No Blue Flag flying above the seafront

THERE will be no Blue Flag flying above Bognor Regis promenade this summer.

Arun District Council has not applied for the symbol of a top-quality seafront because the town’s bathing water was ruined by downpours.

Paul Dendle, the council’s head of environmental services, said: “The European Union’s water quality requirements have been enhanced and, in order to be able to apply for Blue Flag status in the future, the water quality will be measured over a four-year average.

“Despite Bognor beach consistently meeting the top-quality water standards required to achieve Blue Flag status over the past few years, this was lost due to the heavy rainfall during the summer.

“The council were unable to apply for the award for the town for 2013 because we did not meet the raised criteria.

“Our water-quality standards have not diminished, the water-quality standard required to apply for Blue Flag awards has increased.”

The council has applied for a Seaside Award, with a lower water-quality standard, for Bognor east beach instead.

The town’s history with the Blue Flag has been chequered.

Very few occasions have seen the Blue Flag flying consistently above the seafront.

Most years of success have been followed by periods of failure. This is usually because excess rain runs into the gutters, where it collects dirt, and out to sea.