Scarborough to cover NE coast

SCARBOROUGH Council has been chosen to carry out coastal monitoring for the entire north east coast – between the Scottish borders and Flamborough Head – and will be given more than £3 million by the Environment Agency to carry out the project.

The work will be carried out over the next five years and a report outlining the project was approved by members of the council’s cabinet yesterday.

John Riby, the council’s head of technical services, said that it was good news that Scarborough Council had been chosen as the lead authority to monitor the 300km stretch of coastline but added that to carry out the range of specialist tasks involved in the process it would involve using outside specialists.

“Getting funding is quite good news. The work will include a range of things that are quite specialised and, unless the council is considering buying its own aeroplane it would be very difficult to do this in-house,” he said.

The Cell 1 Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme for 2011-2016 will include: an aerial survey; a beach survey; a coastal defence asset survey; project management; topographical surveys; data management, analysis and reporting; a seabed sediment survey; defence inspections; as well as monitoring waves and tidal patterns.

Under the scheme the English coastline has been divided into six cells – the north east, East Riding, Anglian, south east, south west and north west.

A budget of £3,100,000 for has been set for the project and funding will be provided by the Environment Agency.

Cllr Jonathan Dixon highlighted a financial risk, mentioned in the report, where grants would have to be paid back if the council did not fulfil certain conditions laid out in the proposal.

Mr Riby said that it was a standard “caveat” which came with such an offer if the work was not carried out.

He said: “There’s always that fall back position but it’s a position that we’ve not had to act upon.”

According to the council’s risk assessment of the project any additional costs for the project would not come from departments, such as Defra, and if the budget was exceeded the cost would have to be met by the council – in an effort to avoid this consultants would be asked to submit fixed price quotes as part of the tendering process.

Contracts for the various aspects of the programme are due to be prepared and put out to tender from next month with project consultants appointed in April – with results to be monitored by the cabinet as the project progresses.