WATERS along key tourist beaches have been given top marks for cleanliness.
Councillors in Gosport have welcomed the news that Stokes Bay, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head were given the highest rating possible.
I am really pleased that the beaches in our area are of the highest standards.Councillor Graham Burgess
Eastney, in Portsmouth, was also given a rating of ‘excellent’ with Southsea East getting a ‘good’ rating.
The results, announced by the Environment Agency, include weekly samples taken from 2012 until this year.
The result in Lee is an improvement and ward councillor for Lee East Graham Burgess said the rating was great news.
He said: ‘I’m pleased the beaches in our area are of the highest standards. Considering three-quarters of Gosport is surrounded by water, it is important that we have a good rating.
‘It sends a message that our beaches are clean and safe for families and children to swim and have fun. It is good for the people of Gosport and great for our tourism.’
He added: ‘A lot of people come down to Stokes Bay and Lee-on-the-Solent to play sports and sail, so it is fantastic that they can feel safe to do so.
‘There is a such a range that people can enjoy in Gosport, so the rating is what we want.’
In the south region, only one of the 83 bathing waters tested did not meet the new, higher standards. The way water quality is measured changed this year and the standards are now twice as high, following the implementation of the revised European Bathing Water Directive.
A spokesman for Southern Water, which monitors the water, said: ‘We have invested millions of pounds to improve bathing water quality across the region over recent years.
‘We recognise the important role we play in helping support agencies to ensure that the bathing waters in our region are protected.’