September 28th, 2011
Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil led a delegation to meet the First Minister to discuss the UK Government’s plans to close the Clyde Coastguard and centralise services at Belfast.
The MSP met with Alex Salmond at Bute House to gain support to overturn ‘dangerous’ decision.
Mr McNeil was joined by Stuart Atkinson and four other Maritime and Coastguard Agency reps (Calum Murray, Irene Reid and Jacqui Lewis, Joy Dunn, from the Public and Commercial Services Union, and John Mundell, chief executive of Inverclyde Council. Nine other neighbouring local authorities have signed up to the campaign.
The meeting will inform the Scottish Government’s representations to the on-going consultation into the modernisation of the coastguard services, which ends next Friday.
Duncan McNeil, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, said: “We have been working across party lines and community boundaries to build a strong coalition against this reckless decision.
“The Clyde Coastguard serves the largest area of coastline in the UK, is the busiest station in Scotland and helps safeguard cargo, ferry and even MOD traffic – it makes no sense to close this centre and politics and cost-cutting have been put before safety.
“Now that we have the support of the First Minister, I hope that we can make the UK Government think again over these dangerous cuts.”