Sunday, 13 March 2011

A letter to my MP

Further to my previous post about the government's review of the statutory duties
placed on local authorities by central government, here's my letter to my local MP, Julian Huppert.  Do use it for inspiration for your own letter to your MP if you so desire.

Dear Dr Huppert,

I was very pleased to see that you support the campaign to save
libraries, and to see that you went to the read-in at Arbury Court
Library on 5 February 2011.

I'm writing to you today because I've recently learnt of the Department
for Communities and Local Government's review of the statutory duties
placed on local authorities by central government

I note that three of the duties under review (DCMS_026, DCMS_027 and
DCMS_028) are duties created by the Public Libraries and Museums Act
1964, which requires local authorities to provide a 'comprehensive and
efficient' library service. I am very concerned that these duties might
be rescinded, as this would allow councils to impose drastic cuts to
library services with no recourse for this to be challenged in law. I
am also concerned that such changes to local authorities' duties could
be made with little parliamentary or public scrutiny.

I urge you to voice an opinion in favour of retaining these legal
obligations, and to speak to Mr Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for
Decentralisation, to express your concerns about this serious threat to
public libraries.

Yours sincerely,

Katie Birkwood


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