A senior Norfolk councillor has hit out at Anglian Water, saying it has failed to properly investigate why a popular Norfolk beach was “robbed” of its Blue Flag. 

Wendy Fredericks, the deputy leader of North Norfolk District Council, has demanded the county’s water company does more to help restore Mundesley water quality status and look into why it happened. 

It was one of three beaches, along with East Runton and Sea Palling, to lose the prestigious Blue Flag status this year. 

Water companies across the UK have come under fire in recent years for releasing sewage into waterways at times of heavy rain. 

However, the government’s Environment Agency said overflows by water companies were not to blame for the three Blue Flag losses in north Norfolk. 

Eastern Daily Press: Wendy Fredericks, NNDC deputy leader and portfolio holder for housing and people servicesWendy Fredericks, NNDC deputy leader and portfolio holder for housing and people services (Image: NNDC)

Ms Fredericks, who is the councillor for the area, called for more investigation, saying the loss of status was  “devastating to the people of Mundesley”. 

She said: “We lost our Blue Flag status in a period of drought; it was not down to storm surges. 

“Recently in the press, you said it was down to bird fouling, but I don’t feel it was properly investigated. 

“We feel, as a community, that we would like our blue flag back, please. 

“There’s nothing that we have done but I feel that we have been kind of robbed of our blue flag status.” 

Grant Tufts, speaking on behalf of Anglian Water, said Blue Flag status was an Environment Agency decision but accepted the water company was “a factor”.  

He also said bird fouling being a component in the drop in beach quality, particularly towards Heacham, was “factually correct”. 

“Once you have lost blue flag status you need to excellent status for a while to get it back,” he said. 

“We are investing about £2m to reduce storm overflow discharge rates at Mundesley, hopefully by the 2027 season that blue flag should come back all well and good.” 

Another Anglian Water official insisted they are “driven by science” and do carry out investigations into the cause of issues.