Environment Chief speaks against Southern Water
The new Environment Chief for Worthing Borough Council challenged Southern Water on 30th May to urgently invest in measures to clean up the borough’s coastal waters.
Cllr Vicki Wells, Environment Chief and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said she wanted tighter government limits on the amounts of untreated sewage water companies can discharge into the sea. She said it was ‘an appalling and environmentally disastrous practice’.
Worthing’s Coastal Office awarded
Cllr Wells was speaking as it emerged Worthing’s beach, managed by the Council’s Coastal Office, had for the fifth year in a row been awarded a Seaside Award by Keep Britain Tidy. The awards identify the best coastlines in the country by assessing them on their environmental management, safety and services.
Conservation of the town’s beach is not only managed by the council’s Coastal Office team but also by a host of community groups and businesses that help with voluntary beach cleans throughout the year.
Cllr Wells said, “This award is a testament to our Coastal Office team and the fantastic community volunteers who do so much to help maintain our wonderful shingle foreshore.”
The Seaside Award honour was made official as the coveted flag arrived at the Coastal Office and was celebrated by Worthing’s Coastal warden team, Rob Dove, Kellie Newman, Rebecca Belleni and Cllr Wells.
Worthing was one of 128 beaches to be recognised in the awards, which are aimed at improving the quality of England’s coastline and promoting the best beaches.
Environment Chief urges Southern Water to stop releasing sewage
Cllr Wells said the new administration wanted to go further by achieving a higher Blue Flag award which also takes into account bathing water but which Worthing has failed to reach.
Said Cllr Wells, “This is entirely dependent on Southern Water ending the release of uncertified sewage into our coastal waters. Last year, the Government had the opportunity to enforce stronger limits on private water companies discharging untreated sewage but voted down the House of Lords amendment to the Environment Bill.
“We will therefore be watching closely the new joint investigation by the Environment Agency and Ofwat into this appalling and environmentally disastrous practice as well as seeking additional Bathing Water Designation, to greatly increase monitoring along our coast.
“With climate change set to place even more pressure on our out-dated sewer infrastructure, we urge Southern Water to make the necessary investment to meet their legal obligations and provide the highest possible water quality standards for our town.”