Vaizey letter delays Sheffield library moves

Vaizey letter delays Sheffield library moves

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has told Sheffield to delay cuts to its library service, while he makes a decision on whether to intervene.

In a detailed letter to Sheffield Council, Vaizey has asked for 15 points of clarification to ensure the council is fulfilling its legal obligation to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service.

The council has been helping train local community groups to take over the running of 15 of the city's libraries from the end of this month. It approved plans in February this year to slash its library service, saving money by passing over a proportion of its 27 libraries to volunteer groups.

The letter from Vaizey was prompted by a complaint from Broomhill Library Action Group, set up in order to battle the cuts.

The culture secretary has a statutory duty to superintend the public library service and Vaizey has received criticism in the past for his failure to intervene in local authority closures. Last year, CILIP passed a vote of no confidence in the minister.

Also this week, the Government has approved the closure of the Advisory Council on Libraries, rubberstamping a move that had already been enacted.