ROCHFORD and Southend East MP James Duddridge has welcomed the military search for explosives on Shoebury East Beach.

The Conservative submitted four written Commons questions demanding to know when all unexploded ordnance would be cleared from the beach before the Ministry of Defence agreed to take action.

The Royal Navy Southern Diving Group completed a two-day survey of the beach this week, after 15 mortar and artillery shells and a dozen machine guns were uncovered in 13 days at the end of April, and will report its findings to Southend Council in the next fortnight.

Mr Duddridge said: “All residents, business owners, councillors and visitors are keen to see East Beach reopened as soon as it is safe to do so. My parliamentary colleague, and minister of state for the Ministry of Defence, Mark Francois MP, is well aware of the issue and I will be providing him an update so we both do all we can to facilitate any clearance operation required, as swiftly as possible, so the beach can be reopened.”

Mr Francois, Tory MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, was unavailable for comment.