Essex

Two Southend beaches lose Blue Flag status

Southend beach
Image caption Beaches in Southend, Clacton, Dovercourt and Brightlingsea were awarded Blue Flags

Two beaches in Essex have lost their Blue Flag status for water quality, cleanliness and safety, while six others have retained theirs.

Chalkwell and Jubilee beaches in Southend are not on the 2012 list released by the anti-litter organisation Keep Britain Tidy.

The borough council blamed storm water for affecting water quality samples.

Three other beaches in Southend, plus ones in Brightlingsea, Clacton and Dovercourt have retained their flags.

Conservative Southend councillor Derek Jarvis said the authority was "disappointed" some beaches were not given flags.

Water quality

"The water quality samples were taken from those beaches immediately after heavy rainfall last season, when storm waters flowed into the sea, temporarily affecting the readings," Mr Jarvis said.

"We know that in such cases the readings very quickly return to normal, and if they had been taken on a different day the results would have been different."

He added the council was working with the Environment Agency and Anglian Water to see how it could prevent heavy rainfall affecting future tests.

Seventy-nine beaches in England have been awarded Blue Flag status this year.

Those in Essex are East Beach in Shoeburyness, Shoebury Common Beach and Three Shells Beach in Southend, Brightlingsea Beach, Dovercourt Bay and Martello Bay in Clacton.

In addition to cleanliness, they also needed to show high standards of environmental education and information, such as clear signs and beach-related activities and events.

Ten beaches in the county have also been given Quality Coast Awards (QCA) for high standards of beach management.

Four received both a Blue Flag and a QCA award.

Chalkwell Beach and Bell Wharfe Beach in Southend have not retained their QCA.

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