Penning promises Stornoway Coastguard visit

Shipping minister, Mike Penning has given an undertaken to visit Stornoway to explain the Coastguard cuts being proposed.

The promise was made at a meeting between Highland and Island Council representatives and Mr Penning over the future of Coastguard Stations at Stornoway and Shetland.

Speaking afterwards the Leader of Comhairle nan EIlean Siar, Angus Campbell, said: “This was a useful meeting and the Minister listened carefully to what we had to say. We outlined our case over the increased risks which we think will arise if the proposals to cut the Coastguard stations at either Stornoway or Lerwick go ahead. Together with the removal of the Emergency Towing Vessels, we believe there is an increased risk for maritime users and the environment.

“There remains much work done on a detailed assessment and on alternative solutions.

“The Minister assured us that the consultation process was genuine and that he would listen to all views in reaching a conclusion. The Minister also indicated that he would visit the Western Isles before the end of the consultation period.”