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17/5/2012 - Whitehall visit strengthens case for saving MoD Longtown

The defence minister Peter Luff MP has acknowledged that a Cumbrian munitions depot threatened with closure is the most efficient site in the country and that storing most of the country's munitions at a single site poses a higher security risk than dispersing supplies around a number of different locations.

The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology took on board the case put forward by Cumbria County Council and the joint trade unions at a meeting held in Whitehall on Wednesday, 16 May, to discuss the proposed closure of MoD Longtown.

The council's Cabinet member responsible for economic development Cllr Tony Markley, chief executive Jill Stannard, Invest in Cumbria managing director John Grainger travelled to London alongside MoD Longtown employee and Prospect union section secretary Neil Scott.

At the meeting the minister was handed a 1,500-signature petition signed by local people calling for MoD Longtown to continue operations. 

The economic, strategic and social case put forward by the county council and joint trade unions for Longtown to stay open can be seen here.

Cllr Tony Markley said: "It was a constructive meeting and the minister took on board the case we have presented to him for keeping Longtown open. He assured us that no decisions have been made, so it is the right time for us to be underlining the economic and strategic reasons for retaining the site - as well as the massive impact closing it would have on the local community and the Cumbrian economy.

"We will be writing to the minister again to formally invite him to Longtown so that he can visit the site and see for himself that, with a relatively small amount of expenditure, the MoD can retain a valuable strategic asset. I believe it is essential that the minister visits the site before making any decision."

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