May 25, 2023 3.30 pm This story is over 10 months old

Cleethorpes Beach won’t regain Blue Flag for at least four years

Concerns about the water quality

Cleethorpes Beach will not be able to get back its Blue Flag status for another four years due to the quality of the bathing water.

The seafront was only rated ‘good’ for water quality in 2022 by the Environment Agency, meaning it’s ineligible for the prestigious award which requires ‘excellent’.

Cleethorpes Beach lost its Blue Flag status last year after North East Lincolnshire did not apply due to its bathing water quality rating.

A council spokesperson confirmed that there will have to be four ‘excellent’ annual assessments of the water quality in a row to achieve the Blue Flag status – meaning it will by 2026 at the earliest.

This comes in the wake of Water UK’s national apology from water and sewage companies for not acting quickly enough on sewage spills, and a promise of £10bn investment.

Sue Walker, an organiser of the first protest last Autumn, said: “You would hope to get the Blue Flag back because it will increase tourism, it will get people into the sea.

“The way to do that is to stop the overflows.

“Us as the residents are paying the water companies to do a job that they’re not doing.”

In 2022, there were nine pollution risk warnings issued for Cleethorpes by the Environment Agency.

“Sometimes, you go into the sea knowing you’ve got a green tick and then when you come out it’s a red cross,” Sue said.

The Humberston Fitties has been rated as ‘good’ since 2019 and had one pollution risk warning last year.

A council spokesperson said: “Cleethorpes is a hugely popular destination and we take pride in making it one of the best seaside resorts on the East coast, but bathing water quality is not under our control.

“We actively monitor water quality and we work with our partners to make improvements, but many factors that affect it are out of our control, such as flooding and extreme weather.

“As a resort at the mouth of the Humber, the second largest estuary in the UK, Cleethorpes can also be affected by events happening upstream and sometimes in other major rivers such as the Don, Ouse and Trent, which all flow into the Humber and the North Sea.”

The loss of Blue Flag status last year prompted an unsuccessful Labour-led motion last September calling for a state of emergency to be declared over water quality.