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7 November 2013

Moray MP & MSPs Welcome Campaigners' Library Challenge

Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, MP, Angus Robertson, and Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson, have welcomed the decision by campaigners to save Moray’s libraries to challenge the decision in court.

The challenge, being made after receiving positive early legal advice, is being made following the decision by Moray Council’s Independent and Tory Administration to close 7 of its 15 libraries as a budget measure.

SNP Councillors and the local MP and MSP have opposed and condemned the decision, which has been deeply unpopular.

Commenting on the campaign group’s legal move Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“Today’s announcement by Save Our Libraries Moray, that are now set to challenge the Council’s decision in court is to be welcomed. I have been inundated with messages about the decision taken by Moray’s Independent and Tory Councillors and I strongly believe that they have taken the wrong decision and it will have a completely disproportionate impact.

“The SNP is fully behind the library campaigners and believe the Council must think again. The Council’s administration should now reconsider their wrong decision to close seven libraries, which has been roundly condemned by local communities, prominent authors and many others. They should accept they are wrong and back down rather than taking further financial and reputational damage by fighting this court challenge.”

Angus Robertson MP said:

“SNP politicians in Moray have voted against these library closures and we have joined the campaigners in protest against the decision. This is a passionate campaign about the saving of a critical local service.

“Libraries are at the heart and soul of our local communities and to close them is complete folly. Moray Council’s Independent and Tory Councillors should look long and hard at themselves and consider whether the comparatively small amount of savings being achieved is worth the damage this will do to communities. They must accept the clear opposition from the communities they represent and leave Moray’s libraries alone.”

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP, Stewart Stevenson, whose constituency includes the communities of Cullen, Portknockie and Findochty, who are set to lose their libraries, said:

"The communities of Moray have been rightly shocked by the decision to close seven libraries, which seems to have no strategic or logical basis.

“I congratulate the campaigners on their tenacity in pushing forward with a legal challenge to the decision and I would urge the Independents and Tories in Moray Council’s administration to reconsider the closures and listen to the communities they claim to represent.”
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