DCMS Complicit in Allowing the Law to be Broken ?
The final recourse for citizens who identify injustice and maladministration of their local library service is to seek intervention from the Minister and Secretary of State, individuals who are entrusted with duties and responsibilities under statute. When no response from them is forthcoming, citizens are forced to go to Law for redress. Wily government will know how much that will hit the pockets of the people concerned. Do the Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, and the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, continue to turn a blind eye to their own statutory duties, confident in the expectation that affected citizens may not have the financial resources needed to bring their local authorities to account ? If so, are they complicit in allowing the Law to be broken ?
There seems to be evidence for such an allegation :
. DCMS is aware of poor practices in specific local
authorities, but is hesitant to act. This failure
means the bad practices continue undisturbed;
. there is potential for a bucket of amendments to duties of local
authorities that could render
the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act impotent; amendments that would invest the
Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government with powers under the Localism Act that
relieve DCMS of its legal responsibility for the public library service -- and citizens' right of appeal;
Ministers and Secretaries of State are obliged to abide by the law and uphold the democratic process. It seems reasonable and, indeed, urgent to request that David Cameron announce a judge-led inquiry into the matters raised here.