With the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee meeting today to discuss this very matter – and with a brand new Transport Minister barely in post, the controversy over the UK Government’s intention to close Clyde Coastguard station at the end of this year could hardly be more volatile.
Stuart McMillan, West of Scotland MSP, has today (Tuesday 4th September) wasted no time in calling on the newly appointed Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP, to overturn the decision made by his department to axe Clyde Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC).
Only last Friday (31st August) the Fla re Friday Red Flare Flotilla rally was held at the centre in Greenock to show support of the retention of this important, knowledgeable and experienced service. (Support flaring for Clyde Coastguard)
Mr McMillan has been a passionate campaigner in support of retaining Clyde coastguard and maintaining the local knowledge of staff which is so vital to this service.
He says: ‘I would encourage the newly appointed Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin in the strongest terms to reverse the decision taken by his department to close Clyde coastguard.
‘As campaigners continue to highlight the rescue co-ordination centre in Greenock is one of the busiest throughout the country and deals with a large volume of water based traffic.
‘Only recently the Clyde Branch of the PCS union submitted their evidence to the Transport Select Committee highlighting the need to retain the centre as the local knowledge of the workforce is vital to safety on the Clyde.
‘I hope Mr McLoughlin will find his feet quickly in the new role and reverse the disastrous decision to close Clyde coastguard.
‘Therefore, I will be writing to the Transport Secretary to raise my concerns and to ask for a meeting with the UK Government on this important issue.’
It must be frustrating for Mr McMillan that his own government has shown no great understanding of the issue concerned nor any political judgment in its manifest lack interest or action on this matter.