Campaigners have expressed "bitter disappointment" over the decision to push ahead with the closure of six libraries in Aberdeen.

The libraries shut in March following a budget decision by the SNP/Lib Dem administration but locals mounted a hard-fought campaign and legal action to push to reverse the decision.

However, councillors have now backed the controversial move following a fresh consultation but have voted to re-open an axed swimming pool.

The libraries in Woodside, Ferryhill, Cults, Cornhill, Kaimhill and Northfield will remain closed while the Bucksburn pool will be recommissioned.

READ MORE: Aberdeen Libraries - why is the council making these closures?

A spokesperson for Save Aberdeen Libraries (SAL) said the decision would be remembered by voters when they come to the ballot box in future.

He said: “We are bitterly disappointed that Aberdeen councillors voted to confirm the library closures.

"They will be a huge loss to the communities they served. We’re very proud of what our campaign achieved, bringing attention to the issue, but it’s not the result we’d hoped for.

"Such is the strength of feeling in the city, we believe these closures will be remembered at the ballot box."

A full meeting of the council considered on Thursday afternoon whether to stick with the original decision or bring facilities back into service.

Local author Karen Barrett-Ayres had called for a decision to be delayed to await a more detailed report with “solid evidence” on user data.

“I think libraries are much more than just books, they are social spaces," she told councillors.

The decision was split along party lines with the Labour and Conservative groups pushing to reopen all seven facilities but an SNP/Lib Dem administration motion to keep the libraries closed but open the pool was approved.

It comes against a backdrop of Aberdeen City Council facing a £47 million deficit that prompted cuts to arts and leisure, transportation and education and the closing of nurseries, pools, gyms and school bus routes.

The motion passed 24 votes to 16.

The SAL spokesperson added: “It’s a great shame that there was no creative thinking at Thursday's council meeting to see what could be done to save even one library.

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"However, it’s clear there was political chicanery as the Bucksburn Swimming Pool decision was publicly signalled by politicians very shortly after the council papers were published last week.

"This decision matters in Aberdeen, but it is not just a local issue. Libraries need protection nationwide.

"Core public services matter to communities across Scotland, and make no mistake that they are under threat under current funding arrangements.

Bucksburn Labour councillor Graeme Lawrence said he was "delighted" about the pool.

"I am sure there will be dancing in the streets of Bucksburn tonight," he told the meeting.

The Save Bucksburn Swimming Pool campaign described it as a "monumental victory".

Possible improvements to the building and net zero upgrades to reduce energy costs will be assessed.

Save Aberdeen Libraries maintains there has never been a clear explanation from the council as to why the six libraries were chosen for closure in the first place.

The group had hoped there would be a stay of execution for the facilities until work on various library consultations had been completed.

The spokesperson added: "We take a small consolation from the fact that we have forced the council to take a long hard look at its processes, but it should not have taken legal action for that to happen after concerns had been raised.

"Residents will hold the council to account and its decision making will be scrutinised even more closely.

"We have seen this week that Aberdeen is failing to meet Curriculum for Excellence targets for reading and literacy with some of the worst levels of achievement in Scotland.

"The decision to reduce opportunities for access to public libraries will very likely guarantee that trend continues.

"The people of Aberdeen deserve better and should be alert to the council’s next budget to see what’s on the chopping block in 2024.”