House of Lords demand improved support for coastal towns
Released: Monday, 31 July 2023
Seaside towns across the country hope to benefit from improved access to funding and health, education and connectivity services following a new report by the House of Lords.
The House of Lords Liaison Committee has recently published a follow-up to 'The future of seaside towns' report, which was originally published in a move to help bring forward the regeneration of coastal towns across the United Kingdom.
It claims that areas such as Worthing, Lancing, Sompting, Shoreham, Southwick and Fishersgate are overdue support from the Government to help tackle problems which are preventing them and their communities from flourishing.
The report recommends that changes should be made to the Levelling Up agenda, which aims to provide funding for the areas and projects most in need. However, it suggests that coastal towns are currently receiving less support than their in-land counterparts.
The committee's proposal suggests that the responsibility for seaside towns and communities should be allocated to a ministerial portfolio, giving these areas the recognition they need and a necessary voice in discussions.
Also recommended by the committee are improvements to the transport connectivity of coastal towns, which in 2019 the original report described as “holding back many coastal communities and hindering the realisation of their economic potential”.
The new report states that more needs to be done to ensure coastal communities are protected and able to use sustainable and effective connectivity services.
Education in coastal areas, as well as teacher recruitment and retention have also been raised in the follow-up report as areas which require attention and fresh initiatives.
The Lords said the Government also needs to work with the Local Government Association, coastal interest groups and the private sector to develop a coastal communities strategy to address the long-standing disadvantages.
Cllr Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, said:
“It's promising that the House of Lords Liaison Committee are continuing their work to help coastal towns reach their full potential.
“We're fortunate in Adur to be surrounded by a special landscape, but need help funding projects and tackling issues which will allow our district to thrive.”
Cllr Dr Beccy Cooper, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, said:
“It's good to see that the specific needs of Coastal towns are being highlighted in this report.
“In partnership with our communities, we are working hard to make Worthing a fair and green town where all our citizens can thrive and people can enjoy visiting. But we are currently doing this in the face of unfair National Government funding and policies that are out of touch with our everyday experiences of living by the sea. It is past time for a better and fairer deal for coastal towns across the UK.”
To read the House of Lords Liaison Committee's report in full, see:
Photo: Houses of Parliament, House of Lords and Big Ben, London
Photo: North Road's shops in Lancing (Queen's Parade)
Photo: Worthing town centre
Page last updated: 26 September 2023