That Newcastle should have one of the worst water quality standards in Europe, according to recently published bathing water analysis data, is quite unacceptable.
A comprehensive police investigation should be carried out to determine who is responsible for the pollution.
Most worrying in this serious situation is the hype that the Tourist Board and the Marine Conservation Society appear to lend themselves to – that most Northern Ireland beaches meet current EEC bathing standards. They will not meet more stringent standards which will be in statute 2015.
It is misleading for anyone to describe all other beaches as 'excellent', as there is no such designation within existing data.
Questions must also be asked as to why expenditure in 2000 of £5m to improve the situation was inadequate, and why a further expenditure of £9m is now necessary.
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