GMB calls for implementation of House of Lords recommendations on regeneration of coastal towns
“The central aim of economic policy in the UK should be to bring the levels of economic activity and levels of living standards in all areas of the country, and in particular the coastal areas, up to levels in the best performing areas in London and the Thames Valley”, says GMB Southern
GMB, the union with members in the coastal areas from Kent to Dorset, welcome this important report from the House of Lords Select Committee on the regeneration of coastal economies and calls for the implementation of the 59 recommendations in the report.
Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary said: "This is an important report on an important issue that has to be seriously pushed up the political agenda at all levels of government and economic development.
"GMB has long said that the central aim of economic policy in the UK is to bring the levels of economic activity and levels of living standards in all areas of the country, and in particular the coastal areas, up to levels in the best performing areas in London and the Thames Valley.
"Sadly, this has not been seen as an economic priority. The coastal economies have been neglected. Transport links are in need of massive upgrades. Wages and the levels of economic activity have fallen way below the levels in the more prosperous economies with much higher levels of economic activity.
"Matters have been made worse as a result of the savage cuts in public spending in response to the economic crisis in 2008. The coastal economies are disproportionately relying on public sector jobs and wages. The cuts have resulted in lower public sector employment and lower wages in real terms. The cuts in income support for working families as universal credit is rolled out disproportionately impacts on the coastal areas relying on poorly paid jobs in hospitality and retail.
"There have been severe political consequences of this neglect as the residents in the coastal areas consider that the political class is out of touch with the need for urgent action on a wide range of fronts. The people in the coastal areas are insisting that the neglect has to stop.
"This report and its 59 recommendations are very important and very welcome. GMB want to see action at all levels of government and economic decision making to see these recommendations implemented."
Contact: Paul Maloney 07801 343839 or Michelle Gordon 07866 369259 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762
Notes to Editors
1] Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities The future of seaside towns - Report of Session 2017-19 (4 April 2019) https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldseaside/320/32002.htm
2] Summary of conclusions and recommendations https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldseaside/320/32010.htm#_idTextAnchor141