Essex Coastguard Closure Confirmed

Ministers have confirmed the coastguard centre at Walton-on-the-Naze is one of eight around the UK to close by 2015.

Co-ordination centres will also be shut cat Swansea, Portland in Dorset, Clyde and Forth in Scotland, Liverpool, Great Yarmouth and Brixham in Devon, with a loss of 159 jobs.

But shipping minister Mike Penning insisted the changes would result in a "modernised, nationally networked, fully resilient'' service.

A new central Maritime Operations Centre (MOC) will be located at Fareham in Hampshire, Mr Penning said in a statement to MPs.

The blueprint confirmed today significantly waters down the Government's original closure plans, but shadow shipping minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "I have no doubt these proposals are at least partly driven by financial constraints.''

He added: "In a number of communities out there now there will be real disappointment and even anger today.''

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