MP presses Ministry of Defence over Shoebury beach shutdown caused by unexploded bombs

James Duddridge MP, outside the MoD site in Blackgate Road

James Duddridge MP, outside the MoD site in Blackgate Road

First published in News by

AN MP is piling pressure on the MoD to start clearing unexploded bombs from Shoebury East Beach – by tabling four parliamentary questions on the issue.

Rochford and Southend East member James Duddridge, MP is demanding an answer from the MoD about when it will clear all unexploded ordnance from the the beach.

East Beach was closed more than a week ago after live shells were found on the sands.

Mr Duddridge is hoping the four written questions he has tabled to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond will get things moving and get the beach open again.

He has asked:

  • How long an MoD survey of the beach will take
  • How long it will take to clear any more bombs and shells it turns up
  • How long East Beach will be closed
  • What steps Mr Hammond is taking to ensure the work is carried out as fast as possible.

Under parliamentary rules, Mr Hammond has ten days to respond.

Mr Duddridge said: “I will do all I can to ensure the survey and any remedial works are carried out as a matter of urgency.”

The MoD owns the beach and licenses it to Southend Council for use as a public space.

It is surveying the area to assess the risk after 15 artillery and mortar shells and 12 machine guns were uncovered there recently.

The beach will remain closed until the MoD has scanned the area and made it safe, but the council is becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of action.

The ministry is not due to meet the council for talks until next Thursday.

Tony Cox, councillor responsible for public protection, said: “I raised it with James Duddridge and asked him to apply pressure to the MoD as quickly as possible.

“It’s not good for trade and it’s not good for the impression of Shoebury and Southend.

“I call upon the ministry to do the work as safely and expediently as possible.

“The residents of Shoebury have been very accommodating to the military, with it being a garrison town. Now it’s right for the MoD to give something back.”

Mr Duddridge has also asked Mr Hammond to carry out an assessment of the impact of the beach closure on tourism and the Southend economy, to demonstrate the urgency of the issue.

An MoD spokesman said it had nothing new to say on the subject, merely repeating an earlier statement which said it was working with the council to minimise the risk to beach users, that the survey was under way and would help it drawup a “ risk management plan”.

He added: “Decisions about the extent of work required or when this will happen have not yet been taken.”

Comments (8)

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12:06pm Mon 12 May 14

Howard Cháse says...

Just march a load of unemployed layabout benefit scroungers across the beach to blow up any ordnance lying about....
Just march a load of unemployed layabout benefit scroungers across the beach to blow up any ordnance lying about.... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 2

12:18pm Mon 12 May 14

VeteranOfMany says...

Firstly it wasn't the Ministry of Defence, who closed the beach, it was the local council, the council should employ beach wardens to check the beach each day, deeming it unsafe should any bomb, shot or shell be found.
You want it open, having closed it, supply the manpower to ensure the safety of it's users.
Secondly this area has always contained such items, and with that in mind nothing has changed.
Firstly it wasn't the Ministry of Defence, who closed the beach, it was the local council, the council should employ beach wardens to check the beach each day, deeming it unsafe should any bomb, shot or shell be found. You want it open, having closed it, supply the manpower to ensure the safety of it's users. Secondly this area has always contained such items, and with that in mind nothing has changed. VeteranOfMany
  • Score: 14

12:52pm Mon 12 May 14

pembury53 says...

another load of fuss over nothing..... now there'll be beach closures everytime someone picks up a rusty nail...
another load of fuss over nothing..... now there'll be beach closures everytime someone picks up a rusty nail... pembury53
  • Score: 8

2:05pm Mon 12 May 14

Nebs says...

If you buy a shop next to a firing range with a history of unexploded ordnance then you have to expect these closures. The only surprise is that the beach is not closed more often.
If you buy a shop next to a firing range with a history of unexploded ordnance then you have to expect these closures. The only surprise is that the beach is not closed more often. Nebs
  • Score: 9

9:41am Tue 13 May 14

jayman says...

so basically. Our elected parliamentary spokesman went to the highest democratic chamber in the land, with the opportunity to ask a prevalent question and ends up highlighting his own governments failure to allocate sufficient money and resource on this issue.

here is the MOD viewpoint

give us £... ... ... and we will clear the beach and mudflats of all UXO
give us £... ... and we will shut the beach for an indefinite period of time.

Shoebury Garrison was in operation for over a hundred years as an experimental research facility and fired out millions of tons of rounds shells, bombs, flairs and other munitions into the mudflats. If say 5% of all that was fired failed to detonate upon impact then we have a costly problem. if you go further out in the mud and acreoss the water you will find a greater 'costly problem' that requires a solution.

James Duddridge. An incompetent, oxygen burden who cannot be trusted with.

1) Health
2) Education
3) Defence
4) Demonstrating appropriate representation
5) situational awareness Guided by an holistic parliamentary approach
6) basic common sense
7) addressing the needs and correspondence of his constituency without employing the use distraction, diversion or disinterest. (the Tory three D's)

in summery.

Give the MOD a ton of ring-fenced cash to detect and dig out the UXO and we can then get our beach back. Failing that, stop making white-noise about it.
so basically. Our elected parliamentary spokesman went to the highest democratic chamber in the land, with the opportunity to ask a prevalent question and ends up highlighting his own governments failure to allocate sufficient money and resource on this issue. here is the MOD viewpoint give us £... ... ... and we will clear the beach and mudflats of all UXO give us £... ... and we will shut the beach for an indefinite period of time. Shoebury Garrison was in operation for over a hundred years as an experimental research facility and fired out millions of tons of rounds shells, bombs, flairs and other munitions into the mudflats. If say 5% of all that was fired failed to detonate upon impact then we have a costly problem. if you go further out in the mud and acreoss the water you will find a greater 'costly problem' that requires a solution. James Duddridge. An incompetent, oxygen burden who cannot be trusted with. 1) Health 2) Education 3) Defence 4) Demonstrating appropriate representation 5) situational awareness Guided by an holistic parliamentary approach 6) basic common sense 7) addressing the needs and correspondence of his constituency without employing the use distraction, diversion or disinterest. (the Tory three D's) in summery. Give the MOD a ton of ring-fenced cash to detect and dig out the UXO and we can then get our beach back. Failing that, stop making white-noise about it. jayman
  • Score: 1

9:52am Tue 13 May 14

jayman says...

pembury53 wrote:
another load of fuss over nothing..... now there'll be beach closures everytime someone picks up a rusty nail...
problem is that the rusty nail in question happens to be a vast collection of several grammes or kilogrammes of RDX TNT or other such explosive which is contained in a steel or copper casing with a fuse at the tip which is in an unknown sate.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: another load of fuss over nothing..... now there'll be beach closures everytime someone picks up a rusty nail...[/p][/quote]problem is that the rusty nail in question happens to be a vast collection of several grammes or kilogrammes of RDX TNT or other such explosive which is contained in a steel or copper casing with a fuse at the tip which is in an unknown sate. jayman
  • Score: 0

9:54am Tue 13 May 14

jayman says...

jayman wrote:
pembury53 wrote:
another load of fuss over nothing..... now there'll be beach closures everytime someone picks up a rusty nail...
problem is that the rusty nail in question happens to be a vast collection of several grammes or kilogrammes of RDX TNT or other such explosive which is contained in a steel or copper casing with a fuse at the tip which is in an unknown sate.
or 'unknown state'
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: another load of fuss over nothing..... now there'll be beach closures everytime someone picks up a rusty nail...[/p][/quote]problem is that the rusty nail in question happens to be a vast collection of several grammes or kilogrammes of RDX TNT or other such explosive which is contained in a steel or copper casing with a fuse at the tip which is in an unknown sate.[/p][/quote]or 'unknown state' jayman
  • Score: 0

3:11pm Tue 13 May 14

pembury53 says...

jayman wrote:
jayman wrote:
pembury53 wrote: another load of fuss over nothing..... now there'll be beach closures everytime someone picks up a rusty nail...
problem is that the rusty nail in question happens to be a vast collection of several grammes or kilogrammes of RDX TNT or other such explosive which is contained in a steel or copper casing with a fuse at the tip which is in an unknown sate.
or 'unknown state'
bait diggers find them all the time, none have ever gone off.....
[quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jayman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: another load of fuss over nothing..... now there'll be beach closures everytime someone picks up a rusty nail...[/p][/quote]problem is that the rusty nail in question happens to be a vast collection of several grammes or kilogrammes of RDX TNT or other such explosive which is contained in a steel or copper casing with a fuse at the tip which is in an unknown sate.[/p][/quote]or 'unknown state'[/p][/quote]bait diggers find them all the time, none have ever gone off..... pembury53
  • Score: 0

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