Fyde MP Mark Menzies calls for end to ‘unnecessary’ sewage spills after St Annes beach branded ‘dirtiest in UK’

The MP said he was ‘very worried’ about the condition of St Annes’ bathing waters after the beach was branded ‘the dirtiest in the UK’.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 12:30 pm

Yesterday, the government issued a warning telling people to avoid the water at St Annes north beach after sewage was released there following a period of heavy rainfall on Monday.

Sewage was also pumped into the sea on May 4 and May 6 to prevent flooding at United Utilities’ local water treatment centre and the surrounding areas.

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Pollution in the sea at St Annes

Mr Menzies said: “Last week an independent report names St Annes as the ‘dirtiest’ in the UK. Now the Environment Agency has issued a pollution warning for St Annes north, warning against bathing in the waters.

“These are two very serious reports in the space of two weeks.

“Tourism is massively important to St Annes and to Fylde and the beaches are one of our most important assets.

“I am very worried about the condition of the bathing waters and about the timing of these reports ahead of a busy summer season.

Pollution in the sea at St Annes

“I have asked United Utilities and the Environment Agency to look into what is causing these issues, as matter of urgency and want to know what plans they have in place to solve these problems and to ensure the water is clean and safe for all.”

Bathing waters at St Annes north are currently rated ‘sufficent’ by the government – the lowest on a three star scale. St Annes, meanwhile, is rated ‘good’.

Earlier this year the government published the storm overflows discharge reduction plan, which set out changes to how water companies tackle the number of discharges of untreated sewage.

Mr Menzies said: “We need to make sure water companies are delivering the investment and upgrades necessary to prevent pollution of our rivers and coastal waters.

“Given the scale of the challenge I realise things cannot change overnight.

“But we need to see firm plans of how companies like United Utilities plan to deal with storm overflow water and other pollution and end unnecessary discharges.”