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Moray task force build case for RAF Lossiemouth

28 October 2010

The Moray task force will meet in Elgin tomorrow (Friday 29 October 2010) to discuss progress on a submission to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) outlining detailed defence, economic and social arguments for retaining RAF Lossiemouth.

The case being created by the task force, with input from top level economists and defence experts, is due to be handed to the Defence Secretary Liam Fox early next month.

Leaders from the public, private and community sectors joined forces following announcements from the UK Government and the MOD that personnel would be withdrawn from RAF Kinloss and the future of RAF Lossiemouth was uncertain.

Following a week of intensive action the task force will also review a 60 point plan drawn up to minimise the impact of the MOD decisions and to campaign against any closure at RAF Lossiemouth.

Calum MacPherson, of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, who is leading the task force delivery team, said the mobilisation from every corner of the community to oppose the announcements had been tremendous.

"More than one week on and we have had no further information from the MOD about their plans which could have an impact on one in every five jobs in Moray. As a task force we are putting together the strongest possible arguments for the retention of the Tornado squadrons in Moray, and we will continue to press for answers for the community and businesses in the area."

"The First Minister Alex Salmond has said that the campaign here is a matter of national importance and the task force is working to ensure that our concerns are heard at Scottish and UK levels."

Following the task force meeting there will also be discussions with senior Scotland Office officials in Elgin. The task force will be seeking support in gaining access to high level MOD contacts and with help in considering how investment can be encouraged into Moray from a UK perspective to alleviate the MOD situation.

Task force activity this week:

  • 27 October, community and business leaders from across Moray meet with Scottish Government Ministers in Edinburgh.
  • The First Minister writes to Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Defence setting out serious concerns about the SDSR's implications for Scotland.
  • The task force agrees a deadline of November 5 to put forward a detailed submission to the Defence Secretary and the MOD outlining the defence, economic and social case for retaining the Tornados.
  • 28 October, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, makes an Emergency Parliamentary Statement on the Economic and Social Impacts of the SDSR.
  • 29 October, Moray Task Force meet to discuss progress on a submission to the MOD outlining detailed defence, economic and social arguments for retaining RAF Lossiemouth.


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