LOCALS CANNOT RESOLVE FLOOD DEFENCE ON THEIR OWN – GEORGE

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, is urging the Government to urgently work with Cornwall Council and other stakeholders to find long term solutions to the sea defences which have been overwhelmed and damaged in the recent storms.

Mr George had emphasised to the Deputy Prime Minister during his visit to the Constituency last week that the Government must honour its promise to recompense Cornwall Council not only for its costs in meeting the emergency response to the storm crisis around the coast of Cornwall, but also that of restoring sea defences and other structures where they have been damaged or demolished (up to last Friday this had been estimated at £21-22 million for Cornwall Council).

Mr George introduced the Deputy Prime Minister to Cornwall’s Harbour Master, Captain Andy Brigden, during his visit. Both Mr George and Captain Brigden called on the Government to (for example) form a partnership with Cornwall Council to undertake any further scoping and options appraisal work necessary to bring forward plans for a robust sea defence for Penzance harbour and seafront. Mr George has been a long term supporter of an offshore breakwater for the Penzance area.

Mr George said: “Millions of pounds of damage have been done to Newlyn Green, the Prom, Jubilee Pool, Penzance harbour and the station area and Chyandour. Sea defences and rock armour were overwhelmed by the power and size of the waves. On Friday afternoon/evening I witnessed for myself the impact the storms had on Penzance seafront.

“If these storm clouds are to have a silver lining then local community representatives must speak with one harmonious voice to the Government and to seek the kind of partnership and determination that is necessary to secure a project which will give our local communities the protections it deserves.”

During his survey of the scene on Friday afternoon/evening, Mr George met local firemen, police and council staff and thanked them for their excellent efforts in providing protection and support to the local community. He visited Porthleven, Coverack, Newlyn, Penzance and other communities on the coast on Saturday. He will be taking up concerns of local people, including, for example, those at Coverack where the road through the village has been undermined and is in a potentially dangerous state.