An open Letter to: Mr Ed Vaizey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries
From: Mr Maurice Nauta
1 March 2014
Dear Mr Vaizey,
I am sure you will be as concerned as I was to discover that a spokesperson for your department expressed an opinion in response to my recent open letter to The Rt Hon Maria Miller MP (reference the halving of the statutory library service in Lincolnshire) that was not in accordance with your own. The spokesperson said:
“The Government believes that the operation of the public library service is best managed by local authorities who are best placed to determine what is best in their area, on the basis of local need.” ( “Spalding Guardian”, 3/3/2014)
In March 2009 you were quoted as saying:
“Andy Burnham’s refusal to take action in the Wirral effectively renders the 1964 Public Libraries Act meaningless. While it is local authorities’ responsibility to provide libraries, the Act very clearly lays responsibility for ensuring a good service at the culture secretary’s door.”
It is clear that you feel, as I do, that it is the culture secretary and not the local authority that is ultimately responsible for ensuring a good library service. I would be grateful if you could confirm that you are working to bring your department’s public position on these matters into line with the law as expressed in the 1964 Act.
Maurice Nauta is a former Assistant Director at Lincolnshire County Council. Maurice has recently written to The Rt. Hon Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to formally request that she intervene and order an urgent inquiry into the changes being made by the County Council to the Lincolnshire library service. Read more about this here.