Resort's blue flag battle is won

FELIXSTOWE will be able to fly its Blue Flag this summer - after the European organisers of the award granted its appeal.

FELIXSTOWE will be able to fly its Blue Flag this summer - after the European organisers of the award granted its appeal.

Failure to test the water properly last year when a �10 million sea defence scheme was being carried out meant the resort was refused a flag this year.

Its sea water though was of excellent quality all summer - as it had been consistently for the past decade - and an appeal was lodged with the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in Copenhagen.

Keep Britain Tidy today welcomed the decision to overturn the refusal and reinstate Felixstowe South beach's Blue Flag.

The campaign, which runs the flag programme in England, the Environment Agency, responsible for testing water quality, and Suffolk Coastal council jointly lodged the appeal.

A Keep Britain Tidy spokesman said: “We are delighted with FEE's decision and feel it is entirely right for Felixstowe South to retain its status.

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“While there was a complication with the testing procedure, we believe that the beach's water quality is of an excellent standard.

“Felixstowe has a proven commitment to quality and we hope as many people as possible will go there over the coming months and enjoy its top-class environment and facilities.”

Daffyd Evans, area manager for the Environment Agency, said: “We are really pleased that Felixstowe South is to get its Blue Flag as we have always been confident that the water quality there is excellent and would pass the stringent standards.

“We supported the local authority in its appeal, supplying evidence of the excellent water quality there, and are pleased that FEE has listened to this sympathetically and responded in this way.”

Felixstowe South met all 30 criteria except there was a gap of three days longer than allowed between water tests while the beach was closed to the public. All the tests before and after the missing period showed the water quality met all the tough criteria.

Are you pleased Felixstowe has its Blue Flag back? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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