Coastguard cuts 'will see skills lost'

PLANS to close coastguard stations would mean the loss of vital expertise, Edinburgh North & Leith Labour MP Mark Lazarowicz has warned.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he urged a rethink of proposals to reduce the current network of 18 round-the-clock centres around the UK coast to just two - one in Scotland and one in England.

Fears have already been voiced that lives will be at risk because of the cuts, which would see three Scottish centres close, including the one for the Forth.

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Mr Lazarowicz asked: "Will not many of those working in such stations have done so for many years and often have family commitments and other connections? They cannot simply move 200, 300, 400 or 500 miles away. That expertise will be lost and they will be unemployed."