Following Clacton and Holland Beach Hut Association meeting on 4 May 2013 Trevor Bright sent some questions to June Clare of TDC. Here are the questions and answers.
But first a note about the meeting.
- Douglas Carswell (local mp)
- Peter Halliday (conservative leader of TDC)
- June Clare (Corporate Director TDC)
- Ian Taylor (Streets and Seafronts Manager TDC)
all spoke at the meeting. June Clare, who has responsibility for the sea front regeneration, spoke quite passionately and at some length. June seems convinced the project will eventually go ahead even though the bulk of the funding will come from EA and they have yet to give a definite commitment.
There was some concern that if the sea wall failed before construction started there would be no money. This is strange as EA had already written to Joy Broderick (TDC councillor for Holland Haven) to say TDC would have to pay for repairs but almost certainly be able to claim the money back from EA.
Apart from this, and June’s conviction the tone (which is reflected in her answers below) was very much along the lines of
“Trust us we know what we’re doing, we’ll make the right decisions with the help of EA and Mott McDonald“
I was left wondering where the local democracy bit had got to.
I also wondered how EA had decided the maximum contribution they could make was £22million, not least because I have found mistakes in EA calculations before. Here’s a good one A Very Bad Way To Calculate Sea Level Rise. I have also found a gross error in the way they have estimated the rate of salt marsh loss but have not yet had the time to write a post about this.
Look at it this way, over the last 10 years EA have funded TDC to make about £10million of repairs most of which have been in Holland (The Cost Of Not Maintaining The Breakwaters At Holland-On-Sea). If this continued for 100 years the cost would be at least £100million, though inflation alone would mean the true cost would be more than this. EA have set a limit of £22million for a project which is supposed to last 100 years.
I still have a problem believing that EA will provide any money as there published plan for Tendring Coast by 2055 involves removing defenses along about 1/2 of the coastline.
Here is a pdf of Trevor’s questions which will be easier to read than the graphics that follow.
June sent her answer by email which I’ve copied here.
From: June Clare [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 24 May 2013 11:01
To: ‘Trevor Bright’
Cc: Cllr. Nicholas Turner, Cabinet Member for Environment & Coast Protection
Subject: Clacton & Holland Coastal Defence Work – Questions Raised By Holland Residents Association
Dear Mr Bright
Further to your recent e mail, I am now able respond to the generality of your questions and rather than commission additional work from our consultants, at a cost to Tendring District Council’s council tax payers, I would suggest that you access the Environment Agency website: www.enviroment-agency.gov.uk which is a treasure trove of information about funding issues; issues of risk and coastal/flooding matters.
The options presented to Cabinet on 17th May were the product of a technical appraisal of the issues that affect the Tendring coastline and the preferred option was selected following feedback from the public consultations and from members.
You ask about future public involvement and an opportunity for this to take place will occur when the Council submits the planning application for the scheme agreed by the Environment Agency. You use the phrase ‘chosen in private’ as though this were something negative. What we have here is a very complex technical issue to resolve that will go through the Government’s due process and will be subject to rigorous assessment by technical specialists who have vast experience of such schemes, including the one you highlight at Jaywick. There are learning points from each scheme and I am sure that the EA will take these lessons into account when deciding upon the right scheme for our coastline.
You comment on the amount of suggested EA funding and compare it to what has been paid out in the past. The important fact here is that different criteria were applied in the past and we are working within the new arrangements and it is our extensive work in relation to the new regime that has enabled the Council to be in the best possible position to deliver a coastal protection scheme that will be a legacy for generations to come.
You ask who is responsible for the scheme at the Council and that will be the relevant portfolio holders and key officers and there seems to be an unfortunate implied threat in your e mail: ‘we need to ensure that the person(s) responsible for spending this money will be around to take responsibility for their actions’. Personally I find this approach most disappointing as speaking merely as an officer of the Council, all I can say is that officers have put their hearts and souls into this scheme and have worked way in excess of what is normally expected of officers to make this happen – a very small example would be that you had two officers from the Council and the Leader of the Council give up part of their Bank Holiday weekend to attend your meeting. The professionalism, effort and behaviour of officers are well matched by the Council’s members who again have done their utmost to get this scheme to the stage where it is today.
With regard to your technical and programme questions, these matters have and are being fully addressed by the Council’s specialist consultants, Mott MacDonald and the designs will be fully vetted by the Large Project Review Group of the EA. I would refer you also to the recent Cabinet report which provides the answers to a number of your other questions.
My focus at present is responding to the recent ‘call in’ request where the issue of the sand/shingle mix will be addressed and to seeking funding contributions from third parties. It is my strong hope that the public will get behind this scheme which will protect homes, our coastline and will provide an extended tourism offer which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike.
Mrs June Clare MSc, BA (Hons) FCIH, FCMI
Tendring District Council
Thorpe Road, Weeley
What do you think?
As I’ve said it seems like trust us we kn0w what we’re doing.
TDC are in a bit of a bind regarding EA’s plans for Tendring’s coastline.
Whilst they may not like the idea of sea walls being knocked down and parts of Tendring being flooded, they are not in a very strong position to argue given they’re asking EA to provide money for the Clacton/Holland scheme.
I’ve been told it took 4 goes to get the groynes at Jaywick right. Do you have any information about this? If so would you tell me.
Do you know how often the beach at Jaywick has been recharged if at all. If so would you tell me.
Who ever decided the groynes at Seawick (by Huntleys caravan park) clearly did it wrong as the little reef by Alan Underwood’s shop is submerged at high water and the beach along with Alan’s shop will be washed away before long – not to mention the sea wall.
But not to worry this is part of Tendring coastline EA have planned for “managed realignment”.
STOP PRESS IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT
EA’s approach to sea defenses is driven by IPCC’s vision of global warming and projections of sea levels rising up to 1m by 2100 which will be too costly to maintain sea defenses.
The UK Met Office is one of the most important if not the most important source of data for IPCC.
The climate change blog Bishop Hill has a story of how Lord Donoughue (aided by Doug Keenan) has been asking questions of Met Office. (here is a shorter summary)
The Met Office had claimed (via Baroness Verma in the house of Lords) there had been a rise of 0.8C since 1880 and this was statistically significant (i.e. it couldn’t have happened by natural causes).
Now in order to make this statement Met Office had to have a statistical model (i.e an assumption, expressed as how the temperatures were changing). It turns out Met Office had assumed they were going up in a straight line. Doug Keenan was keen to learn how much more or less likely the model the Met Office used was than another type of model called ARIMA(3,1,0), which basically means temperatures wander about without going anywhere.
After asking a mere 6 times Met Office gave Lord Donoughue the answer that “the wandering about going nowhere model” was 1000 times MORE LIKELY than the straight line model they had used.
This is pretty much a straight admission from the Met Office (a major supplier of data to IPCC) that there has been no significant temperature increase since 1880. (As an aside 1880′s just happened to be unusually cold).
This means there is no scientific basis for global warming (well there wouldn’t be would there if there ain’t been no warming).
So all the policies that have been based on global warming such as
- Putting up electricity and gas bills to pay for wind farms
- Not maintaining sea walls as rising temperatures will make it too expensive
are simply wrong.