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Cornwall's Blue Flag Beaches

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2:44pm 22nd May 2013
(Updated 2:44pm 22nd May 2013)

Life is a beach in Cornwall.

Five stretches of sand in the Duchy have kept their Blue Flags.

Polzeath, Porthtowan, Gyllyngvase at Falmouth, Carbis Bay and Porthmeor at St Ives are flying the flags in 2013, but Porthminster has been stripped of the coveted status and none of our beaches were given the Seaside Awards.

Across the UK, Keep Britain Tidy awarded 55 Blue Flags, down from 79 in 2012.

The charity says this year's entrants had to meet an even stricter water quality standard to qualify for the coveted, globally recognised award.

Operations Director Richard McIlwain said: "It is fantastic news for everyone who loves visiting the seaside that 147 places will be flying a flag that guarantees the public the best facilities and the cleanest beaches this summer.

"Keep Britain Tidy campaigns to improve the quality of our local environment and we know that communities up and down the country love their beaches and understand what an asset they are for their towns' economies. We also know that cleaner beaches can be a focal point for stronger communities. Holidaymakers and daytrippers want to visit clean, safe beaches and the sight of the Blue Flag or Seaside Award flying gives them the reassurance that they will."

Andy Cummings from St Agnes group Surfers Against Sewage is welcoming tougher standards: "Not only do they support a lot of income, it generates a lot of money for the south-west. It's so important to residents of the south-west as well. We all love our beaches, let's try and make sure we can enjoy them in as cleaner state as possible."

Meantime Pirate FM has learnt more south-west beaches are failing basic clean water checks.

Latest European tests show 16 were not good enough including Wherry Town at Mount's Bay, Bude Summerleaze, Seaton and East Looe.

South West Euro-MP Graham Watson said: "Only six beaches in every ten were rated as excellent, and since we aim to be the UK's number one tourist destination, that's not good enough. Four beaches in ten that are not excellent quality, that needs to be improved.

"A lot depends on run-off from land, we have a number of very fast flowing rivers, particularly on the south coast, that has an impact. But we ought to be able to be getting better results given the investment that has gone in."

2:44pm 22nd May 2013

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