Swansea coastguards plan for future now station closure date confirmed
COASTGUARD officers say they can start planning for the future, now a date has been set for the closure of the service’s Swansea base.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency this week finally announced the timetable confirming the closure of stations at Brixham, Liverpool, Thames, Portland, Solent and Swansea.
The UK's existing coastguard network is being replaced by nine 24-hour bases, co-ordinated from Southampton, which the agency say will be more effective.
They MCA has now confirmed Swansea will close in March 2015.
And although campaigners say they remain concerned about the potential affect on sea safety, they concede that the uncertainty surrounding the process has made it possible for those officers affected to begin to make arrangements for their future employment.
Mike Dubens, of the Save Swansea Coastguard campaign, said: “It remains a shame that the MCA and Department of Transport have not listened to the voices of the petition from South Wales and South West England, which was around 117,000 names, as well as the local authorities throughout the areas.
“But I am glad for the staff in Swansea, in that they now finally have a date, which ends the uncertainty.
“It gives them time to sort our their careers.
“But the proof will be in the pudding when the new system is implemented, and we will find out whether our fears have been justified."
Swansea Coastguard officer Steve Matthews, who is a member of the Public and Commercial Services union, added: “The PCS union is still bitterly disappointed about the closure of Swansea, but the redundancy packages which have been negotiated, as well as the future terms and conditions for those who stay in the service, are as successful as we could have hoped for."