asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are satisfied with the extent of dissemination of their consultation paper
Access to Museums and Galleries; and to whom or to which public museums and galleries this paper was sent; and [HL1675]
How many comments they received in response to the consultation paper Access to Museums and Galleries; from whom they received such comments; what was the text of these comments; and whether, in the interests of wider public discussion and access, they will publish these comments in full, and place a copy in the Library of the House; and [HL1676]
Whether their consultation paper Access to Museums and Galleries was sent directly to public authority museums and galleries or organisations representing such museums. [HL1677]
The consultation paper Access to Museums and Galleries was issued by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in December 1997. It was sent to the national museums and galleries sponsored by the department and to the Museums and Galleries Commission (MGC) and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Offices for wider distribution. The MGC sent it to all of the Area Musuem Councils (AMCs). In addition, the consultation paper was publicised in the Secretary of State's interim access announcement made at that time and in associated press coverage. A copy was made available on the department's web-site. We are, therefore, satisfied that the access paper was made widely available.Over 60 responses have been received from national museums and galleries, AMCs, arts and museums organisations, local museums and local authorities, and interested members of the public. Comments were not requested on the understanding that they would be made public, but a list of the organisations which have responded has been placed in the Library of the House.We are continuing to consider ways of increasing access to museums and galleries as part of the departmental spending review. That will be completed by the summer, when a further announcement will be made. The revised Access Code is likely to be issued at the same time.