I have great pleasure in presenting a petition signed by more than 3,200 residents of Middleton on Sea and the surrounding area in my constituency. The petitioners are concerned about the poor state of repair of the coastal defences that protect Middleton on Sea from flooding, the lack of funding to repair those coastal defences and the change in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' priority scoring system in late 2002, which significantly reduced the likelihood of funding for the essential improvements to the sea defences. I am grateful to David Szynowski and the committee of the Middleton on Sea Association for their work in collecting the signatures.
The petition states:
To the House of Commons.
The Petition of the residents of Middleton on Sea and the surrounding area,
Declares that Arun District Council's Shoreline Management Plan and its Coastal Defence Strategy prepared by engineering consultants identify the essential need for coastal defence works to save the beaches and coastline in the Middleton on Sea area. The petitioners further declare that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have refused to fund these essential works.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to bring in legislation to ensure the maintenance and protection of the beaches in the Middleton on Sea area.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.
To lie upon the Table.