Burnham-On-Sea MP James Heappey spoke in Parliament on Tuesday (November 14th) when he called for a better understanding of what is causing the town’s bathing water to fall short of expected standards and continue to be rated as poor.

Mr Heappey said there have been “significant improvements” over the past few years but is hoping for further progress as the latest bathing water quality survey results announced this week show sea water at Burnham jetty remains ‘poor’.

He said: “There is a good news story underneath this, in that there have been significant improvements made on bathing water quality at Burnham-On-Sea over the last few years.”

“Wessex Water is to be congratulated on the huge amount it has spent on improving the sewerage systems throughout the catchment.”

“There has also been an improvement in the behaviour of local residents, businesses and the council – things like putting out better bins so there are less seagulls and good practice from dog walkers on the beach, which is great news.”

“But the area we are still not quite there with is in understanding which farmers within this enormous catchment are having the most impact on the bathing water quality. I have been pushing Natural England and the Environment Agency to understand that for some time now.”

“And I think that some Ministerial support might be useful in making sure that we do a full and accurate audit so we understand exactly which farms are contributing to the bathing water quality challenge as we have and that we can target the grants for improving farmyards and waste water run off in a way that directly impacts on bathing water in Burnham-On-Sea.”