North East Fife’s MP has expressed his “profound disappointment” at the news that Forth Coastguard in his constituency is set to close.
The announcement by the Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond in the House of Commons, despite vigorous representations by Sir Menzies Campbell, saw no reprieve for the station based at Fife Ness near Crail. If the proposals go ahead, the stations is set to close at some point between 2012 and 2015.
Speaking during the announcement at Westminster, Sir Menzies said:
“The Secretary of State predicted disappointment and with that at least, I can agree with him. The proposed closure of Forth Coastguard in my constituency will be a cause of profound disappointment, not least because of the unsatisfactory nature of the public meeting held by the agency in Anstruther in February.
“Is the Secretary of State aware that Aberdeen, which he proposes to keep, is, excluding staff costs, the most expensive station in the United Kingdom? While Forth, in my constituency, has the lowest running costs in the country.
“Is he aware that in 2010, 40% of the Lifeboat launches in Scotland took place within Forth’s area of responsibility?
“Forth gives value for money and is increasingly busy due to increasing volume of both recreational and commercial traffic. How can Forth possibly be a candidate for closure?”
Speaking after the statement in the House of Commons, Sir Menzies said:
“The Transport Secretary invited me to meet him to discuss the proposal for the Forth Station and I shall do so as soon as convenient.”