Published: 01/06/2013 18:00 - Updated: 31/05/2013 11:37

Libraries campaigners meet MP and MSP

LIBRARY campaigners have met with Moray’s MP and MSP to discuss the next steps in their campaign.

The campaigners with Mr Lochhead (left) and Mr Robertson (centre).
The campaigners with Mr Lochhead (left) and Mr Robertson (centre).

The ‘Save Moray’s Libraries’ group further wrote to the area’s 26 councillors after the Scottish Libraries and Information Council (SLIC) said it was probing what ­“adequate” provision meant.

The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen will undertake the work, which campaigner Joan Megson ­believes could force a rethink.

In the letter to councillors, Dr Megson wrote: “Following Moray Council’s swingeing cuts to the library service, the Scottish Government and SLIC realised that a definition of an ‘adequate’ statutory service was needed in terms of number of libraries as well as quality of service. This work has started.

“Therefore, if the library ­closures go ahead, Moray Council could be in the position of having to reopen some or all libraries when the new definition is available."

In announcing the closures as part of this year’s budget, the administration group said it was confident “adequate” provision would remain, in line with its statutory duty.

They said tough choices had to be made as the ­authority looked to make savings of £30 million over four years.

MSP Richard Lochhead said SNP councillors ­opposed the budget, which they claimed had no overarching ­strategy and would hit the most vulnerable.

“This was a really good catch-up meeting with the local campaigners to share information and consider the next steps,” he said.

MP Angus Robertson said closures would hit disadvantaged groups the hardest.

“The strength of feeling about the library closures is there for all to see,” he said.

Campaigner Daphne Francis described the meeting as encouraging and useful, and said they remained focused on fighting the decision.

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