HC Deb 26 July 1989 vol 157 c1019
12. Mr. Bevan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which bathing waters were identified for the purposes of the 1975 European Community bathing waters directive in (a) May 1979 and (b) May 1989.

Mr. Howard

The European Community's bathing water directive was adopted in December 1975 and gave member states two years to identify suitable bathing waters. By May 1979, no bathing waters had been identified by the then Labour Government. By May 1989, 403 coastal bathing waters had been identified. A full list of the identified bathing waters has been placed in the Library.

Mr. Bevan

While thanking my hon. and learned Friend for that reply, I invite him to contrast the non-existent policy of the previous Labour Government with that of this Government. When he considers the challenge of clean beaches and holidaying, would he prefer a warm resort with beautifully clean water in Britain or one in the mucky Mediterranean or the atrociously dirty Adriatic, particularly in Italy?

Mr. Howard

I would, indeed, no doubt in company with my hon. Friend, prefer a beach in this country. My hon. Friend is entirely right. The figures speak for themselves and no further comment would be necessary if it were not that the Labour party consistently criticises the Government's performance and record on these matters, while it is blind and deaf to its own.