Parliamentary debate on Moray’s libraries moves a step closer

Library closures in Moray is set to be discussed by the Scottish Government with a debate on the controversial Moray Council decision likely in the next two weeks.

Campaigners from the Save our Libraries Moray group met with Highlands and Islands independent MSP Jean Urquhart this week.  Ms Urquhart raised a motion at the Holyrood Parliament in support of the campaign to retain all libraries in Moray.

Her motion was soon followed by a second from Banffshire & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson – with both receiving wide support within the Scottish Parliament a debate over the issue looks assured.

That was backed up this week by Labour MSP’s for the Highlands and Islands, Rhoda Grant and David Stewart, who have both now signed the motion with Mrs Grant also seeking a meeting with the campaign group.

Mrs Grant said: “I am pleased to see this important issue will now hopefully be discussed in the Parliament.  From the outcry in Moray from local communities and the great work being done to oppose the closures by the Save Our Libraries Moray campaign group, it is clear that this is a decision that should be reversed.

“I strongly oppose these closures and look forward to highlighting the issue in Parliament.”

Alistair Jeffs, chairman of Save our Libraries Moray, welcomed the support from Mrs Grant, saying: “At the start of this campaign we wrote to every MSP drawing their attention to the fact that this was not just a serious matter for Moray, it was of vital importance for every library in Scotland.

“We have been pleased at the level of support from throughout Scotland and that is being reflected by the number of MSP’s who have now signed the motion in support of retaining libraries in Moray.

“We are expecting an answer from our legal advisers this week over what steps can be taken in the Court of Session to reverse this decision.

“However, we make one final appeal to Moray Council to reconsider this decision.  It would surely be far better for all concerned if this matter was properly and openly discussed in the council chamber with all members present, demonstrating that our councillors are listening to the people who elected them.”

The seven libraries and one mobile library are scheduled for closure at the end of November.

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