Islands’ MP Pressing Government On Culdrose Services

RNAS rescue helicopter from RAF Culdrose

Scilly’s MP, Andrew George, says he hopes he’s explained how important the Culdrose 771 Squadron’s medical evacuation service is to the Isles of Scilly.

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, announced that the Government has begun the process for securing a fully-civilian contract for UK-wide search and rescue provision. The service, from 10 sites around the UK, will be put out to tender by 2016.

Andrew says he is disappointed that the Government hasn’t chosen to reverse the decision of the last Government and award the search and rescue contract to the Ministry of Defence.

The MP says he wants any private sector operation to run from Culdrose and offer the existing range of services including medical evacuation, not just maritime rescue.

Andrew says he spoke with Mike Pennels, the minister dealing with Culdrose, and explained the importance of the medical evacuation role although he didn’t mention the islands specifically.

He also says he’s made it clear that Culdrose must remain a 24-hour operation because of the importance of their lifesaving work here, especially in darkness or bad weather.

At this stage, Andrew says the Government is setting out the terms of the contract, so there’s no formal method for public feedback.