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Amble Harbour

Volume 986: debated on Thursday 19 June 1980

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he has taken the view that a grant should not be paid for improvement to Amble harbour until improvements have also been carried out to the Amble North Pier breakwater.

I refer the hon. Member to the explanation I have already provided in the answers given him on 28 January and 13 March last. I understand that the Department of the Environment is still awaiting plans from Alnwick district council to improve the north pier breakwater.

Since all the bodies concerned are agreed that both projects must go ahead, is it sensible to allow the harbour to deteriorate while we wait for the Ministry of Defence to decide whether it is prepared to contribute? If the hon. Gentleman were wounded in two places, would he be content to lie there and listen to two doctors arguing about which one should start the treatment first?

What the hon. Gentleman must realise, equally, is that the initiative on this matter must come from Alnwick district council. As soon as we have that initiative from the council, I assure the hon. Gentleman, having visited the harbour and seen the enthusiasm of those concerned with it, that I hope that we can deal with the matter expeditiously. But someone has to raise the knife first.