Nia and Swansea MPs Martin Caton and Sian James recently visited Swansea Coastguard Station at Mumbles. They heard about plans to reduce Swansea’s opening times to daylight hours only and to close down Milford Haven Coastguard Station altogether, slashing staffing numbers down from 47 to ten. Services would then be centrally co-ordinated from near Southampton, one of two main centres covering the whole of the UK.
Nia says, “The real worry is the loss of local knowledge and the possible confusion over Welsh place names. We have a priceless team of volunteer coastguards who cover the whole coastline out on the ground, but will a distant control centre get the correct message to them as clearly and quickly? With the continuing increase in tourism and leisure activities in the area, Swansea (which covers up to Carmarthen Bay) has been getting busier and busier. I would urge you to read the consultation for yourselves and get your responses in by 24th March (at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open/2010-41/). I will be voicing my concerns loudly and clearly to government.”