Campaigners resisting plans to close coastguard stations across the country have joined together for the first time to appeal for nationwide support.
With just over a month left to respond to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) proposals to reduce the number of stations from 18 to two operating 24 hours a day and a further five operating during daylight hours only, they are urging people to make their views known. Shetland or Stornoway would close under the plans.
MPs on Westminster’s transport select committee announced last week that they are to conduct a full inquiry into the proposed closures, which are designed to modernise the service and save the government money.
Campaigners pointed out that members of the public can respond to the MCA’s consultation document using the official response form available on the MCA website (www.mcga.gov.uk) or in writing.
Responses can come from individuals, groups or organisations and you don’t have to live or work near the coast to have a say. If people don’t want to respond directly then they can write to their local MP or MSP asking them to respond.
Submissions to the transport select committee can come from anyone with an interest in these resources and full guidance is given on the committee website:
Meanwhile the MCA has scheduled public meetings around the coast. The one in Shetland is next Monday at 7pm in Lerwick Town Hall.