Leading article: History must live

No area of public services is safe from cuts, but a suspicion persists that "softer" targets are bearing the brunt disproportionately. The assault on public libraries is an example of the Government targeting a service which, while outwardly non-essential, in fact has the potential to be at the heart of any Big Society.

The same is true of museums, yet according to a report published today by the Museums Association they too are suffering "devastating" cuts. Of 140 museums surveyed, 22 per cent are reducing their opening hours and 46 per cent expect the quality of their service to decrease over the next year. These are grim findings, and the message needs re-emphasising: learning is not a luxury.

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