Anger at Falmouth beach 'Blue Flag' snub as Cornwall Council will not pay £820

Falmouth Packet: Anger at Falmouth beach 'Blue Flag' snub as Cornwall Council will not pay £820 Anger at Falmouth beach 'Blue Flag' snub as Cornwall Council will not pay £820

There will be no Blue Flag flying over Gyllyngvase beach this summer, after Cornwall Council refused to apply for accreditation for the sake of £820, however the town council may now step in.

In a decision which has disappointed Falmouth councillors and businesses alike, the council said it would not be applying for the internationally recognised award, which guarantees cleanliness, water quality, and beach facilities, due to the cost.

Instead of paying the around £820 for a Blue Flag inspection, which is recognised in 48 countries across Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, it will instead be applying for a 'Seaside Award', from Keep Britain Tidy.

A council spokesperson said: “Cornwall Council, like other beach owners, has to pay to apply for Blue Flag status; consequently, we will not be applying for the Blue Flag this season on any of the sites that formerly used to have the award - Gyllyngvase, Porthtowan and Polzeath.

“We will be replacing the Blue Flag with a Seaside Award on these sites for the forthcoming season. It is however important to reassure beach users that we will not be reducing standards of service on any of our beaches and will strive, as always, to keep them clean, safe and healthy.”

Falmouth Town Council has expressed disappointment with Cornwall Council’s decision, and is to look into the possibility of applying for the accreditation itself.

Town clerk Mark Williams said: “I have asked for a meeting with them [Cornwall Council] and on May 7 we will get together to specifically talk about Gyllyngvase Beach and see if it’s something the town council can take on. There may be something we can do, if it’s not too late.”

Town manager Richard Gates added: “Gyllyngvase Beach not identified as a Blue Flag beach would be a disaster. It is so important to tourism.”

However, Paul Todd, flag development manager at Keep Britain Tidy, which administers the UK accreditation of the Blue Flag awarding body FEE, said it would be too late to make an application for the beach this year.

He said: “In a sense there are two deadlines, one for all applications to be handed in to us to be passed on to FEE, and that was February 18. The second is the jury decision, which is made by FEE on April 9.”

Shaun Davie, associate chairman of The Falmouth District Hoteliers Association, said: “It’s a very negative attitude and a great shame, another nail in the head for tourism for Falmouth.

“They don’t seem to support tourism at all and it’s one of the main bread winners for Cornwall, let alone Falmouth.

“I am extremely concerned and disappointed at this negative approach to what is our tourism shop window. We advertise having blue flag beaches on our doorstep and that is not the case now.

“We will have to change our advertising. It would have been nice to have been consulted about it in the first place.”

Mark Agnew, manager of the Gylly Beach Cafe, said: “To say that I’m extremely surprised is an understatement.

“It’s unbelievable, using finance as a reason why we wouldn’t want to apply for blue flag status on Falmouth’s prime beach, when the town relies heavily on tourism throughout the year and the blue flag status is so important.

“For Cornwall Council to not notify people in due time about their intention of not reapplying is amazingly poor, not just for residents and businesses but also for thousands of tourists that look for such certifications and awards on beaches that they choose.”

Comments (5)

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3:24pm Wed 30 Apr 14

cmjeeves says...

It is ludicrous. Cornwall Council not subscribing to the "Blue Flag" accreditation - the recognised standard - is another case of not spending what is needed to promote Falmouth as opposed to all that is spent on Truro!

Christine Jeeves, Budock Water
It is ludicrous. Cornwall Council not subscribing to the "Blue Flag" accreditation - the recognised standard - is another case of not spending what is needed to promote Falmouth as opposed to all that is spent on Truro! Christine Jeeves, Budock Water cmjeeves
  • Score: -1

11:57pm Wed 30 Apr 14

DimCat says...

Absolutely astonished by this decision.

I'm not sure how many locals and visitors come to Gylly beach each year, but it must be many tens of thousands in the Summer months alone. On this basis, I'd estimate that the £820 cost of Blue Flag certification amounts to no more than 1 to 2 pence per visitor.

Considering that the Council car park next to the beach, which most visitors will be obliged to use in the Summer, costs £4.50 for up to 4 hours, it's a disgrace that they won't pay for this.

As a former lifeguard, I'm familiar with Blue Flag certification. It is the leading international standard for beach facilities and services. It assures beach users that basic standards of water quality, beach cleanliness, and safety facilities are provided and well maintained.

It seems to me that Cornwall Council couldn't give a **** about the very life-blood of our local economy, tourism, which so many of us locals depend upon for our living.

Gyllyngvase is the flagship beach for the Falmouth area. It deserves better. Shame on Cornwall Council.
Absolutely astonished by this decision. I'm not sure how many locals and visitors come to Gylly beach each year, but it must be many tens of thousands in the Summer months alone. On this basis, I'd estimate that the £820 cost of Blue Flag certification amounts to no more than 1 to 2 pence per visitor. Considering that the Council car park next to the beach, which most visitors will be obliged to use in the Summer, costs £4.50 for up to 4 hours, it's a disgrace that they won't pay for this. As a former lifeguard, I'm familiar with Blue Flag certification. It is the leading international standard for beach facilities and services. It assures beach users that basic standards of water quality, beach cleanliness, and safety facilities are provided and well maintained. It seems to me that Cornwall Council couldn't give a **** about the very life-blood of our local economy, tourism, which so many of us locals depend upon for our living. Gyllyngvase is the flagship beach for the Falmouth area. It deserves better. Shame on Cornwall Council. DimCat
  • Score: 2

12:03am Thu 1 May 14

DimCat says...

Compare and contrast...

http://www.blueflag.
org/menu/criteria/be
aches

http://www.cornwall.
gov.uk/transport-and
-streets/parking/cor
nwall-council-car-pa
rks/car-park-locatio
ns-charges-and-facil
ities/falmouth/gylly
ngvase-queen-mary-ro
ad-falmouth-tr11-4dp
/
Compare and contrast... http://www.blueflag. org/menu/criteria/be aches http://www.cornwall. gov.uk/transport-and -streets/parking/cor nwall-council-car-pa rks/car-park-locatio ns-charges-and-facil ities/falmouth/gylly ngvase-queen-mary-ro ad-falmouth-tr11-4dp / DimCat
  • Score: -4

3:55pm Thu 1 May 14

cornishblonde says...

A few questions for Cornwall Council and most specifically the officer who made this stupid decision - why did they think that tourism providers in the affected areas are so unimportant that there was no need for consultation? Why did they not think it was necessary for them to even tell Falmouth Town Council what they were up to? Did they even have a quick word with VisitCornwall, their own tourism body, to discover their thoughts? Do they not understand that tourism brings much needed revenue into Cornwall? Have they forgotten just how many jobs depend on tourism in Cornwall? Do they not want Cornwall to come high up the list of places to visit in the UK? Do they not actually care about any of those issues, and are so disrespectful of the electorate that they consider we should all be treated like the proverbial mushrooms? Can they actually answer any of those questions in plain English to the satisfaction of the people who elect them and pay their salaries? Oh and can we please be told just how much the CC owned and run car park took last year, from guests and locals, who were pleased to be coming to a Blue Flag beach? Any chance some of that income stream could have been used to pay this fee? No brainer? Not a fully functioning one between them it seems!
A few questions for Cornwall Council and most specifically the officer who made this stupid decision - why did they think that tourism providers in the affected areas are so unimportant that there was no need for consultation? Why did they not think it was necessary for them to even tell Falmouth Town Council what they were up to? Did they even have a quick word with VisitCornwall, their own tourism body, to discover their thoughts? Do they not understand that tourism brings much needed revenue into Cornwall? Have they forgotten just how many jobs depend on tourism in Cornwall? Do they not want Cornwall to come high up the list of places to visit in the UK? Do they not actually care about any of those issues, and are so disrespectful of the electorate that they consider we should all be treated like the proverbial mushrooms? Can they actually answer any of those questions in plain English to the satisfaction of the people who elect them and pay their salaries? Oh and can we please be told just how much the CC owned and run car park took last year, from guests and locals, who were pleased to be coming to a Blue Flag beach? Any chance some of that income stream could have been used to pay this fee? No brainer? Not a fully functioning one between them it seems! cornishblonde
  • Score: 0

4:00pm Thu 1 May 14

Renate Davie says...

How can this happen? I was proud as a resident and Tourist Guide to present Gyllyngvase Beach to my guests as a blue flag beach. Particular Germans recognise the scheme and are always pleased to see a lovely bathing area. I will certainly make clear, that the changes are purely in the council system and not on the beach!
How can this happen? I was proud as a resident and Tourist Guide to present Gyllyngvase Beach to my guests as a blue flag beach. Particular Germans recognise the scheme and are always pleased to see a lovely bathing area. I will certainly make clear, that the changes are purely in the council system and not on the beach! Renate Davie
  • Score: 0

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