Safety First have “mixed feelings”

The Safety First campaign have greeted the outcome of the Coastguard cuts battle with mixed feelings.

While they are delighted that both Stornoway and Shetland Coastguard stations have been saved, there remains concern over those stations that are due to close and for individual job prospects.

They also welcomed that areas of concern such as local knowledge, language, incident handover from a day station to a 24 hour station and communications infrastructure problems were all taken into account in this new proposal.

But areas of the proposals that were less well received included all staff having to apply for their own jobs at some point in the future, a lack of detail over the responsibility and tasks that will be undertaken by the single Maritime Operations Centre and the eight Sub-Centres.

Safety First Spokesman & Nautilus International Representative, Martin Collins, said: “Although we are obviously pleased with today’s announcement that both Stornoway and Shetland will retain their Coastguard stations on a 24 hour basis, our individual job prospects are still in the balance. Our thoughts are also with our colleagues at the stations around the country that are still under the threat of closure and we will continue to fight to keep job losses to a minimum.

“It has to be remembered that these are still only proposals and nothing is cast in stone. We are now undertaking a further 12 weeks of consultation on the changes these new proposals put forward over the original document and we would urge everyone to look through these new proposals and respond to them.

“The MCA executive board did compliment the staff at Stornoway on the professional way with which we have conducted our campaign and on the quality of our response to the original consultation.”