Coastguard station to stay open 24 hours

MINISTERS have confirmed that the Humber coastguard station will remain open around the clock after announcing their final decision on shaking up the service.

Eight co-ordination centres around the UK will close under the Government plans to create a “modernised, nationally networked, fully resilient” service.

After being forced to water down their original proposals – which would have seen more centres close and the hours of operation at the Humber centre reduced – Shipping Minister Mike Penning confirmed that he will press ahead with the revised plan, which has been consulted on in recent weeks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Penning has rejected criticism over a lack of local knowledge as a result of the closures and said the new set-up with be better equipped to deal with incidents.

In all, 159 jobs will go as centres are closed at Swansea, Portland in Dorset, Clyde and Forth in Scotland, Liverpool, Great Yarmouth, Brixham in Devon, and Walton on the Naze in Essex with a loss of 159 jobs.

A new central Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) will be located at Fareham in Hampshire, Mr Penning said in a statement to MPs.

But shadow shipping minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: “I have no doubt these proposals are at least partly driven by financial constraints.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“In a number of communities out there now there will be real disappointment and even anger today.”

Ministers ditched their original proposals which envisaged cutting the centres from 19 to nine, with three remaining open 24 hours a day.

Instead, Mr Penning confirmed a system with a single MOC, which will be based at the vacant fire control centre in Fareham, and eight round-the-clock co-ordination centres.