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No Blue Flag? We're not bothered!

PUBLISHED: 11:25 14 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 30 June 2010

Not one of the borough's beaches will be flying a Blue Flag this year - but tourism officials say they are not bothered and didn't apply for them anyway.

Not one of the borough's beaches will be flying a Blue Flag this year - but tourism officials say they are not bothered and didn't apply for them anyway.

Alan Carr head of tourism at Great Yarmouth Borough Council said this week that he doubted the worth of the flags and Quality Coast Awards that relied in part on out-of-date water quality tests that were easily skewed.

The awards are said to act as a guarantee to tourists that beaches are clean and well managed. Mr Carr however questioned their usefulness and said the money and time spent on the laborious task of applying for the awards was better diverted to actually managing the beaches.

He added the council was eligible to apply but was not convinced the public set any store by the flags. “Gorleston beach is arguably one of the best beaches in the UK - if the sun shines it's full, if it's cold its not,” he said.

“The criteria are about beach management which we adhere too, going above and beyond what they ask for anyway. It's quite expensive to apply and the results rely on data that is gathered the year before and can be easily skewed with one or two flooding incidents - which means they do not really reflect what happens on a day to day basis. Water quality is a small part of it - it's about how the beach is managed.”

Meanwhile neighbouring Lowestoft received two awards for its beaches north and south of Claremont Pier. Sea Palling will also be able to wave the quality mark following the announcement by Keep Britain Tidy this week.

In total 71 Blue Flags were award in England, 11 in the East of England, and 111 beaches received Quality Coast Awards - 18 in this region. Great Yarmouth central beach and Gorleston beach were awarded QCA's last year but did not reapply.

Keep Britain Tidy's chief executive Phil Barton said the quality of the county's beaches was even more important at the moment with the rise in popularity of so-called “staycations”.

He said: “As more and more people decide to swap trips abroad for the convenience of holidays at home, they are discovering a renewed love for our glorious coastline and quality resorts.”


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