Scotland's Moray council to close seven libraries

The Moray Council in Scotland has announced the closure of seven libraries as it looks to make £30m of savings in the next three years.

Currently, the authority maintains 15 libraries, but it the council claims it needs to nearly halve that figure to balance its books.

Alongside the library cuts, the council is also cutting 100% of its funding for arts development.

As the budget plans were approved by the council yesterday (13th February), council leader Alan Wright warned that the plans "may not be the end of reductions in that sector". He also announced a long-term proposal to establish a leisure trust that would look after all the council's leisure services. He said: "I do not believe the council can continue to sustain all the leisure facilities we currently enjoy."

The cuts echo those that have been announced in Newcastle, where the council is looking to close 10 of its 18 libraries, as well as completely cutting its arts and culture budget. However, this week, according to the Guardian, the deputy leader of the Labour party Harriet Harman intervened with the Labour-controlled council there, and insisted: "The reality is there is not going to be a 100% cut to the arts in Newcastle.

"Across the board, whether it comes to capital funding or revenue funding they will be supporting the arts."