The Shadow Environment Secretary has today visited Stephen Morgan in Southsea to discuss the city’s Coastal Sea Defence project. The project, which is likely to cost over £100 million, is set to be the single largest local authority led defence scheme in the country.
The Labour MPs today met with the Chief Executive of Portsmouth City Council and a senior officer from the sea defence team as well as a representative from the Environment Agency.
This investment is integral to the security of 8,700 residential properties, 800 commercial building and millions of pounds worth of essential infrastructure and has been the subject of much community debate and consultation.
It is hoped the planned work would transform the seafront for future generations whilst also protecting the heritage that the people of Portsmouth are rightly proud of. It would stimulate regeneration which in turn would be to the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors.
The city MP has sent a series of invitations to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP, requesting that he visit the city himself to understand the proposed scheme and funding challenges. Regrettably, Mr. Gove has not taken up the offer.
The Eastern Coastal Sea Defence Project via Portsmouth City Council have developed prospective plans to improve the sea defences along Southsea and the North Portsea Island.
On the matter, Mr. Morgan has said:
“The current defences we have are not sufficient. I want to ensure that the people of Portsmouth are safe from the threat of flooding. These proposals ensure that for the next 100 years. We need government help to make this a reality”
Shadow Environment Secretary, Sue Hayman understands the seriousness of the matter and has spent the day observing the proposals and meeting with senior stakeholders.
Mr. Morgan has stated:
“It is of paramount importance that this funding is secured. Not just to defend against the threat of erosion and flooding but also to create a vibrant, thriving place for residents and visitors to enjoy.“
The meetings today were integral to raising awareness of the vital regeneration project by the council and will be useful in informing the government that this issue needs to be addressed.