§ Mr. Faulds
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will make a statement as to the details of the organisation, available staff and financial resources of the Area Museums Service.
§ Mr. St. John-Stevas
The Area Museums Service is made up of a total of eight area museum councils. Scotland 75W and Wales each have their own councils and, in addition, there are six councils covering the following areas in England —Midlands, South-West, South-East, North, North-West, and Yorkshire and Humberside.
All councils include representatives of local authorities and other bodies maintaining museums in their area, together with representatives of the museum profession. Their total available staff currently stands at 51 full-time and five part-time.
The Government make a grant on the advice of the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries of 50 per cent. of the approved expenditure of the area councils. The current provision is set out in the Supply Estimates 1973–74 (Class IX—Museums, Galleries and the Arts). The balance is met from subscriptions from museums in the area, charges for services performed and contributions from local authorities.