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Regeneration: Coastal Areas

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many times the cross-departmental working group on coastal towns has met since February 2008; where each meeting was held; who attended each meeting; and what the outcomes of each meeting were. (244402)

The cross-departmental working group has met once since February 2008 on 23 July 2008. The next meeting is scheduled for January 2009.

The 23 July meeting was held at CLG headquarters at Eland House, London. In addition to CLG officials, it was attended by officials from the following Departments and organisations.

BERR

DEFRA

DCMS

DIUS

DOH

DWP

Commission for Rural Communities

Environment Agency

Government Office for the South East

Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government

South East Economic Development Agency

Margate Renewal Partnership

Thanet District Council

Professor Steve Fothergill, Sheffield Hallam University

The main outcomes from the meeting were:

agreement to publish the results of a benchmarking exercise of seaside towns, undertaken for CLG by Professor Steve Fothergill;

in partnership with the RDA-led Coastal Towns Network, to set up two sub-groups to improve the evidence-base on the challenges and opportunities facing coastal towns. One sub- group is looking at the role of strategic mechanisms and approaches like local area agreements and sub-regional partnerships in improving coastal town regeneration outcomes. The other sub-group is looking at options for raising employment and skill levels in coastal locations; and

to invite Departments and agencies represented on the working group to provide updates on current and proposed initiatives relevant to the support of regeneration and sustainable development in coastal towns.