Prime Minister provides hope in tug battle

PRIME Minister David Cameron has given some hope today (Thursday) that a solution may be found to provide an emergency coastguard tug in the west of Scotland.

Argyll and Bute MP Alan Reid asked Mr Cameron a question in Westminster today.

He said: “The running aground of a cargo vessel on a small island in the Minch showed the need for the emergency coastguard tug that was recently withdrawn from service. Will the Prime Minister please look into this as a matter of urgency, with a view to getting a replacement tug in place before a worse incident happens?”

Mr Cameron replied: “I know this issue is being looked into at the moment, so I am happy to write to the hon. Gentleman and give him the details. He represents island communities that can be extremely cut off, particularly during the winter months. He needs to know that those services are there, and I will write to him about that.”

Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell welcomed the comments. He said: “We have now had the Scotland Office Minister David Mundell and the Prime Minister David Cameron acknowledging that the Emergency Towing Vehicle for the Minch is a required service. This is good news and I welcome their comments. I would ask that further details of how this service is going to be provided are produced as a matter of urgency.”

There has also bee some recognition from Scotland Office Minister David Mundell MP that cover is needed for the region.

An extension of two weeks have been added to the Northern Isles ETV contract.