Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Monday, 1 November 2010

Moray's RAF Bases member's debate

Labour MSP David Stewart said that RAF Kinloss and RAF Lossiemouth made a substantial contribution to the Moray economy and that the two bases collectively supported 5,711 full-time equivalent jobs in the local economy, during his member's debate on 3 November 2010.

RAF Kinloss is set to effectively close after the order for new Nimrods was cancelled, and there are growing fears for the future of RAF Lossiemouth.

Mr Stewart said it made more economic sense to keep the Nimrod order than to cancel it.

The Labour list MSP for Highlands and Islands said the community of Moray were more dependent on the RAF than any other region in the UK.

He said that the wider impact of the bases on the population was significant, with the families of RAF personnel accounting for 1,457 spouses and 1,919 children up to 16 years of age, which was 7% of the total population of Moray.

Local MSP for Moray Richard Lochhead, made an intervention and said he agreed with Mr Stewart that it was a "complete folly" to cancel the Nimrod contract.

SNP MSP Dave Thompson said Moray was "gripped by fear and apprehension" about the potential closures and they would have a devastating impact on RAF personnel and their families.

Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said Moray was a defence sector orientated community.

Mr Mather said the MOD needed to work with the Scottish Parliament "sleeves rolled " up to make sure the outcome was a solid one.

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