Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tavish Scott and the Scottish Liberal Democrats fight to save RAF Leuchars

You can't marry a St Andrews boy like I did and not be aware of the enormous significance of RAF Leuchars which sits just a few miles outside the town. He tells me that when he was a little boy, his nights were disturbed by the roar of the engine testing and he was excited with all the planes flying back and forth. The first links with military aviation in that area are 100 years old, and the RAF base we know today was opened in 1920.  Most people will know it for its spectacular annual air show, but it is a busy working base with a vital strategic purpose.

Not only is it part of the defence of our country, but the base provides a living for almost 1800 people. If it closes, all that money is taken out of the local economy, which would be a catastrophe for Fife.

Not only that, but we've already lost RAF Kinloss. If we are going to have enough cover to help in mountain rescues, we need to have both Leuchars and Lossiemouth able to provide it. As a former youth hostel warden, I know how busy the mountains are with walkers and climbers. Conditions can turn nasty in an instant and it's vital that we are able to rescue trapped or injured visitors.

Today, as the Courier reports, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott has gone to London along with North East Fife MSP and MP Iain Smith and Menzies Campbell to make the case for the retention of Leuchars to Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey.

Let's hope that they are successful in their mission.

1 comment:

James said...

If Scotland wants to keep this base badly enough, surely the parliament there can stump up the cash...


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