Allan meets First Minister over coastguard cuts

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Western Isles SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, met with First Minister, Alex Salmond yesterday (Wednesday) to raise his concerns about the future of Stornoway Coastguard Station.

Dr Allan was meeting the First Minister jointly with Shetland MSP, Tavish Scott, who faces similar doubts about the future of the Coastguard Station in Shetland.

Alasdair Allan commented:“The meeting with the First Minister serves as a further indication of how strongly people feel, both in the Western Isles and Shetland about this issue. The strength of this campaign is that we refuse to accept the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s clear intention of setting one area of Scotland against another. “I believe that both the Shetland and Stornoway Stations serve vital functions and that the current plans to centralise services in Aberdeen are equally dangerous for all areas of the Scottish coastline.

“At the meeting we sought and obtained the Scottish Government’s continuing commitment to opposing the UK MCA’s damaging proposals. I also used the meeting to argue for the devolution of the coastguard to Scottish control, a cause with which the First Minister had clear sympathy.

“This issue, which I have already raised at First Minister’s Question Time in parliament, is one which I believe should unite all parties and regions in Scotland and the Scottish Government clearly now intend to take this fight to the London Government.”