Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News




Richard Lochhead MSP has sought answers from MOD bosses over community concerns that construction workers are travelling back and forth to Moray for MOD related work.

Constituents in Lossiemouth, Elgin and Hopeman, have been in touch with the MSP expressing their concern that whilst the community is in temporary lockdown, they are witnessing workers from elsewhere in the UK travelling to Moray on a regular basis for non-essential work, including repairs to MOD houses.

Mr Lochhead has raised this directly with the new Station Commander after he was previously assured that all non-essential work had been postponed.

Moray’s MSP has called for transparency from the MOD around these issues and has asked for a detailed report as to what work is being carried out and an explanation as to why it is essential.

Commenting Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“Over the last few days I’ve been inundated with emails and messages from constituents who have serious concerns about construction workers moving in and out of the area to carry out MOD related work, including repairs on RAF houses.

“The community is in lockdown and with clear guidance that all non-essential work, and non-essential travel, should be stopped to try to reduce the spread of the virus.

“I spoke to the station commander a couple of weeks ago and was assured all nonessential work had been postponed and that only emergency repairs were continuing. I also was led to believe that the construction workers were being provided with accommodation on the base to take into account the community’s concerns.

“ However, I am now being told by constituents that some construction workers are being provided with accommodation in the community and are regularly travelling between there and elsewhere in the UK. And whilst local hotels are allowed to provide accommodation for key workers, the question right now is whether these jobs are indeed essential and, on the face of it, it would appear they are not.

“I’m in contact with the new station commander and MoD about the community’s concerns and where national security isn’t an issue, I think it is important that we have complete transparency around these issues so the community is kept in the picture.

“The MOD has a duty to defend the local community and its own workers from this virus, so my own view is that a precautionary approach should be taken at RAF Lossiemouth and the MoD.

“That means following the example of others and suspending all non-essential construction work both behind and beyond the wire, especially where it involves workers travelling back and forth from other parts of the UK, unless it concerns national security which certainly isn’t the case when we are talking about scheduled work on MoD housing that could easily be postponed for a few weeks. Local families and even the contract workers and service families that have contacted me are anxious and want this stopped. ”