Dorset

Meeting over Portland Coastguard closure plan

Coastguard helicopter
Image caption There are 28 people who work at the coastguard station in Portland

A public meeting is to be held in Dorset over plans to shut the county's coastguard station.

Portland is one of 10 stations in the UK set to be closed under plans announced by the government.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is holding the meeting at All Saints School in Weymouth on 8 March from 1930 GMT.

Ministers said the plans aimed to "improve present levels of service to the public while reducing costs".

At the time of the announcement, a coastguard at Portland, who declined to be named, said he was "in shock" and "shaking with anger".

Conservative Dorset South MP Richard Drax has previously vowed to do all he could to try to save as many of the 28 jobs at the station as possible.

The meeting will be independently chaired and will give people the chance to question MCA representatives over the plans.

The proposals would see three centres operate around-the-clock in Aberdeen, Dover and in the Southampton/Portsmouth area.

Five sub-centres would open only during daylight hours in Swansea, Falmouth, Humber, either Belfast or Liverpool, and either Stornoway or Shetland.

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