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Lifeguard Cutting Plan Revealed

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7:19am 15th September 2014
(Updated 7:19am 15th September 2014)

Cornwall's lifeguards escape the axe - just.

It is revealed the council considered cutting RNLI funding for beach patrols.

It is as official look at how to save £200m.

The scheme was thrown out - so will not happen in the next four years.

If it had gone through it would have saved around £1.23m, with the council planning to ask the National Trust to stump up more money instead.

Officials working on the plan warned of "potential adverse political and public opinion and an adverse impact on public safety on soem beaches if the RNLI were to reduce services in line with the withdrawal of the grant. Whilst the service is not a statutory service there may be an impact on tourism."

Last year lifeguards rescued 872 people on Perranporth alone, with another 466 at Gwithian.

Dickon Berriman is a lifeguard manager for the RNLI in the Duchy. He said: "Having such well looked after beaches is actually an attraction for people to come to Cornwall - and lifeguarding is a part of that. If we start eroding that then we start potentially eroding why people come here in the first place.

"For me, personally, growing up through surf lifesaving clubs and lifeguarding, the service is absolutely vital. Our beaches are our lifeblood. I would be very, very nervous to see unlifeguarded beaches in Cornwall."

7:19am 15th September 2014

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