The Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley MP, of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS) has a legal duty to make sure that local authorities provide a "comprehensive and efficient" library service that "meets the needs of all users" under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.
Karen Bradley can order an inquiry to decide if the local authority is meeting its obligations. She has the power to order a local authority to change its plans and reverse cuts. In Lancashire, the local authority is now in the process of reopening libraries as a result of the Secretary of State's intervention.
Save Barnet Libraries submitted a complaint in December 2016 under the same procedure - calling on Karen Bradley to hold an inquiry in Barnet and order the restoration of a properly staffed and resourced library service for the borough. In July 2017, we received an acknowledgement from DDCMS that our complaint was serious enough to merit further investigation. We sent an update in October 2017. We are still waiting to hear whether the Culture Secretary will order an inquiry.
We continue to collect evidence to show the impact of the reductions in service on library users. Please help us to do this by using the link to "Tell us your story". Also, don't forget to sign our Open Letter to Restore Access for Children!