MP challenges Mod over Chivenor SAR cuts

NORTH Devon MP Nick Harvey has challenged the Ministry of Defence Minister over proposals to cut 24-hour Search and Rescue cover at Chivenor. Mr Harvey tabled a number of Parliamentary questions in response to Government plans to privatise the service in

NORTH Devon MP Nick Harvey has challenged the Ministry of Defence Minister over proposals to cut 24-hour Search and Rescue cover at Chivenor.

Mr Harvey tabled a number of Parliamentary questions in response to Government plans to privatise the service in 2012 and cut operations at Chivenor from 24 to 12 hours a day.

"I have asked him how many call-outs each SAR station attended over each of the past 10 years, broken down by type of callout and indicating in each case how many were at night time - this will give a better understanding of just how valuable Chivenor's 24 hour cover is," said Mr Harvey.

"I am also demanding to know when he expects to conclude the negotiations and let the contracts for the 'privatised' SAR service from 2012."

Campaigners have warned the cuts could spell the end of lifesaving and timely rescues. There has been a huge surge of support since Mr Harvey and Ilfracombe Town Council launched a campaign calling on people and organisations across the whole West Country to fight the proposals.

Days after the campaign was launched, the Chivenor crew was called out on a night time mission to some of the worst flooding the country has ever seen.

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To add your support to the "Save Chivenor" campaign, email itc@northdevon.gov.uk or write c/o Pauline Williams, The Ilfracombe Centre, 44 High Street, Ilfracombe, EX34 8AL.

Nick Harvey is also running an online petition against the proposals at www.nickharveymp.com/petitions or visit Keep Chivenor 24 Hours on Facebook.

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