Coastguard chief in Bridlington

Sir Alan Massey
Sir Alan Massey
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The head of the Maritime Coastguard Agency is to visit Bridlington.

Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive Officer, of the MCA will be at the coastguard control centre in Limekiln Lane on Monday to meet staff and see the facility.

This will be his first visit to Bridlington since he took office less than a year ago, and according to an MCA spokesperson is likely to spend a couple of hours here talking to staff about the modernisation proposals.

Sir Alan has been visiting other centres around the country to discuss the Agency’s modernisation plans which would see the Bridlington centre, and others switching from 24 hour to daytime only operation.

In Bridlington that could mean the loss of up to 20 jobs if, as planned it becomes one of six sub centres around the UK operating under two larger 24-hour bases known as Maritime Operations Centres, in Aberdeen and on the South Coast.

His visit follows a stormy meeting last Monday at Bridlington Spa when MCA officials attempted to explain their modernisation plans to around 100 people including coastguards, retired coastguards and others involved in maritime activities, who believe the move will put lives at risk.

Paul Chapman, a Bridlington coastguard watch officer and union representative for the Public and Communications Services union, believes the plans value cutting costs over improving the service and had not bee fully thought through. He and others have called for the MCA to “go back the drawing board” because he and others believe the

modernisation scheme as it now stands will not work.

“I do not know exactly what Sir Alan will be doing when he visits us on Monday, but I am sure we will have the opportunity to get our point of view across,” said Mr Chapman.

An on-line petition against the changes already has almost 4,000 names on it and petitions circulating in the area more than 1,000 from those who do not want them to go ahead.

The issue is the subject of a public consultation on the plans which is due to end on March 24.