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Councillors call for Welsh Government to pay for coastal defences

THE Welsh Government should be providing “100 per cent” of funding for coastal defence for the benefit of the whole county, say Ceredigion county councillors.

Last month members of the thriving communities overview and scrutiny committee discussed reports on coastal erosion and the £11million Aberaeron and Aberystwyth coastal defence scheme.

Giving feedback to cabinet on Tuesday (Jul 30) Cllr Gwyn James reiterated the view that there should be full funding made available for such work.

The Welsh Government has provided 100 per cent funding for preparatory and design work over the last two years and will support the scheme with 75 per cent funding.

This leaves 25 per cent to be found by Ceredigion County Council.

“The Welsh Government should be responsible for 100 per cent of the cost, the coast is for the benefit for the whole of Wales and the costs should not fall on those authorities that have coastline,” said Cllr James.

Cabinet member for highways and environmental services together with housing, Cllr Dafydd Edwards, said he agreed with the committee’s view that the whole coastline is important, with private landowners responsible for their parts, but the council had to work “within our financial constraints.”

Council leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn added: “The government in Cardiff should be responsible in my view. Not all councils have to put money towards schemes such as this.”

Coastal erosion and flood incidents are identified as one of the major risks to communities and infrastructure in the face of climate change with the council managing 7.5 miles of artificial coastal defences including piers, Aberystwyth promenade and various sea walls.

There is a further 52 miles of privately owned coastline.

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