The SNP was speaking during a visit to Nith Inshore Rescue, a volunteer-run lifeboat service that operates out of Glencaple. The independent charity provides front line search-and-rescue services covering upper north-east Solway, inland rivers and lochs. The unpaid crew are on call 24 hours a day.
Volunteers say they need over £30,000 a year to keep the vital service running and Ms McAlpine believes profits from local Crown Estate assets should be made available to help them.
The SNP MSP has written to the Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway Council to ask what their plans are for managing the assets and allocation of profits.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,
“Nith Inshore Rescue, along with the other independent lifeboats along the Solway, provide a vital service to fishermen and tourists, not to mention the dozens of flood victims that they’ve helped along our waterways over the years. We’re so fortunate in the region to have such dedicated teams of volunteers, out in all weathers, risking their lives in hazardous conditions to search for people in danger. I can’t think of a better destination for the funding.”
“With management of Crown Estate assets and related income set to be devolved from the Scottish Government to local authorities, I’m appealing to Dumfries and Galloway Council to set aside the cash and put it towards groups that benefit our coastal communities.
“When the Scottish Government proposed devolving the Crown Estate from Westminster control, opposition parties wanted the coastal assets devolved even further, down to local authority level. It’s now up to councils to prove that they’re on the side of local coastal communities by using the Crown Estate proceeds to support them.”
Attached, image of Joan McAlpine MSP with Robbie Cowan (1,2,3) and with Robbie Cowan & Gwilym Gibbons (4) of Nith Inshore Rescue team