Gov minister ‘not minded to direct a local inquiry’ over Island libraries

Following the Isle of Wight council’s decision to reduce the number of council-run libraries, campaigners fighting to save the service appealed to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to hold an inquiry.

Gov minister ‘not minded to direct a local inquiry’ over Island libraries

We reported just last month about the delays campaigners had experienced in receiving a response from the DCMS on the subject of an inquiry.

The time has finally come to hear from Ed Vaizey – the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries – on the matter. Yesterday (3rd September) he wrote to Isle of Wight council leader, David Pugh, advising that he is, “not currently minded to direct a local inquiry”.

Bolton and Lewisham (London) both received an identical response from Mr Vaizey.

Last chance to comment
However, before making his final decision, he added that he’s keen to hear further representations from community groups, members of the public, etc., see details at bottom of article.

The Secretary of State feels that judgement of whether the local authority is providing a ‘comprehensive and efficient service’ – as set out in the 1964 Libraries Act – should be left to the local authority. Decisions about local issues should be taken by those voted into the positions by the public, he adds.

The letter goes on to say that, “Too ready an intervention would risk preventing prompt and efficient reforms of library services.”

“A valuable supplementary resource”
He states that the five libraries transferred to the local community provide a “valuable supplementary resource for residents”, but as they are not considered part of the council’s statutory public library service, the Secretary of State is basing his decision on whether an inquiry is relevant purely on the remaining six council run libraries, mobile library service and home library service.

Ed Vaizey finishes his letter by stating that the careful thought has been given to ensure that library service continue to be available to residents on an efficient basis.

“There appears to be no good reason why an inquiry ought to be commenced.”

Have your say
Before making his final decision Ed Vaizey is calling on members of the public to have their say.

If you have something to add, email your points to by 17 September 2012.

Image: Paul Lowry under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 4th September, 2012 7:56am



Filed under: Budget Cuts, Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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9 Comments on "Gov minister ‘not minded to direct a local inquiry’ over Island libraries"

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Email updates?

Write to Vaizey and cc. Turner. Mind you after today Vaizey might not still be in post!


presumably he’ll be promoted to a post he is capable of doing- perhaps cleaner of ths House of Commons toilets might be appropriate?

Note the Minister’s weasel words! “However, for the purposes of his assessment as to whether to order a local inquiry, the Secretary of State has based his view solely on the 6 remaining Council run libraries, and the council mobile and home library service. Although the community libraries are a valuable local resource, for present purposes they have not been taken into account when deciding whether to… Read more »

If anyone out there has the time, please make a submission to Ed Vaizey (or his replacement) within the next 14 days- we have similar campaigns going on in other parts of the country so every submission will help to show him that he has got it wrong asnd needs to listen to the electorate.


Done already with cc to Turner. :-))


Here are the email addresses you need:

For Vaizey ;

For Turner ;

random bloke

who cares? we have our own ‘investigation’ next year. vote the incompetent tories out. but dont expect anyone else to reinstate libraries. the statutory obligation is being met, and thats that.

Wow… you remember back in the old days of VB this sort of article about the Council would have attracted perhaps 30 or 40 comments? Only 7 other comments at the time of posting this. I wonder if the new format has put people off or whether it’s just too much hassle for people to re-register? Or maybe they can’t actually find the News articles? In some… Read more »
Here is the response to my email to Ed Vaizey Minister for Culture (cc MP). ……………………………………… Thank you for your email of 4 September to the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey MP, expressing concern about library closures on the Isle of Wight. Your letter has now been passed on to the libraries’ policy team in the DCMS as they are responsible for monitoring… Read more »