"Early closure of Liverpool Coastguard Station in Crosby shows G

Bill Esterson and Veronica Bennett

 

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said the Tories and Lib Dem were putting cost-cutting before saving lives after the government announced that Crosby Coastguard Station was to close in January 2015.
 
The Tory-Lib Dem Government had announced two years ago that the coastguard station was to close in March 2015.

Despite a concerted campaign by Bill, Crosby Labour Action Team, PCS Union and local campaigners, in which the government was told that they would be putting lives at risk because of their plans, Bill was notified this week that the station would now close two months ahead of schedule in January 2015.

Bill even presented a petition, which had been signed by 51,000 people calling on the government to save the station. And the Sefton Central Labour MP even had MPs of all parties discuss the planned closure in a number of debates in Parliament
 
Bill said despite overwhelming public anger to their closure plans, the Tories and Lib Dems were "hell bent on closing the station".

He said: "This Tory-Lib Dem Government is determined to close Crosby Coastguard Station, despite the dire warnings from the experts.

"The experts tell us that our coastguard service cannot be effectively run from Holyhead, or from Southampton, which is just what this government wants our coastguard service to do.

"With the best will in the world, the coastguard crews in Holyhead don't know this area and neither do staff in Southampton. They don't know where the sandbanks are. They don't know the terrain. They don't know about the shipping lanes. They don't know the people who use the waters off our shores. Our coastguard crews in Crosby do. And it is that local knowledge that saves lives. It is that local knowledge that will be lost in January 2015 when the Tories and Lib Dems close the doors on our coastguard station."

Bill thanked everyone who had been involved in the campaign to save the station.

Bill said: "Lots of people fought long and hard to save the coastguard station.

"This closure is a cut too far. It is another attack on vital emergency services and it will directly put lives at risk here on the coast of Sefton and along the coastline of Merseyside.

"This is another example of the Tories and Lib Dems in Government cutting money and not considering the consequences, or the safety of the people who will be affected. 

"It is a kick in the teeth for the excellent staff at Crosby, who are now being told they have to relocate to Southampton to keep their jobs.

"Experts have come forward to say the Tory-Lib Dem closure plans are directly putting lives at risk. Experts have also warned that they are putting lives at risk because of the cuts to our emergency services, police, ambulance and fire. And now they doing the same to our coastguard service.

"All these services are vital, lifesaving services, which are being savagely cut by a government that is more interested in saving money than saving lives."