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Moray MSP Richard Lochhead calls for MoD to "break silence" over contractors travelling to RAF Lossiemouth as community groups express concern


By Jonathan Clark

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SEVERAL community groups across Moray have expressed concern about contractors travelling to and from RAF Lossiemouth to complete non-essential work.

Richard Lochhead, SNP MSP for Moray, is calling for transparency from the Ministry of Defence.
Richard Lochhead, SNP MSP for Moray, is calling for transparency from the Ministry of Defence.

Lossiemouth Community Council, Burghead Community Council, Lossiemouth Community Development Trust and Lossiemouth Business Association have all contacted Moray's SNP MSP Richard Lochhead to raise the issue of MoD workers travelling in and out of the base to complete construction and maintenance work.

Mr Lochhead last week welcomed the decision to halt maintenance work on RAF houses on South Covesea Terrace, but says he continues to be contacted by community groups, as well as constituents and workers, who are concerned about work continuing on other projects.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead...Picture: Daniel Forsyth. Image No..
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead...Picture: Daniel Forsyth. Image No..

Contractors are said to be travelling in and out of Moray from other parts of the United Kingdom, including Hampshire, the Midlands and the central belt of Scotland.

After calling for greater clarity on the issue last week, Mr Lochhead has contacted the MoD on three occasions without receiving a response and has now expressed his disappointment at the lack of communication.

He said: "With every day that passes, the anxiety in our local communities grows and the silence from the MoD is unacceptable.

"These are not normal times and it’s not business as usual, even for our defence sector. Every measure that can be taken to make our communities feel safer and also protect workers should be taken without further delay.

"I can’t see how national security is going to be jeopardised by simply extending the temporary measures already in place at RAF Lossiemouth during the current work for a few additional weeks.

"RAF Lossiemouth needs to be a good neighbour in the community’s hour of need and I feel that the call for a halt to vans full of workers travelling back and forth from places like Leicester to Lossiemouth, and elsewhere in Moray, should be heeded.

"Either the projects can be suspended for a few weeks or, if this can’t be done, the workers should be housed behind the wire on the base, provided they are protected with social distancing measures in place."

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