March 2008 Comments

Comments on the press article Erosion victory is good news :

This report brings us news of what could be a landmark decision for many coastal inhabitants and communities.

Personally I feel it absolutely vindicates and underlines the comments and judgement made in my letter to the then Minister, Elliot Morley MP, of 7th August 2005.

Without doubt this fires a considerable shot across the bows of Government’s policy and thinking on how stakeholders should be treated when a decision is made to discontinue or withdraw from protecting the coast.

Central Government continually refuses to bring the management of the coast up to 21st century standards. They absolutely cling to that probably most outdated of all statutory instruments, The Coast Protection Act 1949, simply because that act gives them the right to walk away from protecting much of the coast and it’s communities at absolutely no cost to Government itself. That fact alone makes the path being trod by the whole Making Space For Water (what an unfortunate name) project and the Second Generation Shoreline Management Plans completely unsustainable.

I have been, and remain, astonished that any Government department can actively persue a policy which utterly disenfranchises so many people and renders so many of them penniless. Even using it’s own quangos to attempt to prevent individuals from protecting their own homes and property.

This judgement reinforces my unshakable belief that if Government policy dictates that we have to stop defending previously defended parts of the coast in the wider National interest then that cost must be borne by the wider Nation in whose name it is being perpetrated, not by individuals alone.

It is extremely gratifying to see the Human Rights Act 1998 actually working for good honest citizens as much as it seems to have been used over recent years for those who many of us feel should have relinquished it’s protection by their own unlawful and sometimes horrific actions.

Malcolm Kerby (13 March 2008)