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Interactive timeline: Key events in the Portland Coastguard campaign

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Rosanna Cole

on 5 June 2013

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Transcript of Interactive timeline: Key events in the Portland Coastguard campaign

Interactive timeline: Key events in the Portland Coastguard campaign December 2010 Former Shipping Minister, Mike Penning, announced the coalition’s plan to axe more than half of Britain’s coastguard stations. Initially, ten of the UK’s 18 coordination centres were set to close – aimed at saving £30 million November 2011 Former Shipping Minister, Mike Penning, unveiled a revision to the original planned cuts. Several coastguard centres previously marked for closure would remain, but eight would still go - including Portland November 2011 Former Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, announced the Portland helicopter will be one of two in the country to be axed in 2017. The helicopter operates in the area with the highest amount of emergencies in the country March 2011 South Dorset MP, Richard Drax, called for the government to rethink the cuts to the UK coastguard stations. Mr Drax wrote to former Shipping Minister, Mike Penning, expressing concerns about the proposals to cut the number of rescue coordination centres The future of the Portland Coastguard search and rescue helicopter was plunged into doubt following the collapse of a £6 billion contract to provide new helicopters around the country February 2011 April 2011 Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that he would rethink the proposal to axe some of UK coastguard centres following concerns their closure could put lives in danger May 2013 The coalition responded to the e-petition to save Portland Coastguard helicopter. It sent an email to supporters saying that the government was "committed" to maintaining a rapid emergency helicopter response for the Dorset coast South Dorset MP, Richard Drax, said he would take the fight to save Portland Coastguard helicopter to the ombudsman May 2013 The Department for Transport announced it had signed a contract with American-based company Bristow Helicopters Ltd to provide search and rescue helicopter services in the UK. 22 state-of-the-art helicopters will operate from 10 locations around the country. But the Portland Coastguard helicopter still faces the axe in 2017 March 2013 Stephen Hammond, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, met South Dorset MP, Richard Drax, at the Portland helicopter base to discuss the future of the service South Dorset MP, Richard Drax, spoke out about the threatened helicopter at an adjournment debate in the House of Commons in front of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker. He highlighted issues that could arise if the helicopter is axed in 2017, urging ministers to visit Dorset and meet the people who save lives on the coast. Mr Drax asked the Prime Minister to intervene in the plight to save the Portland Coastguard service January 2013 An investigation began into the online petition to save the Portland Coastguard service after it was revealed that there had been a glitch. 100,000 signatures are required for the issue to be debated in the Commons and local campaigners were concerned that the problem could result in the e-petition not receiving enough support. It was claimed that people from outside the Dorset area were unable to sign the online document December 2012 The Transport Select Committee pushed for a rethink by the government after South Dorset MP, Richard Drax, warned that those who would be affected by the closures were not consulted before it was announced the coastguard service would be cut. Mr Drax said it was "sheer folly" to axe the lifesaving aircraft November 2012 Forth coastguard station in Scotland closed. It was the first of the regional coastguard stations around the UK facing the chop to close. Campaigners reasserted their plea to save the Portland Coastguard service October 2012 South Dorset MP, Richard Drax, set up a new e-petition, which aims to get 100,000 signatures to force a parliamentary debate on the closure of the Portland Coastguard service. The previous online petition, set up by Dorset County Hospital trauma doctor, Ian Mew, expired with 18,000 signatures August 2012 During a visit to Portland, Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening, defended the government’s decision not to maintain the area's rescue helicopter after 2017. She attended a private meeting with South Dorset MP, Richard Drax, and coastguard staff June 2012 The Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Maria Eagle, visited the Portland rescue helicopter base at Osprey Quay. She helped campaigners by knocking on doors and asking people to sign the petition to maintain the local coastguard service March 2012 The government confirmed that the Portland Coastguard helicopter will be axed in 2017 despite efforts from Dorset campaigners February 2012 The campaign to locate a coastguard supercentre in the Weymouth and Portland area was rejected despite campaigners gaining over 22,000 signatures in a petition October 2011 Weymouth and Portland Borough Council submitted a proposal for a coastguard supercentre in Dorset to former Shipping Minister, Mike Penning, the government and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). The proposal included five locations where the centre could be built October 2011 March 2013
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