Friday, November 6, 2009

Nick Harvey MP answers my blog post

I am genuinely grateful to Nick Harvey MP for answering my blog post about the Marine and Coastal Access Bill in the following way:


I have not at any stage said that I don't support the Bill, and as you know it went through last week unopposed. Had there been a vote I would have supported it.

As originally drafted, the Bill put limitless liabilities onto coastal landowners. It would have left - for example - campsite owners obliged to allow absolutely anyone to come onto their sites, invalidating their insurance policies and opening them up to responsibility for thefts from tents and caravans, or worse still allowing unknown people to walk through swimming pool areas where kids might be playing on their own.

These were the issues I and many others - mainly in the Lords - took up. Happily, sanity prevailed and the Government took these problems on board through amendments and crucially the ability of landowners to have their individual cases assessed.

It is a distortion of my view to say that I was not supporting the admirable environmental and social objectives of the Bill. I was simply flagging up to you and others who wrote in that I had some reservations on specific points which I wanted to see resolved. I am pleased that they now have been and the Bill is through.

Nick Harvey
MP for North Devon

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