Despite representing a large coastal constituency, Whitby and Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill is backing government proposals to cut funding of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The proposed cuts will see 10 Coastguard Stations close around the UK, and may even see privatisation of the coastguards air sea rescue service.
“Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill said such cuts were necessary if the UK is to recover economically.” He said: “Unfortunately, we are having to make cuts where we can. There are lots of areas where we are having to make cuts. “Every time the Government announce savings the critics say we can’t make these cuts but never volunteer alternative areas where we could.” – Quote from Scarborough Evening News
The proposed cuts and the unhelpful response of MP Goodwill have angered many members of the local community in Whitby. Paul Kilpatrick, a long term sea angler, local charter skipper, and chairman of the Whitby Charter Skippers Association said “If thats what Robert Goodwill has to say about the coastguard he should resign on the spot.
Paul went on to say “Goodwill represents a big coastline with a very active area for the local coastguard. He (Robert Goodwill) should be ashamed of himself. Mr Goodwill should be fighting tooth and nail for the coastguard.”
“Obviously Robert Goodwill doesnt care, he doesnt mind putting peoples lives at risk, and no doubt it will involve the same people who bloody voted for him. This is shocking I will be contacting Scarborough Evening News in the next few days to let them know my thoughts. He as a local MP on a very busy coastline just buries his head in the sand. I say lets shame this man his response is pathetic.”
The local sea angling community of the Yorkshire coast are also up in arms. Members of the Whitby Sea Anglers Forum have started an online petition in response to the proposed cut backs and the sites members from across the Yorkshire coast are appalled by their MP’s response to the situation.
In response, Robert Goodwill told the Whitby Gazette, criticism levelled at him was a “knee jerk reaction” and his constituents should read the full consultation document. Mr Goodwill added – “Anyone who goes out to sea – fishermen, recreational crafts, chartered boats – have a look at the consultation and see what they don’t agree with.”