THE SCOTTISH government has called for the coastguard in Scotland to be brought under Holyrood control during a parliamentary debate on Thursday.
Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead told MSPs the government was dismayed by the UK government’s plans to close three of Scotland’s five coastguard stations, leaving just Aberdeen open 24 hours a day.
The SNP government will now run its own consultation on how the coastguard service would best be managed in Scotland, including devolving control.
Mr Lochhead said: “Maritime safety – not financial savings – should be the driving force behind any review and the Scottish government is closely examining the rational for the closure of any of these services.
“With ever increasing activity on Scotland’s seas – through oil and gas, offshore renewables, fishing and tourism – I have real concerns over the UK government’s ability to manage the coastguard service.
“That’s why we are seeking views on how this valuable public service can best be managed in Scotland, including the merits of devolution.
“The UK government announcement came as a complete surprise to the Scottish government as there had been no formal discussion on the matter. This is unacceptable and is contrary to the ‘respect agenda’ agreed last year.
“The first minister will be writing to the prime minister to express his disappointment that matters with clear implications for Scotland are not being handled sensitively.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 540 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News