Having pressured the government, Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil, has welcomed the concession announced yesterday by the Shipping Minister that a Risk Assessment Document for the Coastguard closure proposals will be published next week. The announcement by Shipping Minister, Mike Penning MP came at the end of a debate in Westminster Hall on Coastguard closures.
Commenting Angus MacNeil MP said:
“The feeling of make it up as you go along continues with these flawed Coastguard proposals. Last week the Transport Secretary said a Risk Assessment had been done. Yesterday the MCA Chief Executive Allan Massey told me that no specific Risk Assessment had been done. In the resultant confusion we are now told that a Risk Assessment is to be published next week.
“It seems that the MCA are hurried trying to plug gaps in their thinking. It is clear they have been exposed as having left out a huge plank in any argument for restructuring the Coastguards. But who can trust a Risk Assessment from the MCA that many will feel, that even with the best of intensions, it will fit and follow proposals rather than preceding the proposals – It’s the cart before the horse.
“The proposed savings are minimal compared to the actual insurance a professional, knowledgeable Coastguard gives our seas and coastlines. The Shipping minister must not be a prisoner of long held agendas within the MCA and be suffering from a form of Stockholm syndrome. He must stand up for shipping and coastal interests. These savings are so small that they did not feature in the Department’s Comprehensive Spending Review. But most importantly of all, the proposals were not subject to proper specific Risk Assessment.”