LETTER: Unsafe savings

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From Mr Graham Allen, MP

Sir: Despite the non-understanding of halon's role on the Sally Star which Kevin Shilleto's letter (9 November) emphasises, there is still no excuse for the Government putting lives at risk during that incident by cutting the rescue helicopter service from RAF Manston and delaying the rescue team by an unnecessary 20 minutes.

The shipping minister should be focusing his attention on safety and pollution rather than cost-cutting and contracting out. As well as reinstating RAF Manston rescue service, Labour will set clear safety standards for operational facilities, structure, passenger and crew safety and rescue procedure and will require ferry companies to demonstrate how their vessels will comply with those standards. Safety at sea should be accorded political priority before rather than after the next disaster.

Yours faithfully,

Graham Allen

MP for Nottingham North (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1