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Coronavirus in Moray: MoD calls off contractors in Lossie


By Alistair Whitfield

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All non-essential work has been ordered to stop at Lossiemouth following concerns raised in the local community.

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Contractors from the central belt have been replacing the roofs on the homes of military families.

The contractors, who were working in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence, initially ceased work after the lockdown was imposed.

However they returned to Moray a week last week Monday.

Residents, including those living in the homes, have been voicing their concerns since that the work is not essential.

Defence Minister James Heappey has today stated that all non-essential work should stop.

Writing to Moray's MP Douglas Ross, he said: "I understand the concerns of the local community at this time and I can assure you the Ministry of Defence takes the matter extremely seriously.

"Although work on essential defence projects is permitted, Senior MOD officials have reviewed this project to determine if it is appropriate that this work continues.

"Following this review, Amey were instructed on 15 April to cease work on the RAF Lossiemouth Service Family Accommodation roofing project.

"Any properties where re-roofing work has begun will be completed and the site will be made safe.

"This will take a few days so Amey staff will continue to be on site.

"However I can assure you that Amey staff are fully aware of the rules regarding social distancing and that this must be adhered to at all times.

"The Station Commander at RAF Lossiemouth will liaise directly with occupants to clarify the reasons behind this work ceasing and address any concerns they may have.

"It should be noted however that essential defence projects, such as the ongoing runway work at RAF Lossiemouth will be uninterrupted, as this is exempt under the current guidance.

"I can confirm that both the MOD and Amey will continue to ensure mandated mitigation measures including social distancing takes place, in order to protect both MOD staff and the local community."

Moray's MP Douglas Ross welcomed the decision.

He said: "I’ve been in regular contact with the Station Commander and Ministers and officials at the Ministry of Defence since this was brought to my attention by local people concerned about outside contractors working here on non-essential projects.

"I’m pleased the MoD have listened to these concerns and agreed that it is not necessary for contractors to be working on married quarters given the current restrictions that are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"It’s been confirmed to me that apart from finishing re-roofing work on properties which had begun and making the site safe, the Amey contractors will stop work and leave the area.

"I hope this reassures local people who were understandably concerned about this."

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