To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will provide a breakdown by type of all the employees, indicating separately auxiliaries and volunteers, working with the Coastguard over each of the past five years; and what changes will be made in these numbers consequential on the control centre closures and mergers announced on 17 November. 
The information is as follows:
|Year||Total number of permanent employees||Total number of auxiliary (voluntary) coastguards|
|1 Figures at November 1997.|
As a result of the closure of the stations at Pentland, Oban, Tyne Tees and Liverpool, the Coastguard officers complement will be reduced by around 78 staff over the next four to five years, although there will be some additional posts at flank stations. This will be set against the increase in staff of around 200 this year and the overall result after 5 years will be a net increase in staff over last year's levels. The number of coastal rescue teams will not be affected by these changes, but the number of sector managers will be increased through additional posts at the locations where centres are to be closed.