Burnham refuses Swindon intervention

<p>Andy Burnham, secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, has told library campaigner Alan Gibbons that he is &quot;not minded to intervene at this time&quot; in the dispute over library closures in Swindon. Gibbons wrote to Burnham last month to request the move. A DCMS investigation into library closures in Wirral is currently underway, with an inquiry date set for 9th June.<br /><br />Burnham&#39;s letter to Gibbons said that the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) was working with Swindon and providing advice to them on how to develop and improve the library service they offer their communities. He said: &quot;In discussions with officials, MLA has offered its &#39;best practice&rsquo; consultancy support, which could help to ensure that the future vision for Swindon&rsquo;s libraries is placed on a more robust footing in relation to the needs of local people.&quot;</p><p>However Gibbons said Burham had failed to show &quot;a proper engagement with the issues&quot; he had raised, saying no proper answers had been given to his questions, including queries about whether Swindon council planned to downgrade nine libraries in total, and whether money to save the Old Town library could be raised by relocating councillors&#39; rise in expenses.</p><p>Swindon campaigner Shirley Burnham dismissed the response as a &quot;standard&quot; letter sent out to all those who had written to the culture secretary about the matter. &quot;I have received the same letter, as have many others in Swindon. No-one is at all impressed by it,&quot; she commented. &quot;If Andy Burnham is oblivious to the situation in Swindon which evolves every day, he is not on top of his job and is ignoring real concerns expressed to him in good faith.&quot;</p><p>In February, in a letter to CILIP, Burnham said that he was &quot;not minded at this stage to investigate further or intervene&quot; in the library closures in Wirral. In April, Burnham set up a &quot;local inquiry&quot; in into the closures, the first inquiry of its kind since 1991. </p>