To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 October 2018 to Question 173522 on Libraries: Merseyside, for what reason this information is not centrally held.
17 October 2018
While the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not hold the data requested, annual statistics on public libraries are collected by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) from returns provided by local authorities. These include details of the net number of libraries open at 31 March of each year. Details of permanent library closures and library openings have been collected for each year since 2014/15 in these statistics.
The Libraries Taskforce also published on 11 January 2018 an extended basic dataset verified by all local authorities in England. This included detail indicating the number of static statutory public libraries in England as at 1 April 2010 and any changes to their status (and new library openings) up to 1 July 2016.