HC Deb 21 July 1953 vol 518 cc209-10
55 and 56. Mr. Edward Evans

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) whether he is aware that, in relation to the repair of flood damage to the North Sea wall at Lowestoft, his officers are proposing that the work of restoring the flood checking and earth bank at the rear of the wall should be excluded from the reimbursement provisions of Circular 33/53 notwithstanding that such works form an integral part of the coast defences; and whether this proposal was made with his approval.

(2) whether he will give an assurance that the whole cost of restoring the North Sea wall at Lowestoft to its condition prior to 31st January, 1953, will be reimbursed to the Lowestoft Corporation in accordance with the repeated assurances of Her Majesty's Government that such charges will rank for 100 per cent. grant.

Mr. Marples

My right hon. Friend has undertaken to reimburse the cost of restoring coast protection works to their condition before 31st January, 1953. He is considering whether the reinstatement of the promenade behind the sea wall at Lowestoft falls within this category.

Mr. Evans

Is the Minister aware that what he calls the promenade is a flood decking installation, which ranked for grant under the Coast Protection Act, under which the local authority was paid when the wall was originally built? Is he further aware that in the view of the council's surveyors who have considerable experience of protection work along the east coast, the flood decking is an essential part of the coast protection work in that area? Will the Minister see that there is no equivocation whatever that this flood decking ranks for 100 per cent. grant?

Mr. Marples

At present we are awaiting the engineer's report, and I will study in tomorrow's HANSARD what the hon. Member has said. But (he promenade is structurally independent of the sea wall and not part of it. The sea wall remains intact and the promenade was damaged. I will, however, look into the question sympathetically.