SEA water surrounding Tendring towns and villages has performed positively in a series of tests, despite beachgoers suffering breathing complications earlier this year.

The Environment Agency has now published its annual bathing water quality classification, which is based on tests carried out between May and September.

Mirroring results from last year, beaches in Dovercourt, Brightlingsea and Holland-on-Sea have again been awarded with an “excellent” rating.

Ivan Henderson, councillor for Harwich and Kingsway ward, said: “It is really good, once again to have this positive result at the beach and in the future we would like to receive an European Blue Flag for our beach, and, of course, this is a positive message for anyone visiting our beaches.

“For Harwich beach and Dovercourt Bay beach this is excellent news, especially going into a very important year, where a huge number of visitors will come to the town part of the Mayflower 400 celebrations, where we will have many events and visitor attractions going on.

“I would like to say congratulations for all of those involved, for making this happen and achieving this amazing result.”

Dave McLeod, Dovercourt Bay ward councillor also welcomed the news. He said: “I’m very pleased to hear we’ve got a good and clean beach and a good town.

“It is going to be a wonderful new year for our town and tourism, where visitors will be able to enjoy the facilities at the beach.”

Beaches in Walton and bathing areas located east of Clacton Pier, have also received “excellent” ratings, improving on their ratings of “good” in 2018.

Elsewhere in the district, Jaywick Sands, Frinton and Clacton’s Martello Beach all continued to perform well and were again rated as “good” for another year.

The troublesome Groyne 41 area, however, which has had problems with poor water quality for several years, has unsurprisingly been given a rating of “poor”.

As a result, the small section of beach will no longer be designated as a bathing beach.

Mike Carran, head of sport and leisure at Tendring District Council, said: “We work hard to maintain high-quality beaches for Tendring residents and visitors to our district to enjoy.

“These are fantastic results, in particular at Walton and east Clacton, which are now consistently ‘excellent’, opening the door for possible Blue Flag applications for these beaches.

“While disappointing that Groyne 41 has again rated as ‘poor’, this is not surprising – despite leading experts investigating this over a long period the source is still to be identified. Having this section of beach de-designated means we can focus on keeping our top-notch beaches the best they can be.”

Garry Calver, Dovercourt Bay ward councillor, said: “Ever since Dovercourt Bay received its Blue Flag the beach has become a major attraction sport for both residents and visitors.

“It is good news that we have received the excellent rating for our beach.”