Government failure to assess Crosby coastguard station closure o

Bill Esterson


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has accused the Tory-Lib Dem government of "strangling" emergency cover in British waters and in particular the waters off the North West coast of England.
 
Bill said the government was putting lives at risk following its decision to close Crosby Coastguard Station.
 
The Labour MP this week asked the government what assessment they had made of the potential effects on public safety of the closure of Liverpool Coastguard Station in Crosby?
 
In response, Transport Minister Mike Penning said: "No individual assessment specific to the closure of Liverpool Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre has been made of the potential effects on public safety.
 
"The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has assessed on a national basis the safety risks in relation to HM Coastguard's current operation and how these are mitigated by the new structure announced on 22 November 2011. The MCA has also assessed the impact of the new structure on HM Coastguards capability to deliver its national service."
 
But Bill Esterson said the government's failure to make an individual assessment on public safety on the closure of the Crosby station was "reckless".
 
Bill said: "The closure of the coastguard station in Crosby could be a life or death decision. And to make that decision without fully assessing the impact of the individual station's closure on public safety is reckless.
 
"Life-or-death emergency cover in British waters is being slowly strangled by this Tory-Lib Dem Government's slash-and-burn approach to the most vital of public services.
 
"From the coastguards to search and rescue to the emergency tugs that put out the fires, every last shred of the safety net is being ripped apart.
 
“The minister himself has admitted to me in a Parliamentary question that no individual assessment specific to the closure of Liverpool Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre has been made of the potential effects on public safety.
 
"This isn't cutting the fat, it's smashing into the very bones of services. This dicing with death on the high seas must stop."