Application 'slip-up' results in Blue Flag losses in Cornwall

Carbis Bay. Pic: Keep Britain Tidy Carbis Bay is now the only beach in the county with a current Blue Flag

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A "slip-up" meant three Cornwall Council-owned beaches did not get Blue Flags this year, tourism bosses said.

Blue Flag is a Keep Britain Tidy award for beaches that meet the highest standards.

Bids for Porthtowan, Gyllyngavse and Polzeath were not submitted for this year because of staffing issues, Visit Cornwall head Malcolm Bell said.

The council said it would work with local communities to help them make applications themselves in future.

Blue Flags are awarded for beaches that meet the highest standards of water quality, management, cleanliness and safety.

'European standard'

Malcolm Bell said: "It was a slip-up.

"We had to make some cuts in 2011 and, unfortunately, the experts who did all that work, amongst other work, went.

"We did the drop the ball but it wasn't any objective decision not to apply."

The application process is usually led by Visit Cornwall.

Local people submitted the application themselves for Carbis Bay, and that is now the only beach in the county with a current Blue Flag.

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council cabinet member for the environment, said the authority would work with Visit Cornwall, town and parish councils and communities on the best way to approach Blue Flag bids in the future.

She said: "I want to empower communities if they want to apply, so we give them tools and the expertise to enable them to do that.

"If communities think it's important, we need to support that. Blue Flags are a European standard."

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