ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP FOR COASTAL COMMUNITIES
The All Parliamentary Party Group on Coastal Communities looks to consider current issues affecting coastal communities and to actively seek strategies to address these to enhance health, wellbeing, education, infrastructure and economies within these unique communities.
As the MP for Hastings and Rye, a mixture of urban, rural and coastal communities, it is essential that the voice of coastal communities rings loud and clear at the government level to help ensure that no community is left behind.
Our coastal communities have so much untapped potential, and businesses and residents need to be given every opportunity to maximise their potential all year round.
This APPG will be able to focus on these communities that often have more in common with each other than with their inland neighbours, and they require targeted policies to help ensure equality of opportunity is provided the length and breadth of our United Kingdom.
Chair, Sally-Ann Hart MP
Call for a dedicated Minister for the Coast
Our coastline is a spectacular and amazing place, home to some of our most special wildlife and traditional seaside towns but also a place that has received much pessimism in recent months despite the Year of the Coast 2023 campaign that has showcased how much our coastal regions have to offer.
The OneCoast Coalition, a collaborative alliance between the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group, Coastal Communities Alliance, Coastal Partnership Network and National Coastal Tourism Academy, strive to raise the profile of the coast and all it has to offer.
Speaking on behalf of OneCoast, Beccy MacDonald-Lofts, of the LGA Coastal SIG, told us “The uniqueness that our coastal areas offer is something that we find nowhere else in the country. Just the sight of the sea is something that personally brings me a sense of comfort and happiness, something I know is shared by the thousands who visit our coastline every week. As OneCoast, we work together to raise the profile of challenges faced by the communities living in these unique areas and the potential solutions to make these areas thriving and resilient. We’re delighted to have developed the Pledge initiative, an idea originally developed by Coastal Partnership East, to give everyone across the country the opportunity to engage with, and pledge their support, for our coastal areas.”
Sally-Ann told us “As the MP for Hastings and Rye, I know first-hand how incredible our coast and coastal communities are and how important it is for us to ensure that they receive the right support and focus. I am proud to be the Chair for the APPG for Coastal Communities, and of the work that we have achieved together in highlighting coastal communities.
By working with other likeminded MPs, supported by our co-secretariat, we have been able to deliver a coastal inquiry like no other, and we focus on delivering actions after every session that we hold. Through all our sessions there is one common call from MPs and other organisations, that is for a dedicated Minister for the Coast who can bring together all the actions which need to be delivered in order to unleash the potential of our coastal communities, so that rather than be a problem to solve, they become a resource to the U.K.
I’m delighted to be able to support the Pledge for the Coast initiative at the in-Parliament event and as an MP I am pledging my continued support for the APPG, which has written a letter to all party leaders, calling for a dedicated Minister to be added to their Manifestos.”
The letter has been signed by cross-party MPs from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, supported by the OneCoast Coalition, and a number of other organisations and councils.
The Pledge for the Coast is available for everyone to participate in, from communities, businesses and organisations through to councils and Parliamentarians. Hosted on the LGA Coastal SIG website, you can make your pledge to support the coast from a choice of options or by creating your own pledge. All pledges are hosted on an interactive map and participants are welcomed to share their #CoastalPledge – what will you pledge today?
Peter Aldous MP, Vice Chair
"Coastal communities have long been overlooked by successive governments, with many of them seemingly written off as in a state of irreversible decline. The Government's objective to 'Level Up' deprived communities and a renewed national focus on sectors including fishing and offshore renewable energy offer the chance to remedy these years of neglect. In this context, the work of the APPG is crucial in ensuring that coastal communities are promoted as front and centre of the national policy landscape, enabling them to play a prominent role in the challenges and opportunities ahead of the UK."
Virginia Crosbie MP, Vice Chair
Virginia Crosbie is the MP for Ynys Môn (Isle of Anglesey) and as such her entire constituency comprises coastal communities. She believes in supporting this APPG because it recognises and seeks to address the specific challenges that face coastal communities and port towns. These include access to services, availability of employment and the impact that tourism and second home ownership can have.
As a diver and marine biologist she is passionate about ensuring that our coastal waters are protected and their unique carbon sequestering properties are promoted so that future generations will benefit from them. She wants to help the APPG raise the profile of coastal communities and port towns so that their unique heritage is preserved for future generations.
Robin Millar MP, Vice Chair
Coastal communities throughout the United Kingdom are often united in facing a similar set of challenges – decades of underinvestment, unemployment, high levels of poverty and an economic dependency on specific sectors such as tourism.
Llandudno, the Queen of the Welsh resorts, is famous for its beaches, its picturesque beauty and for its sweeping Victorian promenade. Few of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to Llandudno each year would know that the town is also home to some of the most economically deprived wards in Wales.
One of the main reasons I became interested in politics was a strong sense of injustice for those who feel they have no means and no voice in society. I am determined to help address the challenges faced by coastal communities in alleviating poverty and I look forward to supporting the crucial work of the Coastal Communities APPG in achieving this.
Tim Loughton MP, Vice Chair
Prior to Parliament, Tim worked in the private sector as a fund manager in the City of London before becoming a Director at Fleming Private Asset Management. Tim was first elected to Parliament in 1997 as Member for East Worthing and Shoreham and has been re-elected in 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Tim takes a particular interest in the hospitality industry which is particularly important in seaside towns as well as the fishing industry, offshore green solutions and educational disadvantage seen disproportionately in coastal communities.
Three major coastal fora - the Coastal Partnerships Network, the Coastal Communities Alliance and the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group (LGA Coastal SIG) - have been co-secretariat for the Coastal Communities APPG since February 2020.
UK COASTAL COMMUNITIES APPG INQUIRY
The Coastal Inquiry aims to delve into issues currently affecting coastal communities around the UK, raising awareness of these challenges and potential solutions for MPs to consider. Through each Coastal Inquiry session, MPs discussion the information provided and determine a series of actions to be undertaken to deliver change for our coastal communities.
Actions and the session programmes are reviewed and agreed at our Annual General Meetings.
Coastal Inquiry sessions 2022-2023
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Roundtable: Health in Coastal Communities
Parliamentary briefing: Skills and Aspirations in Communities
Information session: Year of the Coast 2023
Parliamentary briefing: Impact of Coastal Erosion on Communities
Roundtable: Levelling Up in Coastal Communities
Parliamentary briefing: Ocean Literacy
Coastal Inquiry sessions 2023-2024
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Parliamentary briefing: Beach & Water Safety
Coastal Inquiry sessions:
September 2023: Seaside Heritage