Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael has written to Tony Hall the Director General at the BBC raising concerns about the future of weather forecasts for the Northern Isles.
This follows the announcement that the Met Office will no longer have the contract for BBC weather forecasting.
Commenting Mr Carmichael said;
“Having access to reliable weather forecasts is vital for island communities such as Orkney and Shetland. Local industries such as fishing, farming and tourism depend on it.
“Locally, the information given in forecasts broadcast by the BBC has come from the Met Office in Aberdeen where the staff have years of local knowledge and experience. Radio Orkney and Radio Shetland are the vehicle for transmitting that local forecasts. It is a valued part of their service.”
“Before an alternative provider is put forward, islanders need to be assured that the service to be provided will be at the very least as good as the service we are currently getting from the Met Office.”
“I do not understand why the Met Office should be excluded from competing for this contract. Their exclusion gives to the suspicion that the service being sought is the cheapest rather than the best”.
“I have written to the BBC Director General Tony Hall to highlight the concerns that are held locally about the loss of the Met Office’s expertise and knowledge, as well as the quality of weather forecasting being given by any future provider”.