18th November 2018
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Shetland Coastguard station earmarked for closure although government announcement is delayed

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The coalition government at Westminster has plans to close Shetland’s coastguard station as part of its massive ongoing┬ácost-cutting drive, The Shetland Times has learned.

However, an announcement expected tomorrow by the Department for Transport (DfT) has been postponed to allow negotiations to continue over what are extremely controversial proposals.

The Shetland Times was informed early today that the Lerwick station, which employs more than 20 members of staff, was one of three in Scotland earmarked for the axe.

But tonight a government source said the Prime Minister’s office had agreed to “pull” the announcement although he agreed that this did not necessarily mean the Shetland station would be spared.

A proposal to close the coastguard station would face huge resistance within the isles, coming just months after the government announced it was scrapping the emergency coastguard tugs.

SIC convener Sandy Cluness met other council leaders on Friday to agree a strategy to campaign to save the Anglian Sovereign and other vessels. Shipping minister Mike Penning is due to visit the isles in the New Year to hear concerns at the loss of cover.

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has been lobbying transport secretary Philip Hammond to spare the tugs.

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About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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