Scarborough councillors call for ‘swift action on behalf of the town’ over beach water quality concerns
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On Friday, June 9, members of the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee passed a motion noting its “deep concern at the current situation regarding poor water quality in South Bay” and called for a detailed analysis of discharges into the sea.
Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Tony Randerson said it was “absolutely diabolical” that “Britain’s first seaside town has such poor water quality”.
Cllr Janet Jefferson said she was “really disgusted” with the South Bay’s “poor” water classification and said she was “begging for action on behalf of people in the town”.
The water quality at Scarborough’s South Bay is rated as “poor” on the Environment Agency’s Swimfo website which has also issued “advice against bathing.”
In addition to dozens of members of the public, officers from the Environment Agency also attended the meeting on Friday and answered questions about the work of the public body which includes the regular monitoring and testing of bathing water between May and September.
While the officers stated that enforcement of environmental offenders was “improving” and that on-site inspections as well as data analysis are carried out regularly, they admitted that more work needs to be done in Scarborough which was welcomed by councillors.
The meeting also passed a motion which garnered cross-party support following calls for action from councillors and members of the public who spoke about the “devastating” effect that they said the poor water quality was having on tourism and local businesses.
The cross-party motion which was proposed by Cllr Rich Maw stated: “This area committee commits to communicate our deep concern at the current situation regarding poor water quality in South Bay to all relevant agencies, with a focus on accurately measuring the effluent from all sea outfall pipes at their source area across both North and South Bays.
“In addition, to request a formal response on how the coastal defence works have affected the currents in the Scarborough area.”
Speaking at the meeting, an officer from the Environment Agency said that “Scarborough South Bay is an example of how quite complex factors” contribute to water quality and added that schemes are planned but also noted that funding is “always a factor”.