More Kin­loss jobs may be at risk

Ex­clu­sive: De­fence com­mu­ni­ca­tions staff could be axed un­der re­struc­ture plans

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - MORAY NEWS - BY CALUM ROSS

Jobs could be axed at a Mo­ray mil­i­tary base where ex­perts re­ceive and trans­mit mes­sages from UK and Nato forces around the world.

The Press and Jour­nal has learned that a con­trac­tor is plan­ning a shake-up – in­clud­ing pos­si­ble re­dun­dan­cies – at the De­fence High Fre­quency Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ser­vice (DHFCS) at Kin­loss Bar­racks.

The move would rep­re­sent a fresh blow to the base, which has al­ready been slashed in size from more than 1,200 per­son­nel to about 700 since the Army re­placed the RAF at the site.

Kin­loss has suf­fered by far the most re­dun­dan­cies of any Scot­tish base un­der Min­istry of De­fence (MoD) cut­backs, with 160 posts axed in re­cent years, 31% of the to­tal in Scot­land.

Mo­ray MP An­gus Robert­son, the SNP de­fence spokesman, has writ- ten to con­trac­tor Bab­cock seek­ing ur­gent clar­i­fi­ca­tion over the DHFCS site.

The firm con­firmed last night it was con­sult­ing work­ers and trade unions at Kin­loss over a pos­si­ble re­struc­tur­ing, and could not rule out re­dun­dan­cies or re-de­ploy­ing staff.

The civil­ian com­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­perts at DHFCS over­see trans­mis­sions from con­trol sta­tions in Har­ro­gate and Kin­loss, sup- ported by an­other 12 ra­dio sta­tions in the UK, Cyprus, As­cen­sion Is­land and the Falk­lands.

All in­for­ma­tion has to be routed and trans­mit­ted and could be sup­port­ing mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions, sea res­cues, anti-piracy or an­tidrug op­er­a­tions.

The MoD and Bab­cock would not dis­close last night how many DHFCS staff were based at Kin­loss, or how many posts were un­der threat, but one source sug­gested six staff could face re­dun­dancy or re­de­ploy­ment.

A spokes­woman for Bab­cock said: “We have em­barked on the very early stages of con­sul­ta­tion with our trade unions and work­force based at Kin­loss Bar­racks re­gard­ing the po­ten­tial re­struc­ture of that part of our or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Mr Robert­son said: “Yet again weare hear­ing of fur­ther pos­si­ble de­fence re­dun­dan­cies at Kin­loss, which has al­ready lost sub­stan­tial num­bers of ser­vice per­son­nel against a back­drop of chronic de­fence-un­der-spend­ing in Scot­land.”

DHFCS was set up in 2003 un­der a pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship agree­ment for 15 years. It was orig­i­nally run by VT Group, and taken over by Bab­cock in 2010.

HIT HARD: RAF Kin­loss in Mo­ray suf­fered the high­est re­dun­dan­cies in MoD cut­backs with 160 posts chopped in re­cent years

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