Therese Coffey Rinsed Over Tweet Celebrating Bathing Sites

"Celebrating four bathing sites, on an island nation that should have thousands of sewage free sites, is not a win.”
Environment secretary Therese Coffey.
Environment secretary Therese Coffey.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Therese Coffey has been rinsed over a Tweet in which she celebrated four new “designated” bathing sites.

The environment secretary shared a photograph of herself close to water to mark the government’s announcement on Monday.

Areas in Rutland Water, Plymouth and Waldringfield are being added to the list of bathing waters.

However, Coffey was teased by Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner who drily commented on the photo: “Not taking a dip yourself?”

The senior Tory was also teased by other social media users who pointed out the country’s sewage problems.

Coffey was recently accused of “taking the public for fools” after she unveiled the government’s plan to tackle the dumping of sewage into Britain’s waterways.

Water companies released raw sewage into rivers and seas in England for more than 1.75 million hours last year, according to the Environment Agency.

There were an average of 825 sewage spills into waterways per day - down 19% on the previous year.

Over the Easter bank holiday pollution warnings remained in place telling people not to visit more than 30 beaches. They include famous beaches such as Whitby, Blackpool and Weston-super-Mare.

One Twitter user wrote: “Celebrating four bathing sites, on an island nation that should have thousands of sewage free sites, is not a win.”

Another wrote: “If you do decide to swim here, I’d recommend keeping your mouth closed.”

One added: “She’s wanting to be congratulated? Appalling that so many beaches are no-go areas as we head into summer.”

The government website said the four new sites will be added to the list and monitored by the Environment Agency with effect from the 2023 “bathing season”.

It said: “The Environment Agency will prepare bathing water profiles and identify a sampling point for each site, based on where the greatest number of bathers go into the water. Monitoring will commence in May 2023.

“During the bathing season, the relevant local authority will be responsible for providing public information about water quality and potential pollution sources at the bathing water.”


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