Westminster debate ‘inevitable’ as 100k sign oil protest

THE TARGET OF almost 100,000 signatures is expected to be reached that will spark a debate in Westminster over the establishment of ship-to-ship oil transfers on the Moray Firth.

For over a year campaigners in Moray and throughout the Highlands have sought to halt plans by the Cromarty Port Authority to increase transfers at the mouth of the Cromarty Firth – posing what many believe to be an unnecessary threat to sea life including the resident dolphin population.

The Cromarty Rising campaign has also shown that a serious risk would exist to popular beaches all along the shoreline – including from Findhorn to Lossiemouth.

Now a petition raised by Cromarty Rising and 38 Degrees will this week be there to meet Highland Councillors as they arrive for their final meeting before the May local authority elections. There they will hold a peaceful and visible demonstration of the strength of feeling from communities and businesses in the Highlands and Moray.

A campaign spokesman said: “Staff from 38 Degrees Scotland will arrange to hand-in the list of signatures, which now stands close to 100,000 making a Westminster debate on transfers of millions of tonnes of crude oil inside a Special Area of Conservation appear inevitable.

“This is an important part of community involvement in decision-making and will be another major milestone for the campaign which has already seen the first licence application rejected.”

The campaigners are calling on anyone who has not yet signed the petition to do so online at https://you38degrees.org.uk/petitions/danger-to-sea-life-from-oil-spills?bucket=blast

The petition hand-in will take place at 9am on Thursday outside Highland Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness to which people are encouraged to go along and lend support.