Jo Swinson lobbies Minister about proposed closure of Scottish Met Office

Jo Swinson opposes moving Scottish weather forecasting to Exeter

Jo Swinson MP has met with Energy Minister Don Touhig as member of a cross party delegation that is fighting against the proposed closure of Aberdeen Met Office.

At the meeting, which was also attended by Met Office acting Chief Executive Mark Hutchinson, Lib Dem, Labour and SNP MPs urged the minister to rethink the plans. Concerns were stressed that the closure of the facility would lead to the loss of skilled Scottish staff and the ability to produce detailed local weather forecasts.

The Government is currently proposing to close Aberdeen Met Office and centralise services at the Met Office HQ in Exeter.

Following the closure of the Glasgow Met Office two years ago, Aberdeen is now home to Scotland’s main Met Office. Its location has relevance to important Scottish interests such as offshore oil and gas industries, mountain rescue, fishing and the tourist industry.

Jo commented, “If this closure goes ahead, employees in the Aberdeen office may be unwilling to relocate to Exeter. With commercial weather forecasters looking to poach highly skilled staff, the civilian Met Office will lose out.”

“The net result is likely to be the total loss to the Met Office of skilled Scottish staff and detailed knowledge of Scotland’s weather.”

“The delegation was satisfied that the minister had genuinely listened to all the points made, and had been left in no doubt over the strength of feeling of those involved.”

“It is interesting to note that although several Met Offices are faced with closure, the minister has so far only received representation from Westminster over the Aberdeen site. This speaks volumes about the relative importance of this particular office.”

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