Cabinet Secretary to ask Moray Council to reconsider Libraries closures

A letter appealing for a change of heart from Moray Council over their decision to close seven Libraries in Moray is to be issued by the Scottish Government cabinet secretary responsible for culture and external affairs.

Fiona Hyslop MSP has written to the SNP group at Moray Council expressing her support for their stance against library closures, adding that she is now considering the message the decision is sending to the rest of Scotland about the value of library services.

The SNP and Labour groups at the local authority opposed the Tory/Independent administration decision to close libraries in Moray despite warnings from their own legal officers and an Equalities Impact Assessment.

Following the decision the SNP wrote to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, seeking their opinion on the legality of that decision. The Commission is expected to give a view on the matter this week.

Acknowledging that the Scottish Government held no statutory powers over the provision of library services, in her letter the cabinet secretary added: “We remain concerned, as I’m sure you do, about the potential equality issues and you were right to bring this to the attention of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

“I intend to write to Moray Council about the decision and assure you that I am considering the implications further as regards the message it sends to the rest of Scotland about the value of library services.”

Meanwhile Save our Libraries Moray will join a joint protest against decisions being made by Moray Council against the wishes of the public.

March for Moray will take place from Glen Moray Drive in Elgin at 11.45 this morning (Saturday), proceeding through the town to the High Street.

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