Lobby continues over Coastguard cut plans

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UK Shipping Minister, Mike Penning has acknowledged the unique nature of the West Coast during a brief visit to Stornoway.

The Minister, who was in the town to discuss the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s cut proposals, meet with Coastguard staff and the Task Force set up to keep the Stornoway Coastguard Station operating on a 24x7 basis.

After listening to their concerns during talks at the Goat Island station, a spokesman for the Safety First campaign said: “We found the visit very worthwhile. Mr Penning listened to our concerns and acknowledged the unique nature of the West Coast of Scotland. He also re-assured us of the fact this is a genuine consultation and we would like to urge anyone who feels they would like to contribute to do so while also copying their submissions to the Transport Select Committee.”

Meanwhile, Coastguard union officials were in London lobbying Parliament on the the controversial proposals which will see Scotland Coastguard presence slashed to one main hub in Aberdeen and one part time sub centre in either Stornoway or Shetland.

Local union reps met with David Mundell, the Under Secretary at Scottish Office and put their case, while BBC news did a piece with spokesman, Martin Collins.