Chamber Chat with Caroline Jackson
Ten days ago we had the pleasure of a visit from DEFRA Minister Rebecca Pow. She stopped in Morecambe to view the Eden site and Morecambe came up trumps with a beautiful morning; sun, blue skies and views of the Lakeland hills.
I think we were collectively a little surprised that she didn’t plunge straight into business talk us and probe whether we were ready to take full advantage of the Eden boost to the economy. Instead she talked about Morecambe bay as a site of international environmental significance, as a site for over wintering birds and of the extension of zones to protect sandeels. She spoke of the importance of reconnecting our urban population in the north west with nature through visiting Morecambe and the hinterland.
It was a timely reminder of the attributes that attracted Eden to the town in the first place. Through increased education and awareness of the bay we have the opportunity to build an economy that puts the environment and sustainability at its heart. The Morecambe Bay curriculum is already inspiring children in Lancaster and Morecambe to learn through their own surroundings. All we need now is the funding.
As you might guess the minister was less forthcoming on that topic. We are left to wait and hope.
Last week Jonathan Wheeler uploaded a beautiful little Youtube video he had made about the town called Morecambe – Eden of the North,” It’s on the Chamber facebook page for you to take a quick look. The message is clear, we want Eden, we’d love Eden, but all we really need for creating a fantastic destination for visitors, new businesses, education and sustainable living, is already here in Lancaster and Morecambe.
If we don’t get Eden, working together, we have the talent and the will to create that city, coast and countryside destination ourselves.
Caroline Jackson is Leader of Lancaster City Council, and is the councillor for Bulk Ward