Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Cornwall Council slams coastguard cuts proposal

Cornwall Council has slammed the proposal by the Government to move coastguard services from Falmouth to Southampton.

The Falmouth centre - a recognised leader in the field - currently provides the regular coastguard cover for the Cornish coast from Looe round to Bude. The centre also provides co-ordination for international rescue efforts. The South East Cornwall section of coast is covered by coastguards based at Brixham - a centre which is also proposed for closure.

In what is billed as a cost cutting measure, the Government is proposing to move services to Southampton.

The Council backed a motion put forward by my colleague Joanna Kenny to lobby against the move on the basis of the expertise and local knowledge held by the Falmouth Centre as well as the fact that it is a modern equipped station and a move to Southampton is likely to cost, rather than save, funds. Speaker after speaker stood to condemn the proposals and, in the end, only one councillor voted against the motion.

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