15,000 backing bid to save RAF Cottesmore

THURSDAY 9AM: More than 15,000 people, MP Alan Duncan and the widow of Melton RAF legend Johnnie Johnson have all joined forces to oppose the closure of RAF Cottesmore.

More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition on the 10 Downing Street website and 14,000 more across the country have joined two Facebook petitions calling for the base, which employs 2,300, to remain open.

Mr Duncan, meanwhile, has tabled a Parliamentary motion condemning the Government's decision and has also met Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth to demand a Defence Review.

The Government says the base will close to help pay for 900m worth of extra equipment for the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Under the plan the Harriers at the base will move to RAF Wittering near Stamford along with 1,500 military personnel. The future of the base's 800 civilian workers is uncertain.

But there are widespread concerns about the impact the closure will have on the local economy.

Mr Duncan said: "I will not let Gordon Brown get away with sacrificing RAF Cottesmore because of his inability to balance the books."

Paula Johnson (86), the widow of Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson, a Second World War hero and commander at RAF Cottesmore in the 1950s, described the Government's decision as 'ghastly'.

She said: "It's one of the finest stations in the country and I think it's a ghastly decision. I will be so sorry to see it go."

You can find the petition at petitions.number10.gov.uk/SAVECOTTESMORE/

Related topics: