Hunstanton mayor says no-swim warning is 'scaremongering' – Eastern Daily Press

A warning not to swim on a Norfolk beach because of pollution has been branded “needless scaremongering” by the local mayor.
Mike Ruston, mayor of Hunstanton, criticised the ‘no swim’ order and said he would happily bathe in the resort’s waters.
The order was issued by the Environment Agency after its monitoring system detected poor water quality in the area.
Experts believe the problems are partly due to bird droppings on the town’s leisure centre roof which have been washed into the sea by recent rain.
Mr Ruston said: “I personally think it’s needless scaremongering.
Eastern Daily Press: Hunstanton mayor Mike Ruston, who has described 'no-swim' warnings as scaremongeringHunstanton mayor Mike Ruston, who has described ‘no-swim’ warnings as scaremongering (Image: Matthew Usher)
“When you look at the vast amount of water out there and the dilution, I’d happily go in the sea.
“I don’t know if it damages the town but it can’t be helpful.”
Others were more deterred by the warning.
Amanda Bosworth, chairwoman of the Hunstanton Society, said: “I’m very concerned about it.
“I’m a member of a cold water swimming group and it’s put me off going.
“We’re a coastal town and it’s got to have the potential to impact on our economy.”
Eastern Daily Press: People have been warned not to swim in the sea at HunstantonPeople have been warned not to swim in the sea at Hunstanton (Image: Ian Burt)
Last week, at a West Norfolk council meeting to discuss water quality in the Wash, Brian Long expressed scepticism about water quality warnings, saying he swam around sewage outfalls in his younger days.
“Nobody batted an eyelid about any of this stuff and I’m sure the circumstances aren’t any different now to what they were then,” he said of the latest warnings.
‘No-swim’ orders have been in force at Heacham, Hunstanton, Old Hunstanton and Wells in recent days.
Roger Arguile, a town councillor at Wells responsible for tourism, said: “Any news about water quality is bad news for intending tourists. It’s likely to make them less wanting to come.
Eastern Daily Press: Wells town councillor Roger ArguileWells town councillor Roger Arguile (Image: Roger Arguile)
“My own experience of sailing almost every day is that the water seems to be no different than usual.” 
Warnings have now been lifted at Old Hunstanton and Wells, but remain in force at Hunstanton and Heacham, which has suffered from water quality problems for several years.
 
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