No last minute reprieve for Kinloss rescue centre

ARCC at Kinloss – no reprieve

Any remaining hopes that rescue services in the UK might still be controlled from Moray were finally ended by a letter to Scotland’s First Minister from the UK Prime Minister this week.

In that David Cameron has confirmed that the ARCC currently based at Kinloss will close with all operations moved to Hampshire.

The failure of a last-ditch joint party effort to for the service to remain in Moray was led by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart.

Following receipt of the letter confirming that no change of mind would take place Moray’s MP, Angus Robertson, said that it would be “devastating” for service and civilian personnel at Kinloss, adding that it was further confirmation of the “disproportionate MoD defence cuts in Scotland”.

The SNP’s Westminster leader and defence spokesman said: “This is devastating news for the personnel at Kinloss, for Moray and for Scotland more generally.

“David Cameron’s confirmation of the closure of the rescue centre means that vital search and rescue operations across the North of Scotland will now not be coordinated from Moray but from hundreds of miles away in Hampshire.

“That cannot be allowed to threaten safety, but people will understandably have concerns about how this might affect life-saving search and rescue missions across Scotland.

“On a wider point, this just underlines the extent to which Westminster is slashing defence capabilities across Scotland, by axing bases and personnel.

“We have already seen numbers at Kinloss drastically cut through the crazy scrapping of the entire Nimrod Maritime Patrol fleet, and in Scotland as a whole we have the lowest military personnel numbers in living memory.

“UK Ministers repeatedly scaremongered about the effect they alleged independence could have on defence, yet it is they who are cutting our defence numbers to record low levels.”

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