Tory MP for Dudley suggests access to Welsh beaches is a ‘basic right’
A Tory MP has suggested that access to Welsh beaches is a basic right for his constituents.
Marco Longhi, who represents Dudley North, in the West Midlands, complained to the House of Commons that the nearest beach is in Wales and that access is “almost mission impossible”.
He made the comments in a debate titled Connectivity and Infrastructure within Wales and Cross-border. The UK Government is conducting a review into the matter.
In response to a question from Longhi, the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said improving “cross-border holidaying” between Wales the and west midlands is “exactly what the review is about”.
He added that this is in part because it brings “gratification to the residents of Dudley”.
Marco Longhi said: “My Italian forefathers always understood the importance of sunshine, sandy beaches and full-bodied, gorgeous ice cream, but for those who live in Dudley, the nearest beach is in Wales, and access is almost mission impossible.
“What can my right hon. Friend do to improve the wellbeing of my constituents by improving access to these basic rights?”
Simon Hart replied: “Sadly, we cannot move Dudley, but what we can do is progress the Union connectivity review and strengthen the links.
“I know my hon. Friend’s part of the world very well. Of course, the cross-border holidaying and other activity between the west midlands and Wales is well known, and we want to improve it.
“That is exactly what the review is about, because we know that brings not only gratification to the residents of Dudley, but economic prosperity to both areas.”