AN MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament marking twenty years since the Morecambe Bay cockling disaster, and calling for a change in permits. 

On 5 February 2004, 23 Chinese men and women drowned while harvesting cockles out on the sands of Morecambe Bay.

Since then the rules around permits allowing cocklers to access the beds, such as the major one in Flookburgh, have been continually scrutinised.

Mr Farron's Early Day Motion ‘honours their memory and holds their loved ones in our thoughts and in our prayers, remains committed to maintaining safety in the Bay and supports legislation that has prevented a repeat of the tragedy’.

The motion also states concern that restriction of access to the Bay has ‘caused great hardship to local families who have cockled for generations’, and asks for permits to be issued to local cocklers ‘as a priority’.

The motion finally calls for family members to be allowed to pass their cockling permits down to younger generations “in order to maintain the safety of the Bay and the survival of the local cockling industry."

Early Day Motions are motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons for which no day has been fixed. Other MPs can show their support for a cause or point of view by signing an EDM.