Today, Alison McGovern (MP for Wirral South) raised an amendment to the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. The amendment asked for cultural services to be protected by law in the same way that local authorities are duty bound to provide a public library service. The amendment was agreed and the bill to amend the Act will have its second reading on 17th June 2011. I’m not sure how much discussion can now happen around this amendment, but I really hope this will allow the statutory provision of libraries under the 1964 Act to be tightened up & formalised more clearly, so that local authorities are no longer able to farm out (privatise) public library services they are obliged to provide, to anyone who fancies running them. It’s no good getting library authorities to be responsible for cultural services in the same way as they are for libraries, if under the current Act it allows them to hand over responsibility to other organisations/groups of people.