If you have (hopefully!) been following the unfolding story of the MSC Napoli on this blog over the past 12 months you will be aware of Devon County Council's intention to hold a public enquiry. Although the Marine Accident Investigation Branch have been delving into the incident the government has said it will not hold a public enquiry. The national media have thought this would be the end of the story. Not so! Devon County Council to their credit realise that useful lessons can be learnt by holding their own public enquiry. The Executive Committee will be asked next week to agree a plan for an independently-chaired enquiry; following this preliminary gathering of evidence will start.
This has echoes of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001 that had such an awful outcome for Devon's farmers. Following that event the County Council had a public enquiry under the able chairmanship of Ian Mercer. I hope that either he or someone of similar standing will oversee this one.