NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Author Tony Black calls for Moray libraries re-think

Tony Black
Image caption Tony Black believes the libraries should not be closed

A best-selling Scottish crime writer is urging Moray Council to reconsider library closure plans.

Tony Black is campaigning to save the seven libraries that are set to shut because of the local authority's budget cuts.

Mr Black told BBC Scotland the library plans would "devastate" the local community.

Moray Council said it was facing an "unprecedented" cut in its annual budget.

However, Mr Black - who said many other authors backed his call - explained: "Libraries got me interested in writing.

"It's where people go to get together. These places are hugely popular.

"We are talking about wiping all that away.

"It's going to absolutely devastate the community."

'Sufficient libraries'

A Moray Council spokesperson said: "The Moray Council is facing an unprecedented £30m cut in its annual £250m budget, which for many elements of service provision will mean a reduction.

"We asked the Moray public in an extensive high-profile consultation what services they wanted protecting and the budget approved this month reflected their responses.

"No-one is going to be happy about a service reduction, but the status quo is not an option and we believe that, even with these closures, there will still be sufficient libraries to serve the communities of Moray."

Mr Black's novels include Paying For It and Long Time Dead and feature private detective Gus Dury.

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