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David Cameron says projects like Falmouth harbour dredging are put in the "too difficult box"

By WBgdavies  |  Posted: December 14, 2012

David Cameron

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The Prime Minister cited the delay in dredging Falmouth harbour as an example of how projects that could boost the economy are put in the "too difficult" box.

The £20million scheme is part of a wider masterplan for the port, but the Marine Management Organisation, which has to grant approval for the work, has so far blocked the scheme because of environmental fears.

It is currently the subject of a trial dredge to try and provide evidence that a full dredge to create a deep water channel will not have an undue effect on the seabed, in particular on maerl beds.

David Cameron told the Liaison Committee of MP'son Tuesday night: "Often the problem can be solved, but it's put into the too difficult box, like in the case of dredging Falmouth harbour, where we raise these things at cabinet level in order to try and get departments to bring up things that they are blocking and explain why they are blocking them and see if we can find a way through it."

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  • CornishBelle1  |  December 19 2012, 10:54PM

    Thanks Ginette Davies! Have sourced this information independently a few days ago. Interestingly, it would seem that during that liaison committee meeting, David Cameron was vehemently defending his government's stance on the importance of the environment. This is after all 'the greenest government ever'. It seems very ironic then, that he would he would choose Falmouth as an example of 'too difficult' rather than 'not possible for sound environmental reasons'. Ironic also that this is the only snippet that you publish without giving the context of the discussion, presumably knowing that the majority of people will never go the lengths required to find out the context. Unfortunately for you, and your seemingly one sided reporting, there are people willing to go to these lengths to expose such things. Mr Cameron may have had the wool pulled over his eyes, but the people of Cornwall are not so easily fooled.

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  • WBgdavies  |  December 17 2012, 10:05AM

    Fisherboy, it came from The Liasion Committee of MPs from last Tuesday night - the webcast is available through BBC Parliament.

  • dee_2  |  December 14 2012, 10:13PM

    Well said CornishBelle1. What does Cameron know about the project? On a wider scale, what do any of the coalition ministers know about the environment? Look at Nick Boles, overgrown schoolboy and new planning minister, who is proposing the covering of two million acres of our shrinking countryside with concrete. You have to wonder what he knows about anything other than making a quick buck. And that is what it is all about - short termism, the quick buck and let our children and grandchildren make the most of whatever is left after this mob have gone. It is an absolute disgrace and these people and their supporters should be ashamed of themselves. Libdems will never get my vote again, that's for sure.

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  • CornishBelle1  |  December 14 2012, 9:09PM

    No doubt Sarah Newton had a hand in filling Cameron's head with nonsense regarding dredging. What does he know of the project exactly? Has he studied it's economic worth? Does he understand that the tax payers of Cornwall are not in favour of spending £23 million of their money on funding the project? A project that is NOT required for the economic prosperity of Falmouth, as brilliantly evidenced by the recent £80 million, 5 year contract recently secured by the docks from the MOD- without dredging! Has he any comprehension of the impact of 1.1 million tonnes of dredged spoil proposed to be dumped at sea? Is he not aware that the tide of public opinion has well and truly turned on this one, since the proponents of the scheme no longer have a monopoly on the press and media? If Sarah Newton continues to support a project that does not represent value for money and poses a serious threat to the fisheries of Falmouth Bay, then she would be well advised to start job hunting. I for one don't fancy her chances for re-election.

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  • Trecurnow  |  December 14 2012, 8:25PM

    Also worrying regarding this article is the comment in another on TIC site regarding Marine Conservation Areas ... "Indicating that opposition to plans has been taken on board, ministers also avoided backing sites that would "unduly compromise coastal development". A controversial MCZ in the Fal estuary, which the town council claimed would have threatened "350 years of history and shipping power", is not in the first tranche".

  • Fisherboy  |  December 14 2012, 12:48PM

    Wonder where Ginette got that snippet from? We have been trying to get the content of the full speech since Radio Cornwall broadcast it yesterday morning. I suppose it is just possible that it was from her "swim-buddy", Zoe, from Deborah Clark Associates, the "spin" machine for A&P and FHC? Recently Falmouth Bay and Harbour Action page on Facebook has exposed the reasons put forward for the need to dredge as, being charitable, misleading. There is definitely no justification for the tax payers of Cornwall being expected to fund the dredge. That Facebook page contains a link to an online petition calling on Cornwall Council to abandon plans to fund the dredge. If you do not want your Council tax to be used to benefit a private company, 50% owned by the largest property development company in the UK, with assets of around 4 times the annual budget of Cornwall Council, please sign the petition and pass the link on to your friends and your Cornish email list.

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  • Dantwo  |  December 14 2012, 11:25AM

    More and more we are beginning to see what the ConDems are all about. This is the sort of scheme that once proposed will be fast tracked through the planning system despite public objection and the destruction of precious marine habitat. Furthermore, in this particular case, it will be the Cornish ratepayer who is funding the scheme to the benefit of private enterprize. Yet another example, I'm afraid, of the transfer of public money into private pockets. We already have wind turbines and solar farms bleeding us dry - now this. The sooner these people leave office the better for the United Kingdom. The only hope we have at the present time is UKIP.

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