Aldous comments on Coastguard announcement

Waveney MP Peter Aldous today commented on the announcement by the Government of the future of the Coastguard.

Mr Aldous took part in the Debate following the announcement making the point that local knowledge of the East Anglian Coast, with its estuaries, the Broads and beaches is crucial.

Aldous is seeking further clarification from Minister, Mike Penning on why Yarmouth was chosen for closure rather than Humberside and what steps will be taken to retain and build on local knowledge.

Mr Aldous said:

"Whilst it was time for a review and modernisation of the coastguard service, it is disappointing that the Government are proposing to close Yarmouth. I will continue to press Ministers on the issue I have received most concerns on - the importance of retaining the local knowledge so important to the coastguard. I also welcome any new evidence which anyone may feel the Government has not properly taken into account, that I can raise with the Minister."

FULL TEXT:
Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): I endorse the comments of my hon. Friend and constituency neighbour the Member for Great Yarmouth (Brandon Lewis), and I take some assurance from the fact that we are keeping the 24-hour service on Humberside. When it comes to harnessing local knowledge, my concern relates to leisure and tourism. Norfolk has a long coast, with remote beaches and currents that change, and Suffolk and Essex have plenty of estuaries. We are about to embark on the holiday season. I would be grateful for an assurance that it will be possible to transfer that detailed local knowledge to Humberside.

Mr Hammond: The Humber station already covers the coastline of Norfolk and part of Suffolk, and the people working there will have the experience and knowledge that my hon. Friend talks of. I would like to take this opportunity to remind hon. Members that part of the proposal involves reinforcing professional coastguard support for the volunteer coastguard operation. An additional net total of 32 uniformed officers will be deployed in direct support of the volunteer coastguard, further reinforcing the resilience and effectiveness of the service.

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