Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 07:56 UK

Minister urged to save range jobs

St Kilda radar station
There are plans to withdraw staff from St Kilda's radar station

Campaigners are urging the defence minister to scrap plans to axe 125 jobs in the Hebrides.

It comes as Quentin Davies begins a two-day tour of the affected islands.

The MoD has announced plans to halve the workforce at the missile range on South Uist and Benbecula and withdraw staff from its base on St Kilda.

Locals say cutting 125 jobs in these small communities will have a huge impact. The job cuts are part of plans aimed at saving about £50m.

The ranges and a tracking station on St Kilda are used for the testing of weapons systems, including the Rapier surface-to-air missile defence.

The MoD will remotely control firing operations at the missile bases from another base in south Wales.

Hebrides Range Task Force chairman Angus Campbell has called on the UK government to think again about the move.

Ministers have said that although they do not underestimate the impact of the job losses, the financial reasons are compelling.

Mr Davies was to visit St Kilda before meeting campaigners on Wednesday.



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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Press and Journal Minister urged to end missile range job fears - 1 hr ago
Glasgow Herald Better UK co-ordination required, says report - 8 hrs ago
The Scotsman Island jobs campaigners put their case to minister - 8 hrs ago
STV.tv Minister urged to reconsider Hebrides defence cuts - 32 hrs ago



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