Coastguard reforms to bear fruit in 4 years

Sir Alan Massey, chief executive of the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA), told the Scottish Affairs Committee yesterday that his reform programme won’t start to make savings until its fourth year.

By Civil Service World

19 Sep 2012

“Across the four years of the Comprehensive Spending Review it’s cost neutral for the first three years, and from the fourth year [savings] are tabled at £7.4 million per annum. That is generated by reductions in numbers of staff, but also reductions in infrastructure costs with the closure of stations and terminations of leases,” he said.

He added that the coastguard costs £35m a year – a figure set to fall by a fifth. The MCA’s coastguard reform plan will make significant changes to the structure of the coastguard by reducing staff, closing coordination centres and introducing a robust communications network.

The MCA is set to lose 159 coastguard posts, leaving its workforce at 314, and eight coordination centres are to close – leaving 11, which will be refitted with better communications equipment. It is axing its emergency tugs, disbanding its seaborne firefighting group, and examining the potential for making savings in the work of its ship inspection and survey teams.

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