- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Assembly First Minister Carwyn Jones today joined local AM Joyce Watson in expressing concerns about UK government plans to slash Welsh coastguard cover, and confirmed that he will be writing to the Secretary of State for Transport about this.
Joyce Watson AM raised her concerns at First Minister’s Questions in the National Assembly.
Labour’s Rural Affairs spokesperson Mrs Watson said:
“The Tory-led Westminster Government is currently consulting on proposals to close the coastguard centre in Milford Haven in two years time.
“On Friday I had a meeting with Carl Evans, the Rescue and Coordination manager at the centre, and the figures speak for themselves. In the last five years the Rescue Team in Milford has co-ordinated more than 3,500 emergency callouts and taken part in nearly 4,500 operations.
“Do you share my deep disappointment with the UK Government’s decision to close the coastguard at Milford Haven – especially coming at a time when traffic into the harbour is increasing? And do you agree that we cannot afford to lose 23 personnel who possess exceptional life-saving knowledge of the Pembrokeshire and west Wales coast?”
The First Minister responded that the Secretary of State for Transport had written to him and he was formulating a response to that.
He said that the proposal was worrying, as it appeared that the coastguard centre in Swansea would be expected to cover the whole Welsh coast.
Carwyn Jones said: “The worry has to be that call out times will be delayed.”
Joyce Watson also jointly launched an Assembly statement of opinion with Alun Davies AM, asking other Assembly Members to back the following statement:
- Opposes the Westminster government’s proposal to close Milford Haven and Holyhead coastguard stations
- Is deeply concerned that this decision will put lives in danger
- Regrets the prospect of job losses at the two stations
For more information contact Joyce Watson’s office on 02920 898972 or on www.joycewatson.co.uk.