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The missing £10 million for coastal defences

March 13, 2008

Dear Cllr Pragnell and Mr Foster,

I am advised by Lib Dem councillor for Castle Ward, Paul Smith, that the Labour Government has withdrawn £10 million of promised investment in coastal defences for Hastings and area.

Cllr Smith was given this information by the Conservative Group on Hastings Borough Council when he questioned, at the Council’s Budget meeting, the disappearance of the sum from the Council’s ongoing capital programme.

This is of great concern to us. And it is brought into focus by the kind of weather that we have had today, and that we will continue to have.

I wonder if you could give me your understanding of the situation?
I must say that, if it is true that DEFRA has withdrawn this money, it makes a mockery of local Labour’s attempts to grab themselves some green credentials just before the 1 May election. It is less than impressive to grand-stand about climate change on the one hand, and to fail abjectly to plan for its realistic repercussions on the other.

Of course the Conservatives’ flimsiness on green taxes and environmentalism is undeniably worse.

Whilst you may not accept these last political comments, I would be grateful if you would respond on the facts regarding the funding.

In anticipation of your replies; yours truly,

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