Caroline Ansell has welcomed the upgrading of the town’s bathing water to good by the Environment Agency.
The agency routinely tests samples during the bathing season and last year the water was given a ‘sufficient’ rating.
“This upgrade to ‘good’ is absolutely brilliant news for our town and it shows how important partnership working has been in getting this result,” said Caroline.
Caroline has been working with the Environment Agency, Southern Water, and local groups to improve the quality of sea bathing water and cut the use of storm overflows. The latest action is to roll out the first 100 slow-release water butts to local householders to reduce the pressure on the system in times of heavy rain.
The Environment Agency identified misconnections as the cause of the previous downgrading of Eastbourne’s bathing water. Caroline and Councillor Penny Di Cara met with Southern Water’s misconnections team to discuss the work it is doing to ensure waste pipes go into the sewage system and not the surface water system, which is illegal.
The team has discovered several serious misconnections, including a borough council-owned property on the seafront that had been discharging raw sewage into the sea for nearly 17 years.
“A good rating is something to be proud of and we should all shout it from the rooftops.
“So once again, in the best interests of our home town, I offer the hand of partnership to the Liberal Democrats. A “tsunami of human waste” is how they described the waters off our coastline in an official press release just last week. It just isn’t true, it is so damaging to our image, it could cost jobs and livelihoods if it continues, and it is so negative.
“I will continue to work with everyone to ensure we have the very best sea bathing water quality. It’s important to increase the number of local swimmers who will tell you just how beneficial the water can be for our physical and mental health, it’s important to our visitors, attracted to Eastbourne for our beautiful coastal setting.
Caroline added that the ambition is now to see the water quality become excellent.
“Getting this right was always important but more so when our greatest asset is the sea,” she added.