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By Tim Montgomerie

In the Commons yesterday the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt announced reform of quangoes under his department's purview:

"I shall make a brief statement, if I may, to start proceedings. First, because of my Department's responsibility to take its share of reducing the deficit inherited from the previous Government, we have announced today plans to rationalise or merge a number of arm's length bodies for which we are responsible. As part of that, we have said that we are considering the abolition of the UK Film Council and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. That does not reflect our commitment to the Government's or the lottery's investing in UK film, or Government support for the sectors represented by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. However, in the constrained circumstances in which we find ourselves, we want to ensure that every penny is used on front-line services, not on back-office and bureaucracy."

Further proposals from Mr Hunt include:

  • Abolishing the Advisory Council on Libraries and winding up the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel
  • Abolishing the Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites
  • Declassifying the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships and transferring its functions to another body
  • Declassifying the Theatres Trust so it can act as an independent statutory advisory body.

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