Coastguard campaign gets new impetus

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Local MP Russell Brown has written to the new Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, calling for an urgent meeting to press the UK government to reverse its “reckless” Coastguard cuts, which will see closure for both the centres that cover Dumfries and Galloway.

Dumfries and Galloway has over 200 miles of coastline, which is covered by Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres at Liverpool and on the Clyde. In November the government announced that both bases will close. This means the local knowledge of Dumfries and Galloway’s coastline built up at the Liverpool and Clyde Coastguard bases will be lost.

In October last year, the Scottish government caused local outrage by saying the closure of the Liverpool was “not an issue that concerns” it, despite its importance to Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Brown said: “The UK government made a grave error with its decision last year to close both Coastguard stations that cover Dumfries and Galloway. Our region has over 200 miles of coastline and it beggars belief that any government would recklessly put lives at risk in a bid to save some cash. The in-depth knowledge built up at the Liverpool and Clyde coordination centres will be lost forever.

“With a new Transport Secretary in place, it has an opportunity to think again. I am seeking an urgent meeting with Mr McLoughlin to make it clear the government needs to reverse its decision.”