Looe has come out fighting over claims by the Environmental Agency that it is numbered amongst the 44 resorts in the UK, along with Kingsand and Cawsand, who could be harbouring dangerous bugs in the sea water, including the deadly E.coli.

The furore has erupted since the recent tragic death of an 8 year old who may have contracted E.coli whilst playing on the beach at Dawlish Warren in Devon, which has once more highlighted the problem of sewage infested bathing waters at many major resorts, leading to an outburst of 'deadly beaches' claims.

South West Water has been one of the privatised companies accused of failing to protect bathers by not installing sewage disinfection systems, but after heavy pressure from the local councils, East Looe Town Trust and MP Colin Breed, South East Cornwall's attractive beaches are now in the midst of a big clean up. The scheme at Looe will cost almost £4 million and Kingsand/Cawsand between £1-2 million

Mr Don Webb, chairman of East Looe Town Trust which owns the beach, said he had been associated with the town for many years and in all that time he had never received a complaint from anyone about stomach upsets. 'It was the Trust who first set up meetings with South West Water two years ago' he said. 'Looe's new sewage system installed in 1966 had never worked satisfactorily'.

Looe Mayor Dave Bryan, together with Town Forum representatives David Holford and David Gardner met with David Mason, SW Water's project manager for the Looe scheme on Wednesday evening, to view the works underway in the West Looe Valley. So far the company has been dealing with storm water drainage but in September at the end of the tourist season the major works begin on the Millpool car park which will greatly improve the low level works adding ultra violet disinfection. 'The latest scares were based on old figures' said the mayor and are not a true reflection of Looe. We want a clean family image' .

A new sewage scheme will begin in earnest to serve Kingsand and Cawsand within the next four weeks, after pressure by Maker with Rame parish council to bring the project forward by about 13 years.