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Coastal Towns

Volume 605: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2016

Q11. What steps the Government are taking to help overcome the social and economic problems facing coastal towns. (903279)

The Government are absolutely committed to regenerating our coastal towns and ensuring that everyone, regardless of where they live in this country, has access to high-quality public services and the very best opportunities. I am happy to reaffirm that to the House today.

I do beg your pardon. We must hear from Mr Vickers first. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear!”] Let us hear from the hon. Gentleman.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

I recognise the initiatives the Government have taken, but the Prime Minister will know that many coastal towns, such as Cleethorpes, suffer from poor educational standards. We have many high-performing academies trying to reverse that and ensure that our young people have access to sport, arts and culture at the highest level. The council is preparing a report with the private sector. Will he commit the Government to working with me and the council to deliver regeneration to Cleethorpes?

No one, Mr Speaker, could silence the voice of the Humber. That was not going to happen.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, and I am happy to look at the proposal with him. We have to make sure we tackle both failing schools and coasting schools, and there are some in coastal areas of our country. One issue is making sure we get very talented teachers and leaders into those schools, and that is what the national leaders of education service is all about, but I am happy to talk further with him.

Déjà vu.

Rathlin island is the only inhabited coastal village or town in my constituency. No British Prime Minister has ever had the honour to visit that part of Ulster. When does the Prime Minister plan to visit this remote location, which has considerable economic needs and could generate more employment and tourism?

I have been the first British Prime Minister to visit many parts of our country—I was the first to go to Shetland for about 30 years—but I fear, if I went to this island, people might like me to stay. I will certainly bear it in mind, however, the next time I visit the Province.