MSP launches fresh criticism at Hial centralisation plans

A fresh appeal has been made for ministers to think again ahead of a planned strike next week by air traffic controllers.

Isles MSP Beatrice Wishart has spoken of her concern that ministers have allowed the dispute over centralisation “to come to this”.

Air traffic controllers are planning a walk out next Thursday in protest of plans by minister-owned Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) to move their jobs to Inverness.

An independent report carried out for the Prospect Union estimated £18 million would be taken away from island communities if implemented.

It comes after Ms Wishart learned – through a response to a parliamentary question – that the Scottish government had failed to discuss the details of an impact assessment on Hial’s plans.

“I had hoped that the Scottish government would be encouraged to take the time to listen to local communities when the proposed strike was raised but instead it has allowed it to come to this,” Ms Wishart said.

“The inflexibility of the Scottish government means that many islanders will be inconvenienced including travellers due to go to hospital appointments.”


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