Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Coastal erosion and a prospect which does not bear thinking about ...

During a discussion on coastal protection and flooding at Copeland Council this afternoon, Conservative group leader David Moore raised the situation of the coastal road into Eskmeals, which is likely to fall into the sea within ten years if nothing is done.

This is one of only two routes into Eskmeals, which contains a Ministry of Defence firing range, and the other road is tidal.

As Councillor Moore pointed out, the Eskmeals firing range employs a hundred people and provides a national facility. There is also a considerable amount of ammunition stored at the site.

If the coast road is allowed to fall into the sea and no alternative provision is made, that could potentially put those jobs and that service at risk. But how could we tolerate a situation where the emergency services might have to wait for the tide until they could get through.

The idea of a fire raging near an ammunition store while the fire engine is unable to get through until the tide goes out really does not bear thinking about!

The point was taken but there is not answer yet to the question of what can be done about the Eskmeals road and this will have to be pursued further.

During the same debate I asked about the funding for flood prevention measures in Copeland, and asked whether a rolling programme of pro-active flood prevention was being looked at. The Portfolio holder advised me that funding is "still tight" and added that such a rolling programme of flood prevention measures is being actively considered.

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