HC Deb 30 July 1982 vol 28 cc823-4W
Mr. Dormand

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether he will convene a meeting of representatives of the National Coal Board, Durham county council and Easington district council to discuss possible further action to clean the Durham beaches; and if he will make a statement;

(2) whether he will make a grant to the National Coal Board to enable the board to complete the pipeline at Horden being installed for beach-cleaning purposes; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Giles Shaw

The Government working party on the subject, which included representatives of the NCB and the county and district councils, reported in 1980 on the options for action to clean the beaches and concluded that a pipeline system was likely to be the most effective method.

Further discussions among the parties concerned are currently being held on the prospects for advancing matters, including the financial implications, and although a meeting of the kind proposed would not serve any useful purpose at the present, I propose to visit the area at the hon. Member's request.

Mr. Urwin

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received since the publication of the Flowers commission report from local authorities, and others, about the despoliation of Durham beaches; whether he is taking any action; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Giles Shaw

I have received representations about Durham beaches from Durham county council, the local authority associations and the Keep Britain Tidy Group. I share the concern of the Commission about the problem of Durham beaches. My officials have recently met the NCB and local authorities to try to find the best way forward, and discussions are continuing. The Government will give its views on the CENE recommendations about this problem in the context of our response to the CENE report as a whole.