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Flood-hit tourism hotspots must be given support - culture secretary Maria Miller

18:33 30 January 2014

MP Henry Bellingham visits the flood damaged on Snettisham Beach. With him is EA project manager for repair work Ryan Ely. Picture: Matthew Usher.

MP Henry Bellingham visits the flood damaged on Snettisham Beach. With him is EA project manager for repair work Ryan Ely. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Culture secretary Maria Miller has said flood-hit holiday spots like Norfolk must be given support so they can remain attractive tourism destinations.

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In a House of Commons debate she claimed tourism was a vital part of the economy.

She made the comments after she was told by North-West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham the Department for Culture, Media and Sport should liaise and work with local authorities.

The culture secretary told Mr Bellingham that £137m had been invested on an international tourism campaign, adding: “We need to also make sure that constituencies like his that have been hit by the recent problematic weather receive support so they can continue to be attractive tourist destinations.”

The boss of the Environment Agency suggested last week that flood defences in Brancaster, Blakeney and Salthouse may not be repaired following the tidal surges at the beginning of December, which could have implications for the nature reserves which attract thousands of tourists to the region each year.

Chris Starkie, managing director of the New Anglia local enterprise partnership said that they had been in touch with the government body so they could understand their plans and the impact they believed it might have on the area.

He also questioned how much the international campaign had specifically helped Norfolk and Suffolk.

But said the Lep had given cash to both Visit Norfolk and Visit Suffolk to help with a spring marketing campaign.

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3 comments

  • If the tax revenues from tourism decrease because of this then the government might make the coastal defences a priority. Then again the demand for investment elsewhere in the country might reduce the size of any support from central London. The debate in the country is so very broad at the moment that there is no obvious answer to this. The flooding that the nation is dealing with is all part of a very extreme set of circumstances that no amount of reasonable preparation could mitigate against. Similarly the money that has been spent might have been spent more wisely to recover more quickly. What we all must remember is that the death toll is small compared to what it might have been. The EA has previously issued a warning to the North Norfolk coast to prepare for the retreat of these defences, unfortunately, the EA was not able to predict how urgent that need was. Some of the businesses affected are barely viable and needed to change or die. Now if I was struggling to make ends meet, say because of Internet retailers and cheap foreign imports, would I be able to claim compensation from the tax payer to maintain my existence and the existence of my suppliers?

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    George Ezekial

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • Flood hit areas must be given support. Wow! I never would have come up with that idea without a government minister to tell me.

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    alecto

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • As has been made clear with the flooding of the Somerset levels, the Environment Agency has a clear agenda here. They are directing their resources to coastal wildlife schemes, etc. at the expense of dredging rivers. Unless they say otherwise, we must assume that they have similar plans for coastal areas including Norfolk at the expense of defending the coast. There was a disgraceful article on Anglia TV about the Nar river valley where EA have introduced a scheme which avoids dredging the river by allowing the river to flood. The Anglia presenter went on to say that effectively, the same scheme could be applied to the West Country!

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    andy

    Friday, January 31, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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