§ Mr. Hesford
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what measures the Government are taking to improve the quality of bathing water. 
§ Mr. Mullin
The Government have pressed for concerted action by the Environment Agency and the water companies to improve bathing water quality. This year compliance with the mandatory coliform bacteria standards of the Bathing Water Directive in England was the best ever, at 90.3 per cent. The Government also wants substantial additional investment under the current periodic review of water prices in England and Wales to increase mandatory compliance to 97 per cent. by 2005, together with a significant increase in compliance with the more stringent, guideline standards.