The MoD and RAF Lossiemouth have now responded to Richard Lochhead MSP regarding the community’s concerns about ongoing construction and maintenance work, as well as worries over workers from other parts of the UK travelling in and out of the area to work on MoD projects.
RAF Lossiemouth compiled for the MSP and local community a briefing note on the construction work that is taking place behind the wire that Mr Lochhead recently requested.
Defence Ministers have also informed the MSP that work is underway to move contractors into accommodation on the base.
Mr Lochhead is seeking feedback from local communities on the responses he has received, but recognises there are outstanding issues around maintenance works which haven’t been addressed in the replies from the MoD and RAF Lossiemouth.
Initial feedback from community representatives is that the MoD’s response to their concerns is vague and lacking in urgency in relation to the number of workers regularly travelling to Moray during lockdown.
Commenting Mr Lochhead said:
“I’m pleased to have now received a response from the MoD regarding the community’s concerns around non-essential working continuing and also about contractors travelling in and out of the area from other parts of the UK.
“I am also grateful to RAF Lossiemouth for producing the briefing outlining what construction work is happening behind the wire that I requested from the Station Commander.
“However, there are outstanding issues that are not addressed in either of these replies, including the fact that I continue to be told of lots of non-essential work being carried out by workers who are coming in and out of the area, including maintenance in MoD houses, albeit that some work has ceased.
“Some of the initial feedback I’ve had from the community leaders who contacted me is one of disappointment and a feeling that the MoD aren’t being as responsive as the community would like particularly in relation concerns about workers travelling back and forth to the area during lockdown and staying locally.
“I’ll be speaking to the community groups who contacted me to consider next steps, but I think it is clear that more needs to be done to reassure local residents.
“The MoD has a duty to protect our community and to be a good neighbour, and the feedback I’m getting suggests there is more to be done to give the public the confidence they need.”