We received the following communication and think our readers will be interested:
As you are aware, we published our initial proposals to modernise Her Majesty’s Coastguard on 16th December 2010. We received over 1,800 responses to this consultation and an independent team carefully reviewed these responses. We were very grateful for the constructive contributions from all our stakeholders. The review team’s report can be found at (http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/independent_review_report.pdf)
In addition, the Transport Select Committee conducted its own inquiry, reporting its findings last month.
We continue to believe that the proposals we set out on 16 December 2010 would deliver the benefits of a fully networked national, resilient coordination service with appropriate resourcing and efficient, effective command and control. Nevertheless this was a genuine consultation, and it is only right that we should adjust our proposals to take account of the responses received from our own Coastguards, the general public, and important stakeholders.
Ministers have therefore today announced revised proposals. The main changes are:
• We are retaining more Coordination Centres and operating all of them 24/7. This will help overcome the perceived risks of diluting local knowledge, maintain 24-hour connectivity with other local rescue providers and our own Coastguard volunteers, reduce the need for incident handovers, and allow us to upgrade IT systems at a more measured pace and provide more opportunities for robust and rigorous user testing.
• The stations now proposed for closure are Yarmouth, Thames, Solent, Portland, Brixham, Swansea, Liverpool, Forth and Clyde.
This consultation will last for 12 weeks (closing on 6 October, 2011) and will be subject to the Code of Practice on Consultation. You can find the consultation document on the front page of our website www.dft.gov.uk/mca. As with last time there is a response form for you to fill in with a return address, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you very much for your continuing support at a turbulent time. We are sure we are taking HM Coastguard in the right direction, and are equally determined to take full account of your views as colleagues, peers and partners in maritime and coastal safety.