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Search and Rescue Services

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 24 February 2010

11. What recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on search and rescue services in Scotland. (317412)

Privatisation of the search and rescue services has caused great concern in my constituency, particularly given the reported reduction in the number of helicopters from 38 to 24. I hope that the Government have rigorous plans in place to monitor the effectiveness of search and rescue services once they are in the private sector and that the Minister will be able to reassure me on that today.

I can reassure the hon. Gentleman that there will certainly be no degradation of the existing service, from which I know his constituents benefit. In particular, I should say that the new helicopters that will be introduced will have more capability and a faster response time, which I am sure will be welcomed.