HC Deb 25 July 1986 vol 102 cc686-7W
Mr. Cartwright

asked the Minister for the Arts what information he has as to which public library authorities in England have failed to provide statistics on library expenditure to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy in the last two years for which the institute has published figures; and what use he proposes to make of his powers under section 1 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to ensure that he has complete statistics for all authorities as a basis for discharge of his duty under that Act to superintend the public library services.

Mr. Luce

Five authorities out of 108 failed to provide statistics for 1984–85. These were Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Sheffield and Liverpool. For 1983–84 only one authority, Tower Hamlets, did not respond.

Participation by library authorities is voluntary, and the high level of co-operation reflects the value placed on them by local librarians and managers. Although it is disappointing that the figures are not always complete, my superintendency of the public library service does not depend on them, and I concur with the view of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy that participation should continue to be voluntary.

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