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Plaid Cymru angry over Swansea Coastguard Station Closure

23/11/2021

Plaid Cymru has reacted angrily to the announcement by the ConDem government that that Swansea coastguard station will close, significantly downgrading the rescue services on the south Wales coast.

This afternoon, the UK government has announced that the coastguard station will close. Holyhead and Milford Haven coastguard stations will be kept open.

Plaid Cymru’s AM for the area Bethan Jenkins, who has campaigned continuously for the protection of Swansea Coastguard Station has said:

“The station in Swansea is the busiest in Wales, and the second busiest in the UK, coordinating hundreds of rescues each year. In closing the station the Tory led government is putting lives at risk.

“I’m concerned about the reasons behind this decision. While we welcome the decision to keep Milford Haven station open due to the need for staff who are familiar with Welsh language names, this need is equally true in Swansea. The UK government has also suggested that the presence of the DVLA in Swansea is a reason to close the coastguard station, claiming that they need to move public sector jobs away from there. Not only is this a preposterous argument, it is no excuse for putting lives at risk by downgrading coastguard services.

“What has been most disappointing is that the closure of Swansea coastguard station was never mentioned in the original consultation process. This has been an underhand reaction to the unexpected levels of objection the UK government faced to the closure of Milford Haven and Holyhead coastguard stations. It has been a poorly organised and clumsy process, and has left south Wales considerably worse off.

“There has been a huge campaign locally to save the station which I have been actively engaged in, and a petition calling for the station to remain has gathered more than 100,000 signatories. I know the people of Swansea and of south Wales will be bitterly disappointed that we have lost this important resource, but I urge campaigners not to give up, and to state loudly and clearly that they oppose the UK Government’s decision today.”