Open letter from Councillor Tony Parker, Chairman of the Falmouth Beaches Management Group

The Town Council have received representations regarding the behaviour of some users of Gyllyngvase Beach. Whilst the beach and its management is properly in the remit of Cornwall Council, it is incumbent on us all to be respectful of such a fantastic place.

To that end there is a Falmouth Beaches Management Group that was formed to assist and support Cornwall Council and I chair that group.

We met recently with agencies, such as the Fire Brigade, Universities, Police, RNLI and others to consider those representations and there was a shared commitment to working together to the benefit of all beach users.

To be absolutely clear, open fires are not permitted on Gyllyngvase Beach. Barbecues are permitted, but only in the designated area. Barbecues must be disposed of properly.

If people experience anti-social behaviour whilst using our beaches they should report this to the police.

Littering is an offence and Cornwall Council or the Town Council Enforcement Officers can deal with this.

At my request Falmouth Town Council are looking with the support of the University of Exeter, the Student Union (FXU), the Safer Falmouth Initiative and the local councillor Geoffrey Evans, to employ an Environmental Education and Enforcement Officer who will concentrate on the beaches and adjoining green spaces. I hope this role can be quickly implemented.

Signage at the beaches has been reviewed and improved where required. Appropriate messaging to users to be respectful has been, and continues to be relayed through the local media, social media, our Town Guide and via Exeter and Falmouth Universities and their Students Union - FXU.

The Town Team, in conjunction with Plastic Free Falmouth and our active volunteer and residents' groups, do regular beach cleans.

We are reviewing with Cornwall Council the arrangements for refuse and recycling collection. I must say the current beach cleaner engaged by Cornwall Council’s Contractor Biffa, does a fantastic job and should be commended for that, as should the cleansing staff for the Town Council maintained toilets.

If you experience issues when using the beach it is important that you report that. Our beaches are rated as amongst some of the best in the world and I hope through this partnership approach, and by every user respecting the wonderful environment available to them, we all can continue to enjoy them.

Tony Parker

Falmouth Town Councillor