YOUNGSTERS joined in the celebrations as a flag showing just how great Bognor Regis beach is was hoisted.
The Seaside Award flag now flutters proudly above the town’s seafront.
Formally known as the Quality Coast Award, the flag is awarded for high standards of beach management.
The symbol was hoisted by Bognor Regis town mayor Paul Wells and Ann Smee, the outgoing chairman of Arun District Council.
Cllr Wells said: “The town council is delighted that the quality of the town’s beaches has again been recognised and is pleased to see the Seaside Award flag flying on the promenade.”
But Cllr Wells said it was disappointing the prestigious Blue Flag had not been awarded to the town.
“The changes to the water quality criteria poses a challenge to all concerned but the council looks forward to the town’s beaches receiving the Blue Flag award in the future,” said Cllr Wells
This season, the European Union’s water quality requirements have been enhanced and, in order to be able to apply for Blue Flag status, water quality had to be measured over a four-year average.
Paul Dendle, Arun’s cabinet member for environmental services, who was at the event last Wednesday (May 22), said: “The council was unable to apply for the Blue Flag Award for Bognor Regis for 2013 because the standards did not meet the raised criteria, but this by no means indicates that water quality off the coast of Bognor Regis has diminished.”
Helping to send the flag soaring into the sky was the last official duty performed by Cllr Mrs Smee as she ended her year in office.
“These awards just go to show why Arun’s beaches are so popular among both residents and the thousands of visitors who come to the district year after year,” she said.
“We are delighted to be able to offer tourists clean, safe and well-kept beaches that are a credit to our dedicated, hard-working foreshores staff.”
The pupils, from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, brought with them pictures they had created to show just what they like about going to the beach.
They were joined by Butlin’s redcoats, Jim Brooks, the district council’s Marine ward councillor, and chief executive Nigel Lynn.
The children’s pictures will be featured on the council’s tourism website www.sussexbythesea.com