House of Lords Select Committee on Seaside Towns
Nick Ewbank was delighted to be appointed as the Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Regenerating Seaside Towns and Communities. Seaside towns are among the UK’s greatest assets, greatly loved by generations of holidaymakers. But many of these towns have struggled to adapt as patterns of usage and demographics change, and some are experiencing high levels of deprivation and neglect. The role gave Nick a chance to expand his knowledge and understanding of these complex places and the local, regional and national strategies and policies that can drive positive change. Drawing on the expertise he has built up over many years he provided expert advice to the Select Committee, which was under Lord Bassam of Brighton’s Chairmanship, as it gathered written and oral evidence from over 100 sources. Nick then contributed to the production of the Select Committee’s report The Future of Seaside Towns, which was published at the end of March 2019. It was particularly satisfying to be able to support the Committee in adopting an approach to regeneration that is genuinely holistic – where issues of transport, education, health and wellbeing, culture and creativity, housing, the built environment and economic development are all seen as interlinked aspects of a locally-rooted place-based approach, and where each place is encouraged to refine, develop and promulgate its own shared vision for the future.
The Government considered the report and its recommendations, and responded formally in June. Following this there was a debate in the House of Lords.
The report garnered an excellent degree of media coverage including coverage on national and regional BBC news and in the national and local press, and has done much to raise awareness of the particular challenges facing many of our coastal communities.