There were indications that a Morecambe Bay unitary authority is gaining traction with Government ministers when the subject received some parliamentary debating time last week.

Residents of South Lakeland should be grateful to shadow minister Cat Smith, the Lancaster and Fleetwood MP, who has raised in parliament various matters concerning the advantages to the North West economy of a vibrant Morecambe Bay. Her persistence has kept the issue in focus at Westminster.

One nationally important project supported by the three partners in the Morecambe Bay concept is the Morecambe Bay Tidal Gateway. This could deliver electricity from inexhaustible tidal energy, deliver a link road across the bay and offer some coastal protection from seemingly unstoppable sea level rises.

Plainly support from MPs to such a significant project is very important, which makes it surprising that Westmorland & Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has remained virtually silent when these advantages needed driving home to the Government.

Mr Farron has, however, been a persistent supporting voice for the now discounted Swansea barrage and the Severn estuary tidal schemes. Why did he consider these supportable but not Morecambe Bay?

Such schemes as the tidal gateway are great supporting evidence of an ambition to deliver sustainable green growth.

The Morecambe Bay economy is the seventh-largest economy in the north west, its geographical footprint broadly matches that of the Morecambe Bay Area health authority and it contains one of the countries leading universities. These are fantastic reasons to create a unitary authority that will deliver for its residents.

Graham Vincent

Independent Kendal town councillor