Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant (pictured) has welcomed the support from the SNP councillors in the Western Isles on the campaign to keep Air Traffic Control services locally placed within their communities.
Following a letter written by Cllr. Gordon Murray to HIAL Chief Executive Inglis Lyon beseeching him to rethink the proposals which would see Air Traffic Control services stripped from the islands and rural Scotland and centralised in Inverness, Mrs Grant said:
“It is very telling that the opposition of the Air Traffic Control Proposals is now cross party, and that the SNP Councillors in the Western Isles and SNP members are not supporting the devastating proposals that their Minister of Transport, Michael Matheson is so determined to wave through.”
“The local communities, Air Traffic Controllers and their families, Unions and the Labour party have been battling these proposals for some years now and have consistently listed the catastrophic economic and social effects that the proposals will have on rural and peripheral communities.
“The risks are endless: de-population, loss of robustness, a reduction in quality services.
“I am pleased that the Western Isles SNP Councillors are now stepping up as well.
“Hopefully if Scottish Ministers won’t listen to the concerns of the Scottish people they will at least listen to their own party members.”
Mrs Grant added:
“I hope that the SNP councillors will support the Petition to the Scottish Parliament opposing these proposals and calling for an independent assessment to be made, which was created and circulated by members of affected communities earlier this year.
“That they will be add their voices and make representations when it comes before the petitions committee soon.
“Perhaps then Ministers will realise that this is not a political, but a very serious economic concern.”