Politicians and local campaigners fighting to save almost half the public libraries in Moray from closure, will hear today whether the council's decision to axe them is consistent with equality legislation.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission considered the issue yesterday and wrote to those who had complained, outlining the commissioner's view. A statement will be issued this morning but a spokesman stressed the commission was not a judicial body and could only consider whether the council met its legal duties under the relevant legislation in assessing the needs of groups, such as the disabled, before coming to a decision. Opposition SNP councillors on Moray Council and others had reported the Conservative/Independent administration to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission following its decision last month to close seven of the 15 libraries.

The administration voted to proceed despite a 150-page Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) from council officials, which recommended three be saved because of the impact on the elderly, disabled and families with young children.

These were Dufftown, Cullen and Burghead. But by 13 votes to 10, councillors opted to stick to their original budget proposal made earlier this year.