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Beaches Could Fail Tough New Checks

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7:08am 10th November 2014
(Updated 7:08am 10th November 2014)

It is revealed some Cornish beaches arae set to fail tough new tests to check water quality.

In all four scrape through at the moment - but are expected to be rated "poor" when new standards are brought in next year.

They are Porth, Porthluney, East Looe and Seaton.

The government says action has got to be taken to bring everywhere up to scratch.

Matthieu surfs near Newquay. He said: "I wouldn't say I'm going to immediately start panicking and not use the beach anymore. But water quality is quite an important factor if you're in the water all the time."

Rihanna works at Seaton beach cafe. She told Pirate FM: "The white stuff that can kill animals - that's been washed up on the beach. There's also been fuel come up on the beach. There have also been oil cans and sewage has been put into the water. I guess it's best to have signs put on certain areas saying it would be best not to go in there."

Water minister Dan Rogerson said: “Water quality is improving and has now reached a record high, which means families across the country can make the most of what nature has to offer.

“We know that seaside tourism is hugely valuable to the economy, contributing over £3.6 billion every year. That is why it is so important to protect our seas and lakes, allowing our seaside communities to thrive.

“We know meeting the tough new targets is going to be a challenge but that is why we are doing everything we can to help prepare. Everyone has an important role to play, from a range of sectors to local government and the communities they represent.”

But some say the warnings are over the top. South east Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray is urging people to exercise common sense. She thinks part of the problem at East Looe is a surface water tank that overflows in bad weather: "Our beaches and our seas are very safe for people to come and visit if they apply a common sense approach.

"I can't actually see that many people would want to go and swim in the seas around south east Cornwall when it is pouring down with rain anyway.

"It doesn't necessarily mean that it's not safe to come to Cornwall, to enjoy our beautiful beaches and to swim in the sea."

7:08am 10th November 2014

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