Thursday, 9 September 2010
Baroness P D James joins the PLR fight.
The letter is reproduced below and any writers who have not yet signed the petition then please see the previous post for a link to the online petition
Secretary of State
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street
8th September 2010
Dear Secretary of State
Public Lending Right
As you are probably aware, there is great anxiety among writers about PLR funding, which
they feel should be maintained at its present level (or thereabouts) in the Spending Review.
We think it important to recognise that PLR has been operating with reduced budgets over
the past three years, while public expenditure generally has been rising.
PLR is a statutory right, very efficiently and economically managed by a tiny staff.
Authors greatly value the modest income they receive when their books are read by library
users free of charge. Many writers whose books are no longer in print rely on their annual
PLR payments which they see as a form of pension.
In order to test our impression that writers are hugely supportive of Britain’s exemplary PLR
system, The Society of Authors, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and the
Royal Society of Literature asked members to consider adding their names to a short
statement, which is attached to this letter. In a matter of days over 4,000 did so, including, as
you will see, many of this country’s most eminent writers.
The Spending Review is clearly going to present the Department with some difficult choices.
We ask you to take into account that PLR is a legal right rather than a grant or subsidy, that it
has already been reduced significantly and that it is a vital ‘front line’ service on which
Baroness James of Holland Park OBE
President, Society of Authors