A public meeting is to be held today (Thursday March 3) to discuss the Coastguards’ modernisation proposals — that could result in the closure of Bregenz House.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are holding the meeting at Marine Court Hotel in Bangor, to provide an opportunity for the community around the existing Belfast Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) to hear more about the proposals, ask questions of MCA representatives and air their views.
This follows the press conference MCA held on February 17, when chief executive Sir Alan Massey was scrutinised on the proposals by local media as well as DUP North Down mayor, John Montgomery and UUP |councillor, Marion Smith.
After the conference, Mr Montgomery told the Community Telegraph: “I was concerned with the lack of openness concerning this meeting, but nonetheless I was glad to be able to make strong representations in respect of our valued Coastguard Station.
“ I do appreciate the time taken by Sir Alan Massey and Rod Johnson of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency considering they are the top officers within the agency. They did naturally put forward the agency case but I trust they were made fully aware both by myself and the assembled media of the concern locally and indeed the specific local |characteristics of those operating within Bregenz House.
“It is, however, of considerable concern to me that the reported savings in terms of National Budget are an insignificant £7,500,000, given the increased funding allocated to fight |dissident terrorism is many times that figure.
“Perhaps I misunderstand the concept of a peace dividend.”
The meeting this Thursday will be independently chaired and runs from 7.30-9pm.
The proposals for Coastguard modernisation, together with the consultation documents, can be found on the MCA website at www.mcga.gov.uk and www.dft.gov.uk.