Gordon Henderson has welcomed a new action plan from Conservatives to reinvigorate coastal communities – including the Isle of Sheppey. The plan, entitled ‘No longer the end of the line’, outlines how Conservatives intend to end the sidelining of seaside towns under the current Government.
The Isle of Sheppey, like a majority of coastal communities across Britain, has lower levels of employment, higher levels of benefit claimants, poorer health outcomes and worse transport links than comparable inland towns. The policy proposals in the comprehensive action plan include:
· Giving local councils and the police new powers to restrict the large number of late licenses and tackle the alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour that blights many coastal towns.
· Introducing new tax breaks for local firms - including local business rate discounts, lower corporation tax on small firms, and waiving National Insurance on new firms which create jobs.
· Cancelling Labour’s council tax revaluation which would charge residents higher council tax for having sea views.
· Creating a ‘Community Right to Buy’ to allow local groups to take over and save threatened community assets and buildings.
· Allowing privately owned, listed seaside-heritage attractions, such as piers, to apply for Lottery funding.
“Unfortunately, the current Government has ignored and marginalised coastal communities like Sheppey and this must change. I am really pleased about this Tory action plan because it shows that David Cameron recognises the problems that we face and seems determined to do something to help us,
“It is important that coastal towns are not just places for the occasional visit to the seaside, but are also successful and attractive places in which to live and work.
“I very much hope that a Conservative Government will ensure that our coastal towns are no longer ‘the end of the line’.”