§ Mr. Brocklebank-Fowler
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, if, in view of the fact that the cost of repairs and improvements to sea defences at King's Lynn and between Hunstanton and Snettisham is likely to be £5 million which, if aided at the rate the Government now propose, will leave a substantial balance to be borne by local ratepayers, he will review his current plan to pay only 85 per cent. grant towards 334W repairing and improving sea defences damaged in the January floods which resulted from the highest ever recorded tidal surge, as on the occasion of the previous highest recorded level in 1953 a 100 per cent. grant was made.
§ Mr. Strang
As a result of the considerable investment by the Government and drainage authorities in sea defences over the last 25 years, the effects of the January 1978 storm tide surge were in general not comparable with those of the January 1953 surge.
The information which we have received from the Anglian Water Authority about its probable expenditure on repair and improvements to sea defences over the next two years suggests that the additional burden likely to fall on ratepayers through the drainage precept would not justify any increase in the current substantial rates of grant.