HC Deb 28 October 1999 vol 336 c983W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the Government's latest policy towards introducing a new computer network for public libraries, as outlined in his publication, "New Library—People's Network". [95322]

Mr. Alan Howarth

I have been asked to reply.

Responsibility within Government for the People's Network rests with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

We are making £70 million available through the New Opportunities Fund to create content for the Public Libraries ICT Network and to train library staff in ICT skills. In addition, up to £200 million is available through the New Opportunities Fund's Community Access to Lifelong Learning programme to support the development of the network infrastructure. Libraries also stand to benefit from a range of other educational programmes including the £252 million set aside for the development of learning centres under the Capital Modemisation Fund.