk.

Technically I suppose they are burdens, but labelling them as such instead of as 'duties' is very pejorative and clearly indicates the governments preconceptions.

Personally a library service is a burden I as a taxpayer am happy to bear: "It ain't heavy - it's my library".

I know, I filled in the form and when asked if I felt they were a burden on the council I felt I had to reply yes because obviously anything they have to maintain would be a burden but, as Chris says, it is a burden we should be bearing. I went on to make this clear in my comments but I still feel as if I somehow ticked the wrong box and maybe made things worse :-(

I ticked that it wasn't a burden because I'd define a burden as something I don't want to bear. Council tax that supports libraries is more a necessary evil than a burden. But they didn't have that box. :(

It clearly is under review and therefor under threat. The headline of the article is "Review of statutory duties". It is still, as of now, on the list. How is it NOT under review?

It's not been taken off even though, clearly, the DCLG is clearly aware it is there:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/decentralisation/tacklingb...

The website adress is "reviewstatutoryduties" for goodness sake. The relevant items are DCMS_026, DCMS_027, DCMS_028 on the spreadsheet "Review of statutory duties - other government departments (7 March 2011)"

That's three mentions on the same page of the word "review". Until it is taken off, we need to see it as a threat to the statutory legal protection of libraries. Go this site for more info ....

http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/wordpress/?page_id=1365

Absolutely. If it is not under review, remove it from the Review. Otherwise the DCLG's "denial" does not wash. More to the point, where is the Minister, Ed Vaizey's statement on this matter ?

I hate the fact that if you respond to the review - you discover that they have classified all statutory duties as 'burdens'. If you want to add extra comments you are even asked to email: burdens@communities.gov.uk.

Technically I suppose they are burdens, but labelling them as such instead of as 'duties' is very pejorative and clearly indicates the governments preconceptions.

Personally a library service is a burden I as a taxpayer am happy to bear: "It ain't heavy - it's my library".

I know, I filled in the form and when asked if I felt they were a burden on the council I felt I had to reply yes because obviously anything they have to maintain would be a burden but, as Chris says, it is a burden we should be bearing. I went on to make this clear in my comments but I still feel as if I somehow ticked the wrong box and maybe made things worse :-(

I ticked that it wasn't a burden because I'd define a burden as something I don't want to bear. Council tax that supports libraries is more a necessary evil than a burden. But they didn't have that box. :(