MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

A BEACH; it’s something that we all, at times, take for granted.

We are so lucky on the Fylde coast that we have our beautiful coastline to explore, enjoy and use.

And, if you’re not a regular visitor, the beach does seem, of course, to simply exist; to naturally evolve, grow and change.

But we must remember that managing our coastline is a tremendously complex job with so many competing interests to be balanced.

That is a very tough task and I have nothing but admiration for the agencies that do so.

There are a number of huge issues at present that are dominating the thinking of those in charge of this wonderful resource.

From grass fires on the dunes which have been a constant problem for our local fire crews to the logistics of reintroducing beach sports to the sands there have been big challenges to overcome.

A planning application over the management of the dunes is also outstanding and further down the coast cockle picking which, let me be very clear, must be extremely tightly regulated and managed, is being allowed on the estuary near Granny’s Bay.

There are other issues too including competing commercial and environmental ideas which all make management of the areas prized asset an extremely tricky business.

Keeping the beach and our bathing water clean, safe and attractive is a huge priority for the council and everyone else who has an interest in using this tremendous natural gift we share.

So we must treat it with respect and work together, understanding each other’s competing aims and ideas, to ensure it remains a wonderful place to go for years to come.

Finally, this week, a thank you to another wonderful place in Fylde, Ribby Hall Village.

Their new Spa Hotel, which has been years in the making, opened last week and I was delighted to be invited along to see the new facility first hand.

A truly state of the art investment in the area, I wish it every success.

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