I will do everything I can to help support Filey to get the prestigious Blue Flag back. The Blue Flag scheme acts as a guarantee to tourists that a beach or marina they are visiting is clean and maintained to the highest standards.
The Filey beach water quality is consistently good but needs to be excellent to qualify for a Blue Flag. Filey won the award in 2012 but later lost it because of heavy rainfall which, it was thought, could have polluted the water and affected test results.
The monitoring process allows for some sample results to be discounted where adverse results can be directly linked to known events. This is the Pollution Risk Forecasting (PRF). For some reason, South Bay at Scarborough is included in this process whilst Filey is not. Apparently the Environment Agency has said that the Filey results are not affected by rain, although this is a factor for the South Bay.
I have taken the matter up with the Environment Agency, which has promised to look into it. I would like the EA to review the way Filey is tested. The sampling results for Filey are in the upper range of good with a few poor results spoiling the overall excellent picture. If Filey were to be included in the EAs Pollution Risk Forecasting (PRF) system it would allow us to discount some results under certain conditions such as when samples are taken after heavy rain. This could get us over the line to excellent water quality.
Scarborough Councillor, Mike Cockerill who was also at the meeting said “ I am disappointed with both Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency. It is clear that Filey is being treated differently from the South Bay at Scarborough and I hope that something is done about it before next season. I hope to see an urgent review of the processes used to test the waters at Filey with a retrospective look at the 2018 figures at least.”
Many of the UK beaches nationally and along the Yorkshire coast are already in the PRF system and Filey wants to make sure it is included in the next bathing water season, so it is publicly recognised as one of the UK’s cleanest beaches.