Who is Coastal Partnership East?
Coastal Partnership East brings together the coastal management expertise from four local authorities into a single team. The Maritime Local Authorities of Great Yarmouth Borough with North Norfolk, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils face significant, diverse but also common challenges of a dynamic coastline.
Individual authorities lack staff resilience, challenges in recruitment and career progression, expertise being fragmented and constrained within individual authorities across Norfolk and Suffolk. The inability to justify the resourcing of critical specialist roles reflects the lack of scale of any individual authority to influence and engage with regional and national bodies.
However the demands for management of coastal change, from coast protection to adaptation, far outstrip the resources available. However responding proactively to this situation and seizing the opportunity in January 2016 the four councils covering most of the Norfolk’s coast and all of Suffolk’s Cabinets agreed to a partnership model to address these jointly shared issues.
When were we formed?
From 1st April 2016 a joint Norfolk and Suffolk coastal shared services team had been formed – Coastal Partnership East.
This team works as an equitable partnership, overseen by a formal governance structure. The partnership enables resources to be managed more effectively and with a higher degree of efficiency resulting in more positive and sustainable outcomes for our communities in the long-term.
What are we responsible for?
Coastal Partnership East is responsible for 92km of the 173km of coastline in Norfolk and Suffolk, from Holkham in North Norfolk to Landguard Point in Felixstowe. There are approximately 352,000 people who live in the direct coastal zone and many more that work on and visit our coast. The Norfolk and Suffolk coast is of recreational, environmental, economic and cultural importance but it is also home to industry (energy, ports and logistics, digital, food and drink and creative sector) agriculture and tourism. In addition, there are a large number of second and holiday homes situated in our coastal towns and villages.
Whilst some areas of the Norfolk and Suffolk coast can be affluent, the urban coastal towns of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft are both recognised as areas of regeneration, requiring inward investment.
The demographic of the communities served by Coastal Partnership East is diverse and our challenge during our first year and moving forward is to make sure that the benefits of the new partnership are communicated in a way which is clearly understood and absorbed.