Torridge councillors object to coastguard closure plan

TORRIDGE councillors are calling on the district council to make official objection to proposed government plans to close Swansea Coastguard Station.

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee has recorded its objection and backed a call by Hartland and Bradworthy councillor Brian Redwood recommending the full council to do so when it meets next Monday.

The committee also recommended that the council should promote its objection as widely as possible and called on individual councillors to encourage community response to an internet petition.

In a presentation to the committee, Cllr Redwood said Swansea was the second busiest coastguard station in the UK and its loss would deprive most of South Wales and the West Country of men with local knowledge of the Bristol Channel and River Severn estuary, which could delay rescue attempts.

In addition to the loss of local knowledge and potential delays, he pointed to increased shipping movements likely with the coming of the Atlantic Array windfarm, potential cutbacks to Chivenor Search and Rescue, the amount of public concern already registered and possible reduction in ability to monitor pollution incidents.

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When Hartland Coastguard Station was closed in 1989 one of the justifications was the proximity of Swansea, he said.

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