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Quite An Experience!



Today, myself and a colleague had the honour of representing our colleagues at an oral evidence session of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee held in Stornoway.

Never did I expect to have to do such a thing but then never did I expect an organisation, supposedly responsible for safety of life at sea to contemplate doing what they are suggesting in slashing the Coastguard service.

There comes a time when you have to take a stand and say "this is wrong" and for me and my colleagues this was it. I am enormously proud of the fact that not once has any of us complained about the loss of our own jobs and the potential loss of everything we have worked for but rather fought this fight on the basis that it represents a threat to the safety and indeed lives of those we serve, for that is the very essence of "public service" something that some people seem to have great difficulty understanding.

We were given the best possisble hearing by the Committee and it is very clear they share our concerns. The Chair, Louise Ellman MP made it very clear that as a resuilt of what we have said to the Committee, she will now be asking some very searching questions of the Shipping Minister, Mike Penning and the Chief Exec of the MCA Sir Alan Massey, when they appear before the Committee on 24 May. That session is likely to be live on Parliament TV and should be worth watching, as Mrs Ellmann is a worthy successor to the Committees previous Chair, Gwyneth Dunwoody.


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I certainly think you have added some weight to this argument Bob. Well done for speaking out for the lives of the people around the coast and for the jobs of the people in your service! :clap:

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Good stuff. Interesting that the media were reporting a government 'rethink' yesterday on their Coastguard closure proposals...

Although, quite why the Coastguard service in Scotland isn't devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and is still a Westminster decision, is a bit odd.
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