It was announced today that the consultation period on the revision of Coastguard services around the UK coast is to be extended by 6 weeks. This move has been welcomed by campaigners, who were displeased by the postponement of a debate in the House of Commons on the issue until just before the old deadline of 24 March. The deadline is now 5 May - the date of elections to the Scottish Parliament.
Plans as they stand at present would see the closure of the
Coastguard stations at either Stornoway or Shetland, with the remaining
station only open during daylight hours. The CG station at Aberdeen
would be the only one in Scotland open 24/7. An active campaign has been
waged since January against these proposals.
On Saturday 19 March, a march and rally
will be held in Stornoway in support of the campaign against the
reduction in Coastguard services. The march will start from Stornoway
Town Hall at 2pm, and will lead along Shell Street and Newton Street to
the Coastguard Station at Battery Point. The distance is 1 km, or just
over half a mile. The rally will be held at the Coastguard Station at