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sas_panorama2We recently posted about the BBC Panorama programme on CSOs, which ran a couple of weeks ago. We’ve since had a response from the Environment Agency, insisting that the BBC misrepresented their cause. Here’s what they had to say…

The Panorama programme raised interesting points, but it didn’t give the full picture and a lot of the information that the Environment Agency provided to the BBC was left out.

This film was produced to provide important information about bathing water that people need to know:

You may also be interested to know that we are setting up a cleaner seas forum – and inviting surfers, swimmers, councils, farmers, water companies and pressure groups to come together to identify the bathing waters where further improvements are still needed and work together to achieve them.

We’ve watched the film, but it doesn’t really address any of the points raised in our forum or on the BBC. The film really seems to express a sense of injustice in the BBC’s handling of the facts, and insists that water quality is still safe, tested with modern methods and that the Victorian design is acceptable in 2009.

Is it not time for all these parties to come together and discuss these contradictory points?

We’ve approached the Environment Agency, if we hear back I will propose that Panorama, EA and SAS meet to discuss, instead of playing PR ping pong through the media.

However, we did hear back from BBC Panorama’s Derren Lawford, who gave me this information:

Just to recap, the BBC’s Have Your Say debates close after discernible interest in a subject tail off. If however you feel people would like somewhere to continue commenting on our programme, then the best place is the Panorama blog, beneath this recent post:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/panorama/2009/09/britains_dirty_beaches_update.html

The full programme itself is still available to watch online for the next 12 months here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mg5cg

There is also a wealth of extra content relating to this issue on the Panorama website including here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8236000/8236957.stm

And last but not least, we commissioned a map of the UK beaches listed in the Good Beach Guide which are known to have a Combined Sewage Overspill nearby:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8234000/8234631.stm

Hope that’s all useful. If you need to know any more please get in touch again and either myself or a member of the production team will be happy to help.

Thoughts on this? Discuss them in our forum

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