Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson calls for sea defence assurances

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson

Formby and Crosby Labour MP Bill Esterson has vowed to fight for assurances from the Conservative-Lib Dem government that funding will be made available for sea defences in Sefton Central.

Speaking during the Coastal Town Debate in Parliament before the summer recess last week, Bill Esterson called on Conservative Mark Simmonds to reassure residents about the ongoing investment in coastal defences.

Bill said at the debate: "My constituency includes Formby and parts of Crosby and Hightown, which are coastal towns. Among other things, the Sefton coastline is characterised by its 20 miles of sand dunes.

"Does the honourable Member for Boston and Skegness (Mark Simmonds) agree that it is vital to continue investment in, support for and investigation of adequate sea defences for coastal towns?"

But Conservative MP Mark Simmonds was unable to guarantee that funds would be made available from the Conservative-Lib Dem government to safeguard coastal defences.

Mr Simmonds said: "I cannot give him the assurance that he is looking for, but I am certain that he and other Members on both sides of the House will lobby vociferously to ensure that coastal defences are maintained."

Bill Esterson this week said that Crosby and Formby needed hard and fast guarantees from the government over funding for coastal defences and he would fight hard to get guarantees from the government over sea defences in Formby, Hightown and Crosby.

Bill said: "Coastal defences are absolutely crucial to the future of many parts of this constituency.  We need guaranteed assurances from this government that they are going to continue to invest in ensuring our communities are protected.

"If we don't get those assurances, then I will be fighting hard to get the financial guarantees that we need."