Penarth’s pristine strand of sand (left) is kept clean by local beach wardens and conscientious residents. On the right is what the heavily-polluted “Blue Flag” beach at Barry Island looked like in July last year. …But thanks to the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council, it was Barry – not Penarth – which was chosen  for the Blue Flag beach-quality award.  Penarth wasn’t even considered.

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).

A family enjoying a swim at Penarth Beach in July last year – but there’s no data on local water quality

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 “charityKeep 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.

A youth “tombstones” from the Marina’s steps

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.

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  1. Dizzydeb says:

    I pick up cans,bottles and fishing line nearly every time I go to PENARTH beach. Where is the bin at the sailing club entrance to the beach, where is the huge sign reminding people to take their rubbish away with them and why. This is basic stuff and I can’t believe the budget that is being spent on keeping Wales tidy!!

  2. snoggerdog says:

    i salute you dizzydeb.

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