270 people sign EU sea water petition in Burnham-On-Sea
than 270 people have signed a petition in Burnham-On-Sea calling
for a rethink on new EU regulations which could have a 'devastating'
impact on Burnham's tourism economy.
tough new EU rules, due to come into operation in 2015, may lead
to the town being labled as having poor quality sea water, leading
to a ban on swimming.
currently holds a Seaside Award from campaign group Keep Britain
Tidy, as featured here
in May, recognising its high quality of beach facilities and cleanliness.
several local groups which promote Burnham as a tourist destination
are concerned about the impact of the new EU Bathing Waters Directive.
new rules will see the introduction of higher standards that are
approximately twice as stringent as the current requirements.
will be classed as excellent, good, sufficient or poor - and Burnham
is currently on a list of 20 resorts in the south west which may
fall short of the new standards.
If Burnham's water is classified as poor, signs would have to
be displayed on beaches advising people against bathing, swimming
Gaynor Brown from the Town Team has launched a petition calling
on the government to opt-out of the regulations.
collected 275 signatures in just an hour and a half at the weekend
and then ran out of pages, which shows the strength of feeling
there is," she told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
Burnham is an estuary resort, mud and silt is in the water all
the time which weighs against us under the new EU regulations.
It would be devastating for Burnham and for anywhere else that
has an estuary beach like us even when the sea water itself is
Burnham Tourist Centre Manager Ian Jefferies from BIARS, right,
added: "The EU regulations could hit us badly - they are
unrealistic for estuary resorts like Burnham. Nothing will change
about our water quality, just the way it is being monitored."
Environment Agency is currently trying to raise awareness of the
new regulatrions and set-up a stand at Sunday's rescue services
day in Burnham and also held a sea water sampling demonstration.
needs to be done by water companies, businesses, farmers, local
authorities and communities to help at risk bathing waters pass
the new standards," Nick Malone from the Environment Agency