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Volume 888: debated on Tuesday 11 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the estimated cost per annum of running local authority libraries, university libraries and central libraries within his responsibility; what is the cost of providing library facilities for the disabled and the elderly; what actions are proposed to provide library facilities or their equivalents for the housebound, elderly and disabled; and if he will make a statement.

The available figures are given below. Statistics are not kept of the cost of providing specifically for the groups of library users mentioned by my hon. Friend. The extent and character of the facilities needed for them are matters for decision by the public library authorities and the other bodies responsible, and I have no grounds for thinking that there is a general need for me to remind them of their responsibilities. Nevertheless, I have asked the Library Advisory Council to give thought to the question and to report in due course.

Current expenditure in 1973–74£ million at outturn prices
Public Libraries in England and Wales90·49
University Libraries*(England and Wales)17·61
British Library†8·82
*Figures estimated on the basis of expenditure in 1972–73 increased to allow for cost increases, etc. They exclude expenditure on rates, heating, lighting, repairs and general maintenance.
†The British Library came into bieng on 1st July 1973. The figure shown is estimated from expenditure incurred between 1st July 1973 and 31st March 1974.