Page last updated at 15:58 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 16:58 UK

Taskforce meets Scots secretary

The taskforce set up to save 125 threatened jobs at rocket test ranges on the Western Isles has met Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy.

Defence contractor QinetiQ runs the sites on South Uist and Benbecula on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, along with one on St Kilda.

The move to cut staff numbers is part of plans aimed at saving about £50m.

The taskforce includes public bodies including local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Group chairman Angus Campbell said Mr Murphy was well aware about the impact of staff reductions would have on jobs and the islands economy.

He said Defence Minister Quentin Davies was also now expected to visit the isles.

Mr Campbell added: "Mr Murphy also stated that one of the options at the end of the consultation period would be to defer the matter to allow further consideration of alternative options.

"In the meantime the taskforce emphasised that it is vital that we have access to the fullest information to allow us and the teams we have commissioned to prepare a robust response to the MoD's proposals."

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