§ The Earl of Clancarty
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will define the term "access" as they use it in relation to the issue of free entry to the permanent collections of museums and galleries in the United Kingdom (for example, as used by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in his speech at the Turner Prize award ceremony on 2 December); and whether they consider the term "access" and "free entry" to be interchangeable in this context.
§ Lord McIntosh of Haringey
Access in this context means admission, but not necessarily free admission. The terms "access" and "free entry" are not interchangeable. Admission charges are not the only barrier to access and others such as opening hours and travel costs must also be considered.
A consultation paper inviting views on a code of good access practice has been published and these will be considered as part of our continuing access review.