On a visit to Cromer Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss offers reassurance that smaller communities will not be forgotten

The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk and Secretary of State for En

The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, visiting Cromer on the anniversary of the sea surge.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss moved to reassure people that smaller communities would not be forgotten in the Government's coastal defences plan.

The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk and Secretary of State for En

The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, visiting Cromer on the anniversary of the sea surge.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

On a visit to Cromer pier today she said the Government needed to look at the coast as a whole.

Her visit to the town came in the week that the government announced a £2.3bn pledge to bolster flood defences across the UK.

She said the pot of cash announced this week ahead of the autumn statement was aimed to protect the maximum number of homes, businesses and town centres, but added: 'We recognise there are small communities who also need protection.'

Ms Truss highlighted an announcement in Wednesday's autumn statement, which said private companies who contribute to flood defences can claim tax relief for their investment.

The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk and Secretary of State for En

The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss, the Conservative MP for South West Norfolk and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, visiting Cromer on the anniversary of the sea surge.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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She said so far £140m had been raised through partnership funding, with businesses and councils working together, and encouraged more to get involved

She added: 'We are spending a record amount and, for the first time ever, we have a six-year forward plan for flood defence. We've committed this money and it will happen.

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'All of the defences have been restored to at least the level of last year or upgraded. We are also putting additional money into upgrading it for the future.'

Speaking after her visit, Liberal Democrat north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, said: 'This partnership funding idea is a good one but my worry is for low-income communities.

'The danger is if areas don't have the money to contribute to the scheme then do they lose out? That would be unjust.

'There are many people along our coast who have invested everything and I still believe there is a lack of social justice for those people.'

What do you think? Email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk

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