Ritchie questions UK government on coastguard cuts following days of flooding

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info@newrytimes.com
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
Politics
During today’s House of Commons statement on recent flooding SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has questioned recent UK Government cuts to coastguard services. Speaking from Westminster Ritchie stated, “The flooding and tidal surges experienced in South Down and across the north are a reminder of how vulnerable we are to the elements and I want to commend the incredible effort from the emergency services, the coastguard, and volunteers to protect people during this time and to minimise the impact. “However today when I questioned the UK Secretary of State for the Environment Owen Paterson he could not defend his government’s cuts to the coastguard service, which will inevitably put more people at risk when we face extreme weather events. “Such occurrences are seemingly more frequent, with recent events a stark warning against any further cuts to the service in Northern Ireland and I will be asking the Minister for Transport to confirm that there are no plans to do so,” she added.

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