VIDEO: Scarborough MP raises South Bay’s bathing water problems in Parliament

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Scarborough South Bay’s poor water quality has been raised in Parliament by MP Sir Robert Goodwill.

Speaking in parliament on Thursday, October 19, the MP for Scarborough and Whitby, Sir Robert Goodwill, raised the ongoing issues around coastal marine pollution in Scarborough and highlighted the creation of a new “taskforce” to “look at the problem”.

His intervention came during a parliamentary debate on water quality, as Rebecca Pow MP, the under-secretary of state for environmental quality and resilience commended the Government’s “tremendous record” on bathing water.

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She said that “93 per cent of bathing waters around our coast are good or excellent”.

Robert Goodwill Mp In Parliament, 19.10.23. Courtesy Parliament TVRobert Goodwill Mp In Parliament, 19.10.23. Courtesy Parliament TV
Robert Goodwill Mp In Parliament, 19.10.23. Courtesy Parliament TV

Water quality at the South Bay is rated “poor” by the Environment Agency (EA), but the town’s North Bay beach received a Keep Britain Tidy award for cleanliness.

Sir Robert Goodwill MP said: “Scarborough South Bay is one of the seven per cent that doesn’t get a blue flag.”

He added: “Could I ask the minister to take a personal interest in this work that is going on, because lessons learnt in Scarborough may well apply around the country.”

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A summit was recently held in Scarborough to discuss the South Bay’s bathing water quality, with North Yorkshire Council, the Environment Agency, Defra, and Yorkshire Water all taking part.

After the summit at the beginning of October, the participants said: “Between us, we have come up with a list of actions we have all agreed to take forward and which reiterate our commitment to continue to tackle the complex issues at South Bay together.

“These include more detailed testing and analysis of data by the Environment Agency with the assistance of experts at Durham University.”

Commenting on the work of the “taskforce”, Sir Robert said: “What became very clear is that it is not as simple as many people think.

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“Discharges are coming from further north, around the bay, but also, pathogens were picked up not from human effluence, but from seabirds, dogs, and ruminants [such as cattle].”

Rebecca Pow MP, the under-secretary of state, replied: “I think he highlights that this is not as simple as people think, and indeed, that is why our plan for water is holistic.

“It takes a holistic approach to tackling all sources of pollution into water, it’s also why we launched and increased our £34m slurry fund to help farms reduce the pollution that they may inadvertently put into the water courses.”