29.01.11: Martin Bidmead, the secretary of the Falmouth Working Boats Association, has written a passionate plea for locals to get behind their petition to stop the Maritime and Coastguard Agencies proposal to reduce Coastguard cover around the UK. In the proposal, the existing 18 full time Coastguard stations will be reduced to only 2 nighttime Maritime Operations Centres.
The Chief Executive of The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Sir Alan Massey, visited the Maritime Rescue Coordination centre at Falmouth on Friday 7th January and despite expressing their concerns about the proposals, and the impact that they would have on the safety of the Mariner, he did not agree with the staff there and intends to see the proposal carried to fruition after the end of the consultation period which ends on March 24th 2011.
Martin, who is also a Full time Coastguard Officer, has six important points for locals to consider before signing the petitions. To help locals, Roseland Online has uploaded his full letter which you can download by clicking here. After reading it, he asks that locals get behind the coastguard petition by:
1. Signing the petition at www.PetitionOnline.com/ukcghq
2. Signing the Falmouth Packet newspaper petition www.packet.co.uk
3. Completing a consultation response form on the MCA website: www.mcga.gov.uk and email it to: Coastguard.firstname.lastname@example.org
The feedback requires evidence of a viewpoint, hence the reason for the letter outlining the coastguard officer’s points of view, and needs to be returned by 5pm on 24th March to be eligible for consideration.
Update (02.02.11): Martin will be giving a talk about this issue in St Mawes Social Club on Thursday 10th February at 7.30pm