§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will meet local authority representatives to discuss ways of improving the library service in rural areas; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lang
[holding answer 22 May 1990]: Statutory responsibility for the local authority public library service in Scotland lies with the local authorities themselves and not with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. I have had no request from local authority representatives for a meeting on rural library services and I do not think that such a meeting would serve any useful purpose at present. I am, nevertheless, aware of the recent report on public library provision in rural Scotland. My officials met representatives of the sponsors of the report to discuss the issues involved and I have undertaken to consider the proposal of a rural library incentive scheme in due course in light of an evaluation of a comparable scheme presently in operation in England.