Picking up on the campaign zeal I have experienced in the past 20 minutes in the Chamber, may I say our fight to retain the Portland search and rescue helicopter continues? The petitioners have raised 105,000 or more signatures and I want to pay special tribute to the team that in the main went out in wind or rain: Belinda Craig, Patricia Joy, Debra Joy and Shelley Cutler. I also want to thank Roger McPherson, who has played a large part in co-ordinating that, Councillor Sandy West, a Labour councillor on the island of Portland, who has been very supportive and Dr Ian Mew, a consultant at Dorchester county hospital, who has provided advice and help.
The petition states:
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The Petition of residents of South Dorset,
Declares that the Government plans to close Portland coastguard helicopter base, despite protests from local people, MPs and hospital consultants; and further that the Petitioners believe that there may be lives lost as a result of losing this search and rescue facility.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Transport to reverse the decision to close Portland coastguard helicopter base.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.]