Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
Luke has today called for the waters around Devil’s Point and Firestone Bay to be designated an official bathing water, subject to regular testing for water quality.
Devil’s Point, also known as Firestone Bay, is a popular spot for wild swimming, with swimming facilities already in place and beautiful views across Plymouth Sound.
Plymouth’s rivers and seas are polluted by regular discharges of raw sewage, and many residents have contacted Luke about the quality of the waters around Devil’s Point.
This comes after the government refused to back a Labour amendment to the Environment Bill that would have prevented raw sewage being dumped into rivers and seas – forcing them into a partial U-turn.
If Devil’s Point is classified as a Bathing Water, the Environment Agency and South West Water would be required to monitor the quality of the water to ensure its safety for bathing. This would involve collecting water samples and testing the quality each year from May to September.
This would improve confidence that Devil’s Point is safe to swim in, and force the Environment Agency to take action if pollution reached dangerous levels.
Luke will be launching a petition on the potential bathing water at Devil’s Point, to be presented in Parliament.
As a keen wild-swimmer, I love swimming in the sea around Devil’s Point. The views are breathtaking and since the pandemic began Devil’s Point and Firestone Bay have become even more popular.
The time is right for this part of the sea to be officially recognised as an important and valued bathing water. People in Plymouth need to be sure that the waters they are swimming in are safe, and that action will be taken to make it safe.
I’m proud my campaign to designate Plymouth Sound as the UK’s first National Marine Park has been a success.
I now want to make sure we are monitoring and improving water quality while still preserving the diverse use of our ocean. If we are to live up to our name as Britain’s Ocean City, we need to properly recognise all our city’s bathing waters.