‘The beach should be stripped of Blue Flag’

A SUFFOLK seaside town’s mayor last night defended the resort against claims one of its beaches should be stripped of its Blue Flag.

Campaigning group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have put Lowestoft South on a list of 34 beaches nationwide that should have the coveted status removed.

But last night the town’s mayor Nigel Dack, who is also a Waveney district councillor, said the beach – which stretches from the pier to Pakefield – offered top-notch facilities.

“I would very much like to see the group’s information,” he said. “We have had a Blue Flag here for many, many years.

“I am very surprised. The area has undergone quite a lot of regeneration over the last five or ten years and the facilities are top-notch.

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“The sand and the water quality is very good. It has to be if you want to be awarded a Blue Flag because the criteria is extremely strict.”

The SAS have released a list of 34 beaches nationwide – which also includes Cromer in Norfolk – which they claim are unable to comply with a requirement imposed by the Blue Flag programme to warn the public about raw sewage spilling into the sea.

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Britain has 131 beaches which have passed strict tests to fly the flag – showing excellence in water quality and beach cleanliness.

But using the Freedom of Information Act the campaigners found some local authorities did not request real time information on combined sewage overflow (CSO) discharge.

The SAS said those beaches could not therefore meet a mandatory requirement to warn the public during and after emergency pollution events, such as sewage discharge from a CSO, which could pose health risks to bathers.

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