22,000 signatories want to keep coastguard station

Campaigners fighting to keep Portland Coastguard delivered a 22,000-signature petition to the Prime Minister’s Office at Downing Street on Tuesday.

Government restructuring proposals mean the station is earmarked for closure. Along with Lee-on-Solent, Portland would be sacrificed for a new national supercentre which will also cover the central South Coast at either Southampton or Portsmouth.

The campaigners want to see the supercentre in the Weymouth and Portland borough, which has seen significant marine-related development in advance of its hosting of next year’s Olympic sailing events. They concede the decision will be dictated by cost – local councillor Kate Wheller said: ‘The bottom line is that if we can do the job more cheaply than Southampton then we will get it.’

South Dorset MP Richard Drax, another of the delegates, will be questioning transport minister Mike Penning on 11 October in a special debate on the issue.

Photo: 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister’s Office