The lighting of fires and rubbish left on Gyllyngvase Beach is being taken 'very, very seriously' but needs a multi-agency approach to tackle it, members of Falmouth Town Council have been told.

In his report to full council on Monday, town centre manager Richard Gates said it was a 'serious, serious concern' and it had been 'really, really bad' at the weekend.

"We are only in April at the moment," he said. "Yes, OK we've just come out of lockdown but my concern is that it was really, really bad at the weekend and previous times as well before that.

"You know that I am a positive person but my concern is that it is only going to get worse or it's going to get more and more consistent. So it's how we approach that. I don't have all the answers as there are various catch-ups and meetings and appointments, with Kirsty from Plastic Free working really hard to collect things.

There is still a problem with fires down on Gyllyngvase Beach

There is still a problem with fires down on Gyllyngvase Beach

"There's been all sorts of issues down there, it's not just been the beach, but the beach has been the predominant place it has happened.

"Yes, we have got the Covid marshalls, the fire station mentioned Covid restrictions until the 17th when the fire brigade can be out and about but there are a lot of fires down there and general safety, so it's absolutely imperative there should be a real focus on it. I am sure everybody will agree with that and to find out what we can do.

"It's not just the town council, it's everyone and anyone. There was a huge amount of work with all the fun and games we have with the council toilets.

"People think it was the council's choice to close the toilets when it wasn't because everyone's worked as hard as possible so we could get those toilets opened as soon as possible. It's a service to the community and that's just one example of all the other things that are happening."

He added: "It's being taken extremely seriously but we need a joint approach right the way through the summer.

"It's gotta come from an approach from so many different places. It is very much Cornwall Council's beach but with a collective approach from all of the things that we are doing we can make a difference down there."

There is still a problem with fires down on Gyllyngvase Beach

There is still a problem with fires down on Gyllyngvase Beach

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Earlier firefighter Sophie Douglas from Falmouth Fire Station told councillors they cannot patrol the beaches at night until May 17 when restrictions are lifted.

"Last year we did the patrols and used to go down to the beaches at night," she said. "If people were having fires without using the proper barbecue we'd ask them to put it out but, because of Covid, we're not able to leave the station for anything apart from a shout, so we can't do that. But, as soon as we able to, I am sure we will start to do those beach patrols again."

In his report Falmouth mayor Steve Eva said the problems with fires and litter on Gyllyngvase Beach didn’t seem to be getting any better.

“There are several people trying to help out, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better," he said.

“Until Cornwall Council takes responsibility for all of their estates we are stuck where we are in an ongoing situation.”

He also reported on the public toilets at Gyllyngvase Beach which had to be closed because of the ‘unbelievable’ amount of concrete in the pipes.

“We don’t know where it’s come from,” he said.

A CCTV survey found the pipes full of builder’s waste.

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