Time to pull finger out to get coast fixed

Posted on: 14th April 2014

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George has called on the Prime Minister to put as much effort into protecting the damaged coastline around West Cornwall as the zeal shown by the Government in restoring the rail line at Dawlish.

Mr George spoke to locals and the Parish Clerk at Coverack last week and is asking Cornwall Council and the Government to accelerate the pace of work to restore the road between the north and the south of the village. Mr George had previously been told by the Council that this work should be completed by Easter. The latest information is that it may not be completed until the end of next month!

Mr George also visited Newlyn Green on Friday afternoon to meet locals, petitioners, campaigners, and local Cornwall Councillors Jim McKenna and Roger Harding.

Mr George said that approximately 90% of the temporary fencing could be removed overnight and has urged the Council to complete the necessary health and safety checks to have the place looking more welcoming and accessible in readiness for the Easter weekend.

Mr George wrote to the Prime Minister (and the Deputy Prime Minister) last week requesting more urgent action in response to Cornwall Council’s request for a contribution to the £24million bill which the Council faces after the February storms.

Mr George said: “I’ve spoken to Ministers whilst in Westminster. There’s a deafening sound of buck-passing going on between at least three Government Departments as the Prime Minister’s promise that “money is no object” is still reverberating around the corridors of Whitehall.

“The situation in Coverack is now desperate as, already, ambulances have arrived at the wrong end of the village to deal with an emergency. Lives are being put at risk.

“Businesses are affected and the community feels it has been left out on a limb.”

Mr George met a large group of locals and petitioners at Newlyn Green on Friday, including Ben Tunnicliffe from the Tolcarne and Marcia Bell from the Swordfish.

Mr George said: “Local people understand that the hole in the Green is unlikely to be restored in time for Easter, but the health and safety fencing is a major eyesore and very little of it is actually needed. A plan and timetable is needed for the restoration work to reassure locals that action is being taken.

“These are but two locations where, two months on from the last of the storms, communities are still waiting for news and reassurance that action will be taken, and the coastline restored.”

Mr George also inspected work being undertaken on the stretch of coast between Long Rock and Newlyn as he cycled the ten miles from his home to office this morning (as he usually does at this time of year) and witnessed the heavy plant installing additional rock armour to protect the coast path and railway line.

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