Published: 11/11/2013 17:00 - Updated: 11/11/2013 16:35

Reverse decision or legal action will follow say campaigners

MORAY Council has been warned to reverse its decision to close seven rural libraries or legal action will follow.

Vivien Hendry with her solicitor Peter Brash. Photo by Daniel Forsyth.
Vivien Hendry with her solicitor Peter Brash. Photo by Daniel Forsyth.

And the local authority has been given until Friday to respond to the demand from the Save Our Libraries Moray.

At the very least, the campaign group wants the council to promise not to go ahead with any closures - planned for the end of November - while the the possibility of a judicial review remains.

Vivien Hendry, a leading member of the campaign, confirmed that she has made an application for civil Legal Aid in a bid to challenge the decision by the Independent-Conservative administration of the council.

The council insists that Moray will retain an adequate library network even if it presses ahead with the closure of facilities in Burghead, Dufftown, Cullen, Hopeman, Findochty, Portknockie and Rothes and one mobile library.

Ms Hendry, speaking at a campaign press conference in Elgin, said: "We don’t want this to go to court but I do believe in standing up and taking action when a decision is so blatantly wrong.

"Please Moray Council," she added, "listen to what the people of Moray are telling you.

"Save Our Libraries Moray do not want to have to go to court but the ruling administration at Moray Council are leaving us with no choice."

Ms Hendry said it was not too late for the council to "do the right thing and change their minds".

Peter Brash, Ms Hendry’s solicitor, confirmed that a letter has been sent to Roddy Burns, chief executive of Moray Council, informing him of the intention to seek Legal Aid for a Judicial Review at the Court of Session.

He revealed that advice from Counsel had been positive in favour of an individual challenging the decision by the council.

Councillor Allan Wright, leader of the council, said he would consult with the chief executive and legal officers before responding to the letter from Ms Hendry.

For more on this story see ‘The Northern Scot’ print version on Friday.

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