Lords Marine Bill expert to speak

The successful Our Coast course will start the New Year with a very special session. Baroness Sue Miller, a member of the influential Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Marine Bill, which has done much to strengthen it, will start off Coastwise’s new Our Coast course on 8th January with a talk about the Bill.

The meeting will take place at Barnstaple Library from 10 am to 12 noon. It is open to members of Coastwise North Devon. There may still be places available on the course for those wishing to join Coastwise ahead of time, or on the door subject to space.

Paula Ferris, Coastwise chair says “North Devon’s marine interests are vital to the area’s future. There is a lot of local interest in Marine developments and in the protection of our seas. Sue Miller, whose home is in Bideford, has played an important role in providing advice to government on the Marine Bill. We are fortunate that she is able to spare time in a very busy House of Lords timetable to come to speak to us.”

Her interests include sailing and walking. She holds office in several national conservation organisations and according to her website she believes that with the second highest tidal range in the world in the Severn Estuary, the potential for marine renewable energies should be addressed seriously by the government. She will have a lot to talk to us about.”

Sue Miller is the Liberal Democrat Chief Lords Spokesperson on Home Affairs and before that on Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs. She was one of 22 members of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Marine Bill which reported to Government in July 2008. Strengthening the role of the proposed marine conservation zones was included amongst its 96 recommendations.

There are a few places available: Full membership, £30, includes attendance at the course which runs for 10 weeks for 2 hours on Thursday mornings in Barnstaple Library, Associate membership, for those able to attend only occasionally, £5 and a small fee for individual sessions.

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