Mooted Met Office privatisation spells bad forecast for Ottery says councillor

A PROPOSED privatisation of the Met Office could prove catastrophic for Ottery s flood defences, a town official has warned.

A PROPOSED privatisation of the Met Office could prove catastrophic for Ottery's flood defences, a town official has warned.

Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Defence. Liam Fox, MP, has said the Exeter-based facility could be used to help reduce Ministry of Defence costs by a quarter- an opinion that has irked Ottery councillor Roger Giles.

Cllr Giles has written to prospective Ottery MP Hugo Swire expressing his concern.

He said: "Accurate weather forecasting and flood warnings are vitally important as a key element of reducing flood risk. I am most concerned that privatisation of the Met Office might reduce the availability and quality of weather forecasts and flood warnings because of the possibility of less staff, and also the possibility that a privatised Met Office might be looking to make a charge for such services - thus affecting the availability and take-up."

"I hope very much that Hugo Swire will recognise these great concerns, and do what he can to ensure the Conservative Party abandons this most damaging proposal.

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