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Coastal Areas

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of levels of migration of young people out of coastal towns; and what steps her Department has taken to mitigate the effects of this migration. (252931)

“England's Seaside Towns: a benchmarking study”, published by the Department in November 2008, includes an assessment of the demographic profile of the principal seaside towns. The report notes that the population of seaside towns is skewed towards older age groups, with a correspondingly lower proportion of working age and young people, although there are some exceptions. Most seaside towns have attracted fewer international migrant workers than the national average. No specific assessment has been made of the levels of migration of young people from coastal towns.

The Government's local area agreement framework is enabling local authorities in coastal towns and other areas, alongside key partners, to develop local solutions to the social and demographic challenges they face. This can include responding to the effects of outward migration of young people, where there are local concerns. In addition, the Review of Sub National Economic Development and Regeneration proposals for a new statutory duty on local authorities to carry out a statutory local economic assessment of their area, and to form sub regional partnerships, will empower coastal and other local authorities to drive local prosperity, regeneration and economic growth for the benefit of the local population, including young people.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made towards implementing the recommendations of the Communities and Local Government Committee in its report on coastal towns, that the Government undertakes further research into the challenges facing coastal communities; and what timetable she has set for undertaking research in each policy area. (253613)

In response to the conclusions and recommendations made in Communities and Local Government Select Committee on coastal towns, the Department commissioned a comprehensive benchmarking study to determine the socio-economic conditions in the 37 largest seaside towns in England. This research was specifically carried out to fill the evidence gap that existed on seaside towns and will help inform future policy development in these areas.

The report was published in November 2008 and can be found at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/citiesandregions/englishseasidetowns