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Newcastle Blue Flag failure a major blow for the town – Clarke MLA

23 May, 2008

South Down Assembly Member Cllr Willie Clarke has described the failure of Newcastle's beach to make the minimum standards set by the Marine Conservation Society as 'unsurprising, but a major blow for the town'.

Cllr Clarke said: "The assessment of Newcastle beach by the Marine Conservation Society will surprise very few people but the fact that it has failed to meet the minimum standards required by the EU is a significant blow to the town.

"Today's announcement follows on from the much publicized stories concerning the town's water quality and the threat to peoples' health from viruses such as E-coli.

"Despite all the wonderful work that has been done to improve Newcastle's promenade and streetscape, our town's reputation is being badly tarnished by the failure to improve the standard of its seafront. Sinn Féin has long called for the implementation of a beach strategy which along with major improvements to Newcastle's sewage system, is badly needed in order to improve matters.

"Without this in place we will never be able to realise Newcastle's massive tourist potential and there is a danger the town will stagnate." ENDS

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