Call for more fund­ing to tackle threat of coastal ero­sion

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

The Scot­tish Govern­ment is be­ing urged to look favourably on re­quests from An­gus Coun­cil for fund­ing for flood pro­tec­tion in Mon­trose, as the town faces up to the threat of coastal ero­sion at its his­toric golf links.

An­gus Con­ser­va­tive MP Kirstene Hair has writ­ten to En­vi­ron­ment Sec­re­tary Roseanna Cun­ning­ham MSP, say­ing it would be “ridicu­lous” to ex­pect the author­ity to pay at a time of “huge” fi­nan­cial pres­sures.

She wrote: “At a time when you should be look­ing at sup­port­ing our econ­omy – par­tic­u­larly tak­ing ad­van­tage of tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties such as Mon­trose Golf Links – I’m sur­prised that your stance seems to be one of stud­ied in­dif­fer­ence.

“It can’t be right for your govern­ment to ab­di­cate re­spon­si­bil­ity at a time when coun­cil bud­gets are un­der huge pres­sure due to your fi­nan­cial pri­or­i­ties.”

Ms Cun­ning­ham told her the govern­ment was spend­ing mil­lions on flood pro­tec­tion.

“We are al­ready mak­ing £42 mil­lion avail­able each year to help lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in­vest in flood pro­tec­tion schemes,” she said. “An­gus Coun­cil is about to com­mis­sion a flood study for Mon­trose which will con­sider the role of ero­sion and flood risk to the area.

“The Scot­tish Govern­ment has treated lo­cal govern­ment very fairly, in spite of the UK Govern­ment’s sig­nif­i­cant cuts to the Scot­tish bud­get. Coun­cils will re­ceive fund­ing through lo­cal govern­ment fi­nance set­tle­ment of more than £10.4 bil­lion for 2017-18 and this year alone the over­all in­crease in spend­ing power to sup­port lo­cal author­ity ser­vices amounts to al­most £383 mil­lion or 3.7%.”

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