The LGA Coastal SIG champions the collective interests of coastal, estuarine and maritime communities by increasing awareness and debate on environmental, economic and social issues at all levels in relation to the coast.

The Lead Authority for the LGA Coastal SIG is South Tyneside Council, who has held this position since September 2019 and the group is formed of 57 member councils, covering 60% of the English coastline and representing 16 million people.


Cllr Ernest Gibson

I’m proud to be a voice not only for South Tyneside but for all of England’s incredible coast. The LGA Coastal SIG leads the way, bringing key issues to the attention of those that can make real change.

Elected onto South Tyneside Council in 1999 where Cllr Gibson is the Lead Member of Cabinet for Area Management and Community Safety and sits on a number of outside organisations including the Northumbria Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Cllr Gibson proposed the #Motion4TheOcean for South Tyneside Council that was passed unanimously with cross-party support.

Vice Chair

Cllr Derek Bastiman

I have learnt much more by being a member of the SIG and it has allowed me to share my knowledge and experience

Cllr. Derek Bastiman was elected onto Scarborough Borough Council in 1995 and has always played a part in addressing Sea and Coastal defence problems, be that in major rock armour protection schemes or Land stability remedial works. He sits on various outside bodies including, Local Government Flood Forum, Safe Use of the Water Forum, RNLI Local Ambassador.


Beccy MacDonald-Lofts, Lead Officer

Supporting coastal communities, with their unique perspective between the land and sea, is the best reason to get up in the morning!”

As an experienced marine biologist with a specialism in conservation and education, Beccy has dedicated her career on connecting people and the coastal environment to the benefit of all, bringing a valuable perspective to the work of the SIG.

Bethany Handson, Project Officer

‘”The opportunity to play a part in bringing about meaningful change and progression for the coast nationally is something I am extremely proud of. It is rewarding to be part of such a brilliant Group whose Members and Officers are dedicated to making the coast the best place it can be for all of our communities.”

Bethany has worked for South Tyneside Council since November 2019, working closely with Elected Members. Living near the coast for her whole life has given her a keen interest in coastal issues and useful insight into the life of those living on the coast and the wider remit of the SIG.


Wednesday 28 June 2023 10:30-14:00BST (Online)

TBC December 2023 10:30-14:00GMT (In person only in London)

AGM Thursday 14 September 2023 (hybrid) 10:30-14:00 as part of our annual field trip (12-14 September).

TBC October 2022 10:30-14:00BST (Zoom)

TBC March 2024 10:30-14:00GMT (online)

Our priority work themes:

Flooding and Coastal Erosion Risk Management

Beach and Water Safety

Regeneration and Maritime

Fishing and Marine Conservation

Coastal Water Quality

What our members say

Being a member of the SIG has enabled me to access unlimited knowledge from fellow Members, when you consider the SIG covers an area from the Scottish Borders round to the Welsh border it offers a wealth of practical experience on tap. The cost of being a member is negligible when you think how much is available to you.

Cllr Derek Bastiman, Scarborough Borough Council

There isn’t another forum which provides this type of support with member and officer representation. Added to that is the benefit of a group that can access central Government to raise these collective issues for the benefit of all. Rather than why be a member, the question is really why not?

Sharon Bleese, Coastal Manager (South), Coastal Partnership East

Become a member

Motion for the Ocean

The LGA Coastal SIG are proud to support this model motion for an Ocean Recovery Declaration that will help all local authorities to #thinkocean in a way that can integrate with current responses to the climate emergency and levelling up agenda.

Eleven councils have made an Ocean Recovery Declaration using the model #motion4theocean, including our lead authority South Tyneside Council. We encourage our members to adapt this model motion to suit the needs of the communities they serve.

News and events

World Drowning Prevention Day 2023

“As Chair of the LGA Coastal SIG, I am proud we are supporting World Drowning Prevention Day, 25 July 2023. World Drowning Prevention Day is a chance for everyone to reflect on what they can do to protect themselves and the people they love from drowning.” Cllr Ernest Gibson, South Tyneside Council The LGA Coastal…

Endemic problems of seaside towns continue unabated, says new Lords follow-up report

Seaside towns and communities have continued to see a lack of progress in tackling entrenched problems to enable these areas to flourish. The Government’s Levelling up agenda, which aspires to target areas in the most need, is welcome but more needs to be done to target seaside towns and communities which are yet to receive…

Quarter 1 2023 Update

We held our Quarterly meeting on Thursday 29 June online with updates from our partners and presentations including one on National Drowning Prevention Day 25 July 2023. We encourage all our members to support this Day and highlight the importance of water safety. For further information please see https://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/drowningpreventionday Quarter 1 (April-June) 2023 LGA Coastal…