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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 May 2007, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
East's beaches fly 14 blue flags
Southwold Pier
The water is clean around Southwold Pier
Four beaches across the East have lost their coveted blue flag status for cleanliness and water quality.

Hunstanton in Norfolk and Martello Bay in Clacton, Essex, have both lost their Encams awards, given for the first time only last year.

Great Yarmouth Central and Essex's Jubilee beach also lost their flags.

A total of 14 beaches across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex can still fly their flags to represent litter-free sands and good bathing waters.

Nigel Tansley-Thomas, regional director of ENCAMS, said: "The awards have been running for 20 years now.

East of England blue flag winners
Brightlingsea Beach, Essex
Cromer, Norfolk
Dovercourt Bay, Essex
Felixstowe South, Suffolk
Gorleston Beach, Norfolk
Lowestoft North, Suffolk
Lowestoft South, Suffolk
Mundesley, Norfolk
Sea Palling, Norfolk
Sheringham, Norfolk
Three Shells Beach, Essex
Shoebury Common Beach, Essex
East Beach, Shoeburyness, Essex
Southwold Pier Beach, Suffolk

"It is great to see beaches continuing to gain international recognition, year after year.

"It is testament to the growing popularity and credibility of the awards, but also the hard work that those who look after our beaches have put in to make these stretches of coast spotless."

In Suffolk, where they retained all their blue flag beaches, a flag raising ceremony was held at Lowestoft and Southwold's Lifeguard stations.

Asa Morrison, of Waveney District Council, said: "This is excellent news as our beaches are one of the primary reasons visitors come.

"To receive this accolade for the fifth year running is of great benefit to the local tourism industry."

'A bad reading'

But in Essex, where Jubilee beach lost its flag due to water quality, there was mixed reaction to the awards.

John Lamb, a Southend-on-Sea Borough councillor, told BBC News: "We're disappointed because a bad reading was taken,

"We queried why it was so high on various levels - it can't be right when bordering beaches were all okay.

"The beach is very good and we have a coastal quality award.

"We've won the awards [for three beaches] on water quality, which is very good and we're very pleased."

Holidaymakers say they are not worried about the loss of the Blue Flag

East's beaches win 14 Blue Flags
02 Jun 05 |  England
East's beaches win 14 Blue Flags
04 Jun 04 |  England
Blue Flags for clean beaches
05 Jun 03 |  England

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