Despite the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (the department which advises the Department for Culture, Media and Sport about all things library-related) regarding Doncaster as a high-risk library authority of particular concern, the DCMS have refused to intervene in the drastic cuts being made to the library service. SDL have complained for several months about this. In a recent FOI request, we learnt that Doncaster Council asked the DCMS to meet with them to talk about the implementation of the cuts (see page 39): “I have asked the DCMS if they wish to come and talk to us”, said Julie Grant on 4th February. The council have confirmed, however, that no meetings have taken place between them and the DCMS.
We want to know why the DCMS, when asked by a council for support, have refused to meet with them. We already know that the DCMS do not wish to listen to the hundreds of thousands of people around the country who are fighting to save their libraries, but to ignore the pleas of a council too? Surely this is a failure of their statutory duty to “superintend…and secure the proper discharge by local authorities of the functions in relation to libraries conferred on them as library authorities by or under this Act [Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964]”.