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Coastguard station to remain open on a 24-hour basis

Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has welcomed confirmation from the Department for Transport that the Lerwick Coastguard station is to remain open on a 24-hour basis.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, shipping minister Mike Penning told MPs that the coastguard stations in both Lerwick and Stornoway would remain open round the clock. Original plans put forward by the MCA would have seen one of these stations close and the other operating only during daylight hours.

Mr Carmichael said: “Final confirmation that Lerwick is to remain open on a 24-hour basis is welcome news and testament to the strength of the campaign to retain our local service. The strength of feeling around this issue was clear and I am pleased that the future of the station has now been assured.”

He added: “I am also pleased the minister confirmed that Coastguard officers will see improvements in their pay and conditions, and training for coastguard volunteers will be strengthened. Progress on these particular issues has been a long time in coming and the changes that will be brought forward are an important part of the reform plans.”

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