July 24 2014 Latest news:
By MARK BOGGIS
Thursday, April 24, 2014
A government minister was in Lowestoft today to see at first-hand how the town is recovering from December’s tidal surge.
Matthew Hancock, the minister for skills and enterprise, was in Lowestoft this morning, ahead of a meeting in Norwich, to view the damage to the town’s south beach.
Waveney district councillors, chief executive Stephen Baker and council officers joined Waveney MP Peter Aldous in meeting Mr Hancock, who has recently been appointed as the new ministerial flood representative for East Anglia and South Lincolnshire.
On Wednesday, the council ratified a £1.5m scheme to top up sand levels and strengthen the sea wall at Lowestoft’s south beach,
With this work due to start in the autumn, councillors were also told that major improvement works were needed in the future – and the council faces finding £5m to pay for a more extensive programme of repairs that could take between three and five years.
With the beach under severe pressure from coastal erosion and damage caused by December’s tidal surge, the minister began his visit at the Children’s Corner area of Lowestoft – which has been closed to the public since late last year.
Mr Hancock also visited Bevan Street East to see how businesses were recovering from the tidal surge, while viewing the town’s proposed flood defence scheme.
Speaking after a successful visit, Mr Aldous said: “It was an ideal opportunity to showcase Lowestoft and the areas in need of investment... There is a need for more money to be provided to get the beach fully open – and Mr Hancock took that on board.”