Coastal erosion is major priority

Many congratulations to The Herald and all those involved in Campaign 2010 for amassing the sum of �36,044 for the Living with Cancer appeal. Well done everyone.

I was surprised, however, to read in last week’s front page article, publicising the launch of Campaign 2011, that you were in effect dissuading people from suggesting Coastal Erosion as a suitable item for support, on the grounds, mainly, it would seem, that “we cannot stop cliff erosion”.

This topic meets all the criteria laid down by yourselves in that it is a local cause, it is relevant to the community, it potentially concerns a wide range of people and, more importantly, despite your views, the reduction in the rate of erosion is achievable and assists the process of population adaptation, part of the Pathfinder initiative rationale.

In the fight to get local support for this issue, including the appeal to EDDC to take a lead to make things happen as other councils in the south west have done, there has never been a claim that coastal erosion could be halted. I’m sure those who suggested and supported the 2010 Campaign similarly acknowledged that, in having their item selected, would not result in either the elimination of cancer or resultant deaths, but it would make a huge difference to those in remission in helping them live a more fruitful life going forward. We all say hurrah to that.

That is precisely the ethic behind the coastal erosion issue, we all know we cannot stop it completely, but, if it can be significantly reduced in rate by the provision of rock armouring to the eastern cliffs, the town can achieve a breathing space for all involved to “adapt” to the changing circumstances, rather than being faced with an emergency flooding concern. In so doing, the town folk would sleep easy in their beds knowing protection had been put in place.

EDDC and the town council have, between them, committed a total of �20,000 to this issue I believe, and, although this is a drop in the ocean (intended pun), it shows intent to act. Please stop trying to play down this issue in the minds of the townspeople. If, as many of us believe, we are due for some harsh weather conditions in future which, coupled with rising sea levels, could potentially mean a town centre under water - this issue will be the only one in town, forget everything else.

If, as a reader, you are concerned by this issue, please demand it is selected as Campaign 2011.

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Tony Miller

Chair SAFE

Uplands, Cliff Road

ED: While I acknowledge the point you are making – and coastal erosion is a major issue of concern to many, ourselves included – it is, nonetheless, a force of nature and, arguably, requires major, consistent remedial input from all the appropriate authorities. Notwithstanding this, CAMPAIGN 2011 is an open forum and our minds will remain suitably open with regard to the cause that is eventually chosen.