UK Government needs to do more to ensure people have access to libraries

Local Libraries and Regional Museums
24th March 2022

Kevin Brennan Labour, Cardiff West
Libraries are cultural institutions that are perhaps most accessible to a lot of the people we talk about wanting to help, who will often go into a library more easily than they might to a museum or theatre. Local authorities have a statutory obligation to provide a comprehensive service. What steps will the Minister take to ensure that local authorities are meeting that obligation and that our libraries continue to be able to offer access to all parts of our communities?

Nigel Huddleston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
The hon. Gentleman is right: libraries fulfil a vital role in our local communities. The partnership between central Government, DCMS through various funds and, of course, the huge amount of money—about £600 million—that local authorities put into library services, is really important. If there are particular issues and councils are closing down libraries inappropriately, the Secretary of State could possibly get involved. If the hon. Gentleman faces that situation, he should please let us know.