Euro MP’s anger at Yarmouth Coastguard closure

THE decision to close Great Yarmouth's Coastguard station has angered Norfolk Euro MP Richard Howitt.

Mr Howitt said the decision, announced in the House of Commons this lunchtime, to axe the station as part of government plans to reduce the number of centres open 24 hours-a-day from 18 to three will result in a loss of local knowledge and the government will have lost lives on their conscience.

He said: 'This decision is a bitter blow to local campaigners who took part in the consultation in good faith, and who have seen every one of our arguments rejected.

'Our campaign was top notch and I can't fathom why other coastguards have been thrown a lifeline but Yarmouth will shut.

'In my meetings with coastguards I was convinced that their local knowledge helped save lives. If your boat runs aground on rocks, you slip down a cliff or swept out to sea, you want to know local help is at hand.

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'With the summer holidays just around the corner and families going for seaside holidays it is outrageous that some cover for our beaches will be provided by coastguards based in Southampton.'

Philip Hammond, secretary of state for transport, announced the decision to axe Yarmouth and eight other centres, including Swansea and Clyde in the House of Commons this lunchtime.

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He said the reforms were part of a modernisation process aimed at redistributing resources more effectively.

There will be two 24-hour coastguard stations at Aberdeen and the Southampton/Portsmouth area, as well as a daytime station at Dover.

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