04 SEP 2017

Coastal Scene Column - 1st September 2017

"As I write I am undertaking my annual constituency tour, criss-crossing the 300-odd square miles of the Suffolk Coastal constituency, visiting every town and parish to give residents the opportunity to raise any subject they like with me. I stop at over 90 locations over the four days so thank you to all those who have given my team and I a warm welcome on what is a tiring but very worthwhile week. Many of the issues raised are the responsibility of the local councils so I will be following up on a number of issues with councillors and other organisations next week.

Before Parliament returns next week I have been busy enjoying the various fetes, festivals and carnivals which blossom across Suffolk at this time of year. Congratulations in particular to the organisers of Aldeburgh Carnival, which celebrated 75 successful years this year. At Orford Flower Show last week I visited the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership stand to catch up with Chairman, Sir Edward Greenwell. The partnership, which was formed in 2012, has done a fantastic job coordinating the approach for maintaining and upgrading the flood defences in the estuary, to preserve this area of outstanding natural beauty.

I spent Bank Holiday Monday enjoying the Felixstowe sunshine as Sky Ocean Rescue brought its plastic whale to the seafront on the last day of its tour around the UK. Made entirely of plastic recovered from the sea, the whale is a stark visual reminder of the prevalence of plastics in everyday life and the need to dispose of such items carefully, as it is thought that 80% of marine litter comes from the land. The government introduced a 5p charge on single use plastic bags and purchases of them fell by 85%. We have now started the process to remove plastic microbeads from certain cosmetic products. We will continue to do more but we need help from everyone to consider their own individual actions on how to reduce plastic that can often end up in our oceans.

Finally, Suffolk Coastal District Council is proposing new restrictions on dogs. I encourage people to respond to consultation on their website. I'm pleased that the council has now published some of its reasons for the increased restrictions. It seems two parish councils were particularly keen for tighter controls. The council has assured me it will carefully consider every submission."

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