UK government confirms closure of Swansea coastguard

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on November 23, 2011

The coalition government has confirmed that Swansea coastguard station will be closed down.

Transport Minister Mike Penning revealed that the station at Mumbles, currently employing 28 people, will be closed by March 2015. Reprieves have been granted for stations located at Milford Haven and Holyhead, despite them originally being earmarked for closure.

First Minister Carwyn Jones commented on his dismay at the decision and told of his fear that it might put lives at risk – a concern shared by campaigners that say they will seek advice with regards to a judicial review, while specifying that lives will be endangered off the coasts of Swansea and Gower, in addition to the Bristol Channel.

Mr Tony Colbourn, Save Swansea Coastguard’s chairman, communicated the disappointment of his group, which collected over 100,000 signatures, but insisted that it will continue with its campaign. He added that time is on their side and that the main concerns are over the aspects of safety, which is all the campaign is based on.

Mr Penning told MPs that one reason why Swansea is closing is because large numbers are already employed by the Department for Transport at the DVLA in Swansea city centre. Mr Colbourn has rejected this and branded it a ridiculous argument before going on to say that the UK government clearly pays no regard to the general safety of the thousands that visit and use Swansea’s coastline for either business or pleasure.

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