Yet again the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council has decided not to apply for an award of a coveted “Blue Flag” for Penarth Beach.
The council has announced that it has decided only to apply for international Blue Flag flag awards for Whitmore Bay, Barry – and for Penarth Marina, (where swimming is dangerous and prohibited).
It means that once again – even though Penarth beach is used by swimmers – there is no water-quality information available to the general public and no information about pollution or beach cleanliness.
The Vale Council has also announced it is to apply for “Keep Wales Tidy” seaside awards for Southerndown, Cold Knap and Whitmore Bay – but again, not for Penarth Beach.
The Blue Flag Awards are given-out by the Cardiff based tax-payer funded “charity” Keep Wales Tidy . This body is technically a “company limited by guarantee” . The vast majority of its income is derived from public funds and is has a staff and pension payroll costs in excess of £2,000,000 a year. It’s part of the Welsh Labour Government’s long tail of “charity quangos” – the so-called “third-sector alternative economy” which absorbs a substantial proportion of taxpayer’s cash in Wales.
Critics have pointed out that the award of a “Blue Flag” to Penarth Marina – as opposed to Penarth Beach – is grossly misleading for tourists as the marina is clearly not a beach.
Penarth Coastguards have had to intervene in the past to stop teenagers “tombstoning” [ i.e. diving in feet first] into the polluted waters of the Marina which is full of boats all painted below the waterline with poisonous anti-fouling.
Keep Wales Tidy says the water in the Marina “still has to be clean but it’s not monitored as a beach will be”.
It says the Blue Flag was awarded to the Marina because it has “containers for hazardous waste, litter bins, toilet-pumping facilities for visiting boats” [ it actually has no such facility] “good drinking water and promotes of sustainable transport by showing people they don’t need to use their cars.” [ In fact Penarth Quays Marina actually provides about 100 car-parking spaces for its paying customers and uses CCTV to impose penalties on non-customers who park at the quayside].
The sea-water quality at Barry is tested at three different points by Natural Resources Wales – but it carries out no water quality tests at all at Penarth.