It is now over a year since the floods that devastated homes and families along stretches of the North Norfolk coast in December 2013. A few weeks ago the Liberal Democrat Environment Minister, Dan Rogerson MP, visited one of the communities in North Norfolk worst-affected by the tidal surge. He was able to see for himself the eroding cliffs, and the homes that are most at risk.
Back in Westminster, a couple of weeks later I chaired a meeting between Dan Rogerson and other key figures including the Energy Secretary Ed Davey, North Norfolk District Council and the Environment Agency to look at the works needed to protect the stretch of coast from Bacton to Walcott. Organisations agreed to work together urgently to put together a joint plan for the work, and we will be meeting again in the coming weeks to ensure progress is made.
And in early March this year I spoke to Oliver Letwin, the minister at the Cabinet Office responsible for co-ordinating work between government departments. There remain concerns that plans for a new coastal protection scheme for the gas pipeline terminal at Bacton will fail to defend neighbouring communities, and I emphasised that we need to push for a comprehensive scheme defending this stretch of coastline.