THE Equality and Human Rights Commission will consider a complaint over the proposed closure of seven Moray libraries on October 14.
The SNP opposition group on Moray Council lodged an objection with the Commission over the Independent-Conservative administration’s decision to shut libraries in Burghead, Cullen, Dufftown, Findochty, Hopeman, Portknockie and Rothes.
That was despite the fact that the council’s own Equalities Impact Assessment recommended closing only four of its 15 libraries, and retaining Burghead, Cullen and Dufftown.
Councillor Mike Shand, SNP education spokesman, said: "I am pleased that the Equalities Commission are considering the issue of Moray library closures at a high level and that this consideration will take place fairly soon.
"The response from the Commission will clearly be important in guiding those of us opposed to this shocking decision.
"People from across Scotland have been speaking of their disbelief at the decision by Moray’s Tory and Independent councillors, including many prominent authors such as Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland.
"When I am out and about in the community the overwhelming response from people is that the Council’s Administration have not a clue what libraries are about and that their decision is short-sighted and totally irresponsible."
However, the leader of Moray Council, Allan Wright, told ‘The Scot’ last week that the decision to close the libraries would not be revisited unless it was instructed to do so by an outside agency.
Councillor Wright said he stood by his belief that a network of eight libraries was sufficient for the needs of the public.