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MP on coastguard mission

Liverpool coastguard station

Liverpool coastguard station

A doomed coastguard station will be visited by a Blackpool MP after concerns were raised about the effects its closure will have on the town.

Liverpool Coastguard, in Crosby, is to be axed in January next year as the Maritime and Coastguard Agency plans to replace it with a station at Holyhead, North Wales.

Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, is to meet staff at the base, which co-ordinates the Fylde coast’s sea rescue operations, tomorrow.

Mr Marsden said: “I’m going there to talk to them about how they have dealt so well with the recent severe weather, and we will touch on the impact of the changes in 2015 when the service will run out of Holyhead, which is something I’ve raised some concerns about.

“I will take back the points that are made to me both by coastguard management and staff themselves.

“Their experiences and concerns are something we will continue to put to the Government to make sure if there are changes as many people as possible are redeployed and disruption to the coast is minimised.”

Mr Marsden will later speak with representatives of the Public and Commercial Services Union following his visit to the coastguard.

Su Daintith, PCS spokeswoman for Liverpool Coastguard, said: “We hope to get some support from him, explain what’s going to happen, and see what he can put forward on our behalf.

“I know he has got concerns from other groups and residents, so it’s better for him to look at what we do.

“Blackpool is one of the busiest areas we have in the Irish Sea, and for him to show concerns is good support for us.”

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency added: “As part of the modernisation of HM Coastguard, 999 calls and distress broadcasts will still be dealt with and search and rescue missions coordinated just like before.

“However, the introduction of a ‘national network’ will enable the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) and all the other 10 Coastguard Operation Centres (CGOC) to manage incidents nationally, rather than locally, as it happens now.

“This means in a search and rescue incident, the coordination will still be managed by the relevant CGOC but with a much bigger and better support network available nationally.”

 

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