Our coastline is a spectacular and amazing place, home to some of our most special wildlife and traditional seaside towns but also a place that has received much pessimism in recent months despite the Year of the Coast 2023 campaign that has showcased how much our coastal regions have to offer.
The OneCoast Coalition, a collaborative alliance between the Local Government Association Coastal Special Interest Group, Coastal Communities Alliance, Coastal Partnership Network and National Coastal Tourism Academy, strive to raise the profile of the coast and all it has to offer.
Speaking on behalf of OneCoast, Beccy MacDonald-Lofts, of the LGA Coastal SIG, told us “The uniqueness that our coastal areas offer is something that we find nowhere else in the country. Just the sight of the sea is something that personally brings me a sense of comfort and happiness, something I know is shared by the thousands who visit our coastline every week. As OneCoast, we work together to raise the profile of challenges faced by the communities living in these unique areas and the potential solutions to make these areas thriving and resilient. We’re delighted to have developed the Pledge initiative, an idea originally developed by Coastal Partnership East, to give everyone across the country the opportunity to engage with, and pledge their support, for our coastal areas.”
The Pledge for the Coast initiative launched in Parliament supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Coastal Communities, chaired by Sally-Ann Hart MP.
Sally-Ann told us “As the MP for Hastings and Rye, I know first-hand how incredible our coast and coastal communities are and how important it is for us to ensure that they receive the right support and focus. I am proud to be the Chair for the APPG for Coastal Communities, and of the work that we have achieved together in highlighting coastal communities.
By working with other likeminded MPs, supported by our co-secretariat, we have been able to deliver a coastal inquiry like no other, and we focus on delivering actions after every session that we hold. Through all our sessions there is one common call from MPs and other organisations, that is for a dedicated Minister for the Coast who can bring together all the actions which need to be delivered in order to unleash the potential of our coastal communities, so that rather than be a problem to solve, they become a resource to the U.K.
I’m delighted to be able to support the Pledge for the Coast initiative at the in-Parliament event and as an MP I am pledging my continued support for the APPG, which has written a letter to all party leaders, calling for a dedicated Minister to be added to their Manifestos.”
The letter (see below) has been signed by cross-party MPs from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, supported by the OneCoast Coalition, and a number of other organisations and councils.
The Pledge for the Coast is available for everyone to participate in, from communities, businesses and organisations through to councils and Parliamentarians. Hosted on the LGA Coastal SIG website, you can make your pledge to support the coast from a choice of options or by creating your own pledge. All pledges are hosted on an interactive map and participants are welcomed to share their #CoastalPledge – what will you pledge today?