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Leader stands by library decision

By SPP Reporter

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MORAY Council will only re-visit its decision to close seven libraries if it is instructed to do so by an outside agency, insists council leader Allan Wright.

Councillor Allan Wright.
Councillor Allan Wright.

Councillor Wright says the decision to close the libraries, which will save £357,000 allied to other measures, will help the council achieve £10 million in budget savings.

Even then, it still needs to lop another £20 million off its budget costs over the next three years in order to balance the books, the leader warned.

Councillor Wright said tough decisions have to be taken and accepts that community campaigns against cuts are inevitable.

Councillor Wright said he remained satisfied that a portfolio of eight libraries across the Associated Schools Group was a "sufficient network".

He insisted that councillors - who voted 13-10 in favour of closing the seven libraries - had carefully considered the Equalities Impact Assessment which recommended closing only four libraries.

He accepts they could face a legal challenge, but warned: "If a group or individual seek a judicial review and that is granted it could initially cost the complainers a large sum of money and when the review is held and if it finds in their favour the costs would be awarded, with the council paying them."

Read the full interview with Councillor Wright in 'The Scot' print version and for more local reaction on the libraries issue.

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