Meeting over Holyhead coastguard station closure

  • Published
Poster at demonstration against closure of Holyhead coastguard station
Image caption,
A rally was held at Holyhead two weeks ago against the station closure

12635195 to hear about plans to close Holyhead's coastguard station.

Milford Haven is also under threat as part of a UK government review, leaving Mumbles station, near Swansea, reduced to a daylight service.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency says the changes will give it more flexibly to manage the greatly varying demands of its workload.

Opponents claim it will lead to a loss of local knowledge.

Two weeks ago 200 people took part in a march at Holyhead in support of the coastguard station.

Mayor, councillor J V Owen, said the march spoke not just of feelings in the town but for Anglesey and the whole of Wales.

"This is essential for Holyhead, but also because we look after the busy traffic in the Irish sea," he added.

Anglesey county councillor Trefor Lloyd Hughes said the meeting had been "useful for getting information".

He added however that after the meeting he could understand the concerns about how the changes could affect people in trouble.

"I do understand the arguments being put forward (for the changes), but then what price is life?," he said.

"It seems to me that the coastguards will be depending a lot on technology."

Mr Hughes said he did not think the system of transferring calls to Aberdeen, or the south of England, during the evenings would work.

"How are people in Aberdeen supposed to know about Porth Llechog in Amlwch - they won't understand," he said.

'Interesting points'

The coastguards were the "4th emergency service", he added.

"People come here from Manchester and Birmingham to sail around Anglesey and Caernarfon, and they should join us in campaigning against these changes," he said.

Other meetings will be held on Friday, 4 March, Cleddau Bridge Hotel, Essex Road, Pembroke Dock and on Monday, 7 March, Marriott Hotel, Maritime Quarter, Swansea. All sessions run from 1930-2100 GMT

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the Holyhead meeting had been "well attended" with a head-count of about 137 people.

"The community made some interesting points and listened to the presentation," the spokesperson added.

A recording was made of the meeting and it will be transcribed and put up on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website.

The consultation process closes on 24 March and the spokesperson said that although the comments from the public meeting had been taken on board, anyone with something to say should do so via the formal response function on the website.

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