No Blue Flags for Rother beaches again due to costs

None of Rother's beaches have been given Blue Flag accreditation because applying for the status places too much of a financial burden on the cash-strapped council.

Bexhill beach huts. SUS-160927-135117001
Bexhill beach huts. SUS-160927-135117001

Rother District Council, which is responsible for a number of beaches including Bexhill, Fairlight and Camber Sands, declined the chance to apply for the accolade for any of its beaches.

A spokesperson for the local authority said that applying for Blue Flag status would require ‘investing significant resources’ that the council is currently unable to commit to.

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The flags attest that the beaches have clean water and meet environmental and international bathing standards.

Neighbouring Hastings Borough Council scooped Blue Flag status for two of its beaches - Pelham Beach and Marina, St Leonards.

But Rother District Council is not the only local authority to shun the Blue Flag scheme on cost grounds.

Eastbourne Borough Council has not applied for Blue Flag status ‘for several years’ due to the cost to the local authority.

Dubbed the Sunshine Coast, Eastbourne’s beaches have been highly rated and the resort is recommended by the Good Beach Guide.

A spokesperson for Rother District Council,said: “Applying for blue flag status requires investing significant resources which we’re unfortunately not able to commit to in the current financial climate.

“Blue flag status depends not just on the quality of the water but on a number of other requirements, in particular putting in place infrastructure such as more public toilets, which may be outside the control of the council.

“The fact we don’t have blue flag status does not detract from the fact that in Rother we’re blessed with a number of fantastic, clean beaches with good water quality standards which offer a clean, safe environment for visitors and residents to enjoy.

“This allows us to feature in the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide.”

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of international Blue Flag Award Scheme.

A total of 199 beaches were awarded Blue Flag status.

The Blue Flag criteria is divided into four categories with a total of 33 individual targets, including Environmental Education and Information, Water Quality, Environmental Management and Safety and Services.