HC Deb 14 June 2004 vol 422 cc619-20W
Chris Ruane

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what impact the People's Network project has had on library visits; and if she will make a statement. [178223]

Estelle Morris

The People's Network has linked all but a handful of the UK's public libraries to the internet. Recent figures published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy show that visits to UK public libraries increased by nearly 5 million, over the previous year, to 323 million in 2002–03 (before provision of the People's Network had been completed). Alongside other activities that are attracting more users, such as dedicated reader development work, the introduction of the People's Network is already making major contribution to the increase in visits. Research suggests that many positive impacts are being felt in communities across the country: people are learning new basic skills, finding community information which would not otherwise be provided, and finding jobs.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much money was spent on library(a) buildings and (b) books in (i) Merseyside and (ii) Crosby in each year since 1996. [177862]

Estelle Morris

Information on Merseyside's and Sefton borough council's expenditure on(a) buildings and (b) books is contained in the two tables. These figures are derived from the most recent information available in the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy annual public libraries statistics, copies of which are held in the House of Commons Library.

We are not able to provide a breakdown of expenditure for Crosby, as figures are not broken down beyond the level of individual library authorities, but we have included the figures for Sefton Library Authority, which encompasses Crosby.

Expenditure on library premises
Merseyside Sefton
1996–97 2,656,851 325,333
1997–98 2,859,199 335,990
1998–99 3,056,140 343,513
1999–2000 12,596,443 343,706
2000–01 2,869,567 306,555
2001–02 3,326,071 341,015
Expenditure on books
Merseyside Sefton
1996–97 23,147,541 2539,131
1997–98 2,035,712 508,464
1998–99 2,409,468 510,092
1999–2000 12,077,856 507,239
2000–01 2,930,521 799,048
2001–02 2,651,235 516.475
1Figures for Knowsley Library Authority are not included in the 1999–2000 figures for Merseyside.
2Figures for 1996–97 incorporate expenditure on a wider range of products and services defined as "book purchasing" than in subsequent years when this definition was refined.

Mrs. Fitzsimons

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much money has been spent on the digitisation of content in libraries in the parliamentary constituency of Rochdale since 1997. [178531]

Estelle Morris

This information is not held centrally.

The New Opportunities Fund £50 million Digitisation of Learning Materials Programme has delivered 150 projects across the UK to enable resources which support learning of all kinds held in libraries as well as museums, archives and other public-sector institutions, to be made available online through the People's Network and the National Grid for Learning. This initiative has created a body of material containing over 2 million images, tens of thousands of sound and video clips and documents and over 1,000 learning packages. All projects can be accessed via the EnrichUK portal at http://www.enrichuk.net.

Information on grants awarded to individual local authorities and their expenditure can be obtained from the relevant authority.