New Worthing environment chief tells Southern Water: clean up your act

Released: Monday, 30 May 2022

The new environment leader for Worthing Borough Council today challenged Southern Water to urgently invest in measures to clean up the borough's coastal waters.

Cllr Vicki Wells, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said she wanted tighter government limits on the amounts of untreated sewage water companies can discharge into the sea. She said it was “an appalling and environmentally disastrous practice”.

Cllr Wells was speaking as it emerged Worthing's beach, managed by the Council's Coastal Office, had for the fifth year in a row been awarded a Seaside Award by Keep Britain Tidy. The awards identify the best coastlines in the country by assessing them on their environmental management, safety and services.

Conservation of the town's beach is not only managed by the council's Coastal Office team but also by a host of community groups and businesses that help with voluntary beach cleans throughout the year.

Cllr Wells said:

“This award is a testament to our Coastal Office team and the fantastic community volunteers who do so much to help maintain our wonderful shingle foreshore.”

But she said the new administration wanted to go further by achieving a higher Blue Flag award which also takes into account bathing water but which Worthing has failed to reach. Said Cllr Wells:

“This is entirely dependent on Southern Water ending the release of uncertified sewage into our coastal waters. Last year, the Government had the opportunity to enforce stronger limits on private water companies discharging untreated sewage but voted down the House of Lords amendment to the Environment Bill.

“We will therefore be watching closely the new joint investigation by the Environment Agency and Ofwat into this appalling and environmentally disastrous practice as well as seeking additional Bathing Water Designation, to greatly increase monitoring along our coast.

“With climate change set to place even more pressure on our out-dated sewer infrastructure, we urge Southern Water to make the necessary investment to meet their legal obligations and provide the highest possible water quality standards for our town.”

The Seaside Award honour was made official this week as the coveted flag arrived at the Coastal Office and was celebrated by our Coastal warden team, Rob Dove, Kellie Newman, Rebecca Belleni and Cllr Wells.

Worthing was one of 128 beaches to be recognised in the awards, which are aimed at improving the quality of England's coastline and promoting the best beaches.

Photo: Cllr Vicki Wells with Rebecca Belleni, Kellie Newman and Rob Dove from the Coastal Office, with the Seaside Award flag

PR22-094 - Cllr Vicki Wells with Rebecca Belleni, Kellie Newman & Rob Dove, with the Seaside Award flag

Photo: Worthing beach and Pier

PR22-094 - Worthing beach and Pier


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Page last updated: 13 March 2023

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