Political leaders on Yorkshire coast urge Ministers to help them tackle coastal erosion

140618 The road to nowhere... a dog walker on the former Ulrome-to-Skipsea road that most sections have fallen into the sea, due to the coastal erosion along the East Coast at Ulrome near Skipsea. Picture by Gary Longbottom.
140618 The road to nowhere... a dog walker on the former Ulrome-to-Skipsea road that most sections have fallen into the sea, due to the coastal erosion along the East Coast at Ulrome near Skipsea. Picture by Gary Longbottom.

Political leaders on the Yorkshire coast says they face an "ever-increasing burden" in tackling the growing impact of coastal erosion with no financial help from local utility firms.

In a letter to Ministers, Scarborough Borough Council leader Derek Bastiman says it is "inequitable" that water, electricity and gas companies do not have to contribute to projects to maintain coastal defences even though they benefit from them.

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He says local authorities, along with agencies such as the Environment Agency and EU partners, already invest hundreds of millions of pounds annually in maintenance and construction schemes to protect coastal communities.

Political leaders including Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen, North Yorkshire County Council leader Carl Les and East Riding leader Stephen Parnaby are among those to sign the letter to Housing Minister Rishi Sunak, who is also a North Yorkshire MP.

It says: "In general, our coastal defence structures are ageing, reaching the end of their working life and/or in desperate need of investment. In some cases our structures are simply no longer capable of mitigating the climatic and hydrological changes within our environment.

"These structures provide both the first and last line of defence between our communities, the vital infrastructure, services and utilities that serve them, and the sea."

The letter also suggests commissioning a ‘National Coastal Erosion Resilience Review’ to start discussions on the challenges being faced, which would include utility companies as major stakeholders and beneficiaries.