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."