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Castle Point

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

Such a shame. Canvey Island will soon have 50,000 residents, and we need a new access road from a different point on the island for environmental and regeneration reasons, and particularly for safety reasons, in case we ever needed to evacuate the island again. The Prime Minister will remember that 58 people lost their lives on Canvey Island in the last great flood because they could not be evacuated. Will he join me in pressing Essex county council, which is Conservative controlled, to make that its top priority? If it does, we will get the access road that we need. If it does not, the people will know who to blame.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question, because it allows me to point out that we have increased spending on roads by 80 per cent. in real terms since we came to power, and that that spending will have more than doubled in real terms in the years up to the next decade. However, it is the responsibility of Essex county council to bring forward a scheme that provides value for money and meets environmental objectives. I know that Essex county council is neither of the hon. Gentleman’s party nor of ours, but I hope that it will listen to his representations.