Tom Blenkinsop, today recently said he was hopeful of a ‘break through’ on the Saltburn Beach pollution controversy and was working with both Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency to see that the beach regained its Bathing Water status.
Tom said: “In recent years, Saltburn Beach has been recognised as meeting all environmental standards, and cleanliness improved radically with the opening of the new Treatment Works in Saltburn by Northumbrian Water Ltd. This ensured that Saltburn bathing water met the ‘mandatory’ or good requirements of the current Bathing Water Directive, and later passing even higher standards when the Directive was toughened. “Given this, it is highly disappointing that the water quality has slipped to the extent that it has now not met the Environment Agency’s standards. I have since been in touch with the Agency and with Northumbrian Water.” “The Environment Agency have assured me that they are working hard to identify the problems in partnership with both Northumbrian Water and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.
They have told me that a broken sewer was found and mended in 2007 and poor management of pig slurry was improved in 2010. More locally, a pipe draining from the cliff lift was found to be contaminated and drainage at premises on the promenade was wrongly connected, and that this has been rectified by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.” “Clearly there is still more to be done.The Environment Agency tell me that they are stepping up their investigations over what they describe as ‘what appears to be dispersed, intermittent pollution sources which are proving difficult to track down’ and that they are committing serious cash to this.” “I have also been told by Northumbrian Water – prior to a meeting I will be having with senior managers there – that they have put in place funding for a thorough investigation of their sewerage system, which is due to be reported by March 2012. If this says that more work needs to be done on their sewage system in the area, then it will be done.” “This needs to be done hand in hand with the work to improve the outflow of water from local becks polluted with iron oxide, and coming from rising water tables in old ironstone mines entering the river system.
I am currently piloting in the House of Commons a Private Members Bill to see that metal mine outfall is treated on the same funding basis as old coal workings. Given this, and the fact that I am meeting with Northumbrian Water over coming days, I don’t think a public meeting is necessary at this point in time, as there is nothing that can be added until the work programme I have outlined above is done. Then we will be able to consult with local people on the way ahead to get back to a proper world class standard – something we all want and desire.”
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Write: Tom Blenkinsop MP,
Harry Tout House, 8 Wilson St.
Guisborough TS14 6NA.
Phone 01287 610878
Fax 01287 631894.