Vaizey to give evidence in library inquiry

Culture minister Ed Vaizey will be interviewed by the culture, media and sport select committee on 13th March as part of the inquiry into library closures. Vaizey is the only witness called to give oral evidence at the session that day.

The evidence session will coincide with the lobby of parliament by librarians and authors set to take place on the same day.

The 13th March session will be the third and final one of the inquiry, following tomorrow's (21st February), when CILIP chief executive Annie Mauger, Arts Council England chief executive Alan Davey and Isle of Wight council leader David Pugh will be among the speakers.

Individual campaign groups have been left disappointed after the inquiry declined to call them to give evidence. Campaigners in the Isle of Wight are particularly unhappy, given the presence at tomorrow's evidence session of council leader Pugh.

Inquiry manager Elizabeth Bradshaw said: "The Library Campaign and Voices for the Library [who spoke at the first evidence session on 7th February] represented library users. They were chosen as witnesses because they represent a national group. The committee can't delve into individual campaigns. The written evidence does take the same weight as oral evidence."

She added: "The parliamentary select committee can only make recommendations to government, such as whether legislation needs reviewing, or they can make recommendations to the Arts Council. They are not going to say whether Brent is right or wrong or make government intervene on particular cases."