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Volume 205: debated on Friday 13 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the current responsibilities of Her Majesty's coastguard; and if he will implement the sector review in accordance with the definition contained in paragraph 2.12 of that report.

I would refer the hon. Member to the written reply I gave to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Harris) on the same subject on 9 March 1992.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what preventive and educational measures are required by Her Majesty's coastguard of sector officers; and what proportion of their time they are required to spend on education and preventive work.

Her Majesty's coastguard sector officers are primarily responsible for the management, training and operational efficiency of the several auxiliary coastguard companies within their sectors, including maintenance of buildings and equipment.As part of their workload, sector officers will provide both solicited and unsolicited safety and educational advice in the course of their duties, including presentations at local schools, local public events, yachting and other organisations which use the sea, as well as routine daily contact with the general public. This is done in concert with the auxiliary coastguard companies under their charge. There is no requirement for a specific number of hours per month to be spent on this aspect of work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of his study of auxiliary operations room assistance; what are the cost implications of employing administrative assistants to replace auxiliary coastguards; and when the recommendations will be implemented.

The recommendation that a separate study of auxiliary operations room assistance be undertaken formed part of the long-term aims of the coastal review. Although some preliminary work was put in hand it was considered that this item was secondary in importance to other recommendations contained in the review, and no conclusions have yet been reached.