East Devon beaches get excellent results

Jacobs ladder beach in Sidmouth. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shs 1237-24-14TI To order your copy of this

Jacobs ladder beach in Sidmouth. Photo by Terry Ife. Ref shs 1237-24-14TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

East Devon’s beaches are ‘cleaner than ever’ according to district bosses, after scoring highly with government water quality inspectors.

The district council is celebrating its best results ever after Jacob’s Ladder was one of four East Devon beaches to receive ‘excellent’ from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) yesterday.

The government body also gave top marks to Seaton, Beer and Sandy Bay.

Sidmouth beach was rated ‘good’ alongside Budleigh Salterton and Exmouth.

Ladram Bay, which is privately owned and managed, scored a ‘sufficient’ rating, which means that the water meets minimum standards.

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EDDC’s Councillor Iain Chubb, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “This is a fantastic result, which is the outcome of the ongoing work we are doing with the Environment Agency to manage our beaches on the beautiful Jurassic Coast.

“Our bathing waters are most certainly cleaner than they have ever been in the past.”

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Chairman of Sidmouth Town Council, Councillor Jeff Turner said: “As an important tourist destination, Sidmouth residents and visitors alike can be reassured by these excellent water quality results.

“The council is proud of the hard work carried out by the various local authorities in their continual improvement and maintenance of the town’s beaches.”

From May to September the Environment Agency took weekly samples to make sure the amount of bacteria in the water met stringent EU legislation.

Dr Pete Fox, director of land and water at the Environment Agency, said: “Water quality at beaches is better than at any time in living memory, with dramatic improvements having been made over the past few decades.”

“The Environment Agency has led successful partnership work to monitor, investigate and reduce pollution, which has benefited the environment and people, with nearly all of England’s beaches meeting the new stringent water quality targets.”

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