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Stinking Seaweed - MP to meet EA

September 11th 2008

North Thanet’s MP, Roger Gale, is to meet shortly (10th September)  with the Regional Director of the Environment Agency to discuss ways to ensure that Thanet’s beaches are, in future, not only cleaned of rotting seaweed but stay clean.

The MP, who has received numerous complaints from angry residents this summer, says:

"Thanet District Council have made a real effort, under very extreme conditions this year, to try to clean our beaches of the rotting and stinking weed.  Regulation has, however, seemingly prevented the local authority from properly and finally disposing of the weed which has been put back into the sea only to be washed ashore again.  It’s worse than trying to paint the Forth Bridge.

There has to be away of allowing not only Thanet but other seaside resorts to get rid of this menace in a way that does not simply regurgitate the problem.  Whether that means a change to national regulations or to EU directives that we have to explore, we cannot be expected to suffer another summer such as this one.

My own family likes to use the worst affected beach, Minnis Bay, and I am acutely aware of the fact that on the relatively few days during this awful season when it might have been worth trying to picnic on the sand or to use a beach hut the stench has driven visitors away.

This situation makes a complete nonsense of the Blue Flag scheme of which Thanet has been justly proud.  What is the point of flying a Flag of Recognition over a beach that it is impossible to use?

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