MP joins battle to stop Burnham's sea water being EU black-listed
MP has called for more action to be taken to prevent the town's
sea water being black-listed by the European Union - leading to
a ban on beach swimming next year.
a visit to Burnham this week, Tessa Munt met with several residents
and local councillors to discuss the impact of the EU Bathing
town was recently named as one of 45 UK destinations where sea
swimming is set to be banned from 2015 due to the introduction
of EU rules which are twice as stringent as those currently in
faces having to put up signs marking its beach as unfit for paddling
or swimming, which it is feared will damage local tourism unless
expensive steps are taken to improve water quality.
Tessa Munt, pictured above with councillor Helen Groves on the
seafront, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I fully understand the
local concern about the impact of this on Burnham and am raising
awareness of it within the government."
intend to discuss Burnham's position with the water minister and
will investigate whether EU funding could be made available to
help Burnham improve its sea water quality."
Burnham needs to be competitive against other resorts in the region
and we want it to continue attracting large numbers of tourists."
Cllr Helen Groves said in a council debate on the matter: "We
cannot just sit back and accept this. Funding needs to be made
available to help us address the matter from the EU since it's
their regulations that will affect us."
Burnham beach was last
week awarded a Seaside Award for its cleanliness and high
standards, the quality of the sea water itself is in the spotlight.
Environment Agency claims it is working to help Burnham meet the
strict new bathing water regulations.
Its bathing water monitoring teams have begun taking samples
across the South West every week until the end of September. The
samples are used to assess the water quality at the beaches and
identify and investigate sources of pollution, so the EA can work
with others to improve bathing water quality.
Ponting from the EA said: "With only a year to go until our
bathing waters need to meet tighter standards, everyone has a
part to play in improving bathing water quality."
"We are focusing on those beaches which might struggle to
meet the new targets. We are working with water companies, local
authorities and farmers to identify and tackle sources of pollution
so beaches meet the new standards, and the seaside tourist economy
in the South West of England continues to thrive."
Martin Cox said he supports lobbying the region's MEPs and Burnham's
MP to raise awareness of the issue and seek funding. "We
need to do everything possible to protect our jewel of a beach,"
he told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
councillors are unhappy that Weston has received £35million
of investment in recent years to improve its sea water quality
with a new water treatment plant while Burnham has received nothing.
new EU water quality standards have been featured several times
by Burnham-On-Sea.com over recent years, including
here last October when town councillors expressed 'deep concern'
about the impact of the changes on local business.