CLACTON MP Giles Watling has introduced a Bill in Parliament to take power away from a "bureaucratic" Government agency after it caused delays to vitals works to save a section of Walton's Naze cliffs.

As he introduced his Marine Activities Bill to the House of Commons last week, Mr Watling told MPs he has increasingly come to see the Marine Management Organisation as “not fit for purpose”.

Earlier this year, Mr Watling lambasted the agency as a “waste of taxpayer money” after claiming it was "unacceptably slow" to approve vital defence works, despite £30,000 being raised by the local community - and the works having the backing of local councillors and landowners.

Mr Watling said: "I want to take power away from the bureaucratic Marine Management Organisation and give local councils the ability to make decisions on their own patches.

"The Naze Protection Society has done a wonderful job protecting our coastline and funding the works.

"However, the MMO were disastrous in their role to provide a licence.

"I believe that localism has real merit, and I will continue banging the drum for more devolved power to our community."

Marine licences are required for all sorts of activities, including laying cables in the sea, dredging, and using explosives.

Mr Watling argued local councils would be better suited for issuing such licences.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he added: “This Bill seeks to provide more powers to local authorities and communities over their own coastline.

"In Clacton, we had an absolutely dreadful experience of bureaucracy waiting for the Marine Management Organisation to get a move on and issue a licence before irreparable damage was caused to the Naze."

The Bill, which would transfer responsibility for marine licensing from the Marine Management Organisation to local authorities was introduced as a Ten Minute Rule Motion, but it is unlikely to become law without Government support.

It is due to receive its second reading in February.

Earlier this year, an MMO spokesperson said it was important that it considered potential impacts of the works at the Naze on marine protected areas.