St Mary's Bay Water Quality

On 1 March I met with the Environment Agency to discuss the sea water quality at St Mary’s Bay, on the Hythe Bay coast. It has recently been reported that, according to the Agency, the water quality there is ‘poor’ and the advice is not to swim. This is a localised problem, and the sea water at Littlestone, Dymchurch and Folkestone remains ‘good’, and at Hythe and Sandgate the rating is ‘excellent.’

The Environment Agency’s investigation into the water quality issues at St Mary’s Bay has identified that contamination is getting into the sea from somewhere along a 500 metre stretch of the main watercourse that drains water from Romney Marsh into the sea at St Mary’s Bay. To be precise, this is happening at some point between the bridge on Taylors Lane and the outflow into the sea.  This could be being caused by a damaged pipe, for example, and when the exact location of the problem is found, it should be easy to remedy. The water quality issues at St Mary’s Bay are not related to the separate concern about sewage discharge at sea after heavy storms. I have asked the Environment Agency to keep me informed of their progress on this important issue.

Saga remains one of the best known and largest employers in the Folkestone and Hythe district, and last week I met with their Chief Executive Euan Sutherland, to discuss the company’s long-term plans. Saga has recently announced that it will be leaving its current head office at Enbrook Park in Sandgate. Their former office building at Middleburg Square in Folkestone is also to be redeveloped as part of the £20million Levelling-up fund regeneration of Folkestone town centre. In the short-term, Saga will be moving to offices in Ashford, whilst many local employees will also work from home. However, Euan Sutherland reassured me that Saga’s home is Folkestone, and the company is planning to move back to the district in the near future, into new offices.

This week the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak signed the Windsor Framework agreement with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to improve the working of the Northern Ireland protocol. This will create a new ‘Green Lane’ for goods travelling to Northern Ireland from Great Britain with no more customs bureaucracy or routine checks. The Framework also removes the ban on supermarket food exports like sausages, so what is available on the shelves in Great Britain will also be in Northern Ireland. Customs regulations for post and parcels will also be scrapped as will export declarations for goods going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. This agreement will also have wider benefits for the whole country, as it removes a barrier to agreement on further areas of partnership and cooperation with the European Union, where we believe it is in our national interest to do so.

Published: 02/03/2023

Copyright 2021 Damian Collins. All rights reserved

Promoted by Stephen James for and on behalf of Damian Collins, both of Folkestone & Hythe Conservative Association both at 4 West Cliff Gardens, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1SP


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