HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 c741W
Linda Perham

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has received from local authorities regarding Public Library Standard 18. [62679]

Dr. Howells

Councillor Bob Littlewood, the London borough of Redbridge's Cabinet Minister for Culture and Leisure wrote to my right hon. and noble Friend Baroness Blackstone on 16 April 2002. His letter referred specifically to Public Library Standard 3(i) and 18. Other authorities have written either about the standards in general or about other of the standards individually.

PLS 18, in common with the other standards, helps to define authorities' existing statutory obligations under the Public Library and Museums Act 1964 to provide library services that are comprehensive and efficient.

I am monitoring the application of the public library standards through the annual library planning process. Analysis of the 2001 plans shows that nearly all authorities are using the introduction of the standards to plan for improvements in the quality of their library services but that, in many cases, authorities recognise that this will require them to direct more of their budgets into their library services than hitherto. It is for library authorities to ensure that they make the right allocation of resources to ensure the provision of a comprehensive and efficient service within the meaning of the Act.

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