A TRADER fears tourists will be put off visiting Southend seafront and business will be impacted after a second Southend beach missed out on the coveted Blue Flag award. 

Yesterday the Echo revealed that Thorpe Bay beach had missed out on the award - recognising beaches with the best water quality - after a sample of e-coli was found during an assessment. 

The award is presented to “well-managed beaches with excellent water quality” and Southend’s city beach also missed out on the award in January after issues with the water quality.

Now Martin Richardson, owner of the Happidrome Arcade on the seafront fears more of the coveted Blue Flag award’s could be lost - impacting trade and tourism. 

Southend West MP Anna Firth has called for tests to be re-done while Southend Council has pointed out that just one quality test out of 20 found high bacteria levels.  

Mr Richardson said: “People won’t come to the seafront anymore, everyone along the seafront would suffer, why would you want to go anymore? The smell, on bad days, is absolutely disgusting and Leigh will suffer next, it is a migratory route for birds and the contamination will get washed there too.

“We need to expose the failures of water companies, we are using an antiquated and Victorian drainage system, which is combined.

“When the system is overwhelmed, it spills out into the sea which is constantly permitted, it is a failure.

“People won’t come to Southend, this has a detrimental effect on all, this is avoidable it needs investment.”

Alexandra Haider, who is a co-founder of Southend against Sewage with husband, Shah Haider, has also been shocked by the announcement. 

She said: “I am an open water swimmer, I swim all year around with Shah and we love swimming in the Thorpe area.

“We were really shocked. We had no idea that this had happened, it was put under the radar and not properly announced.

We assume they made a mistake in removing the blue flag on the beach, we were flabbergasted when we found out why.

“However, we were shocked but not surprised, we did some tests last year and they suggested high levels of e.coli.”

Anglian Water has insisted the issue is not related to sewage discharge.