We have received final notification from the international Blue Flag jury that despite our ongoing conversations with them, a number of beaches across Gwynedd, Anglesey and Conwy will not be awarded a Blue Flag for the 2022 bathing season.
The beaches in question have achieved the highest environmental standards that are required by Blue Flag. However, the international jury have reinforced the decision that on beaches where there are an average of more than 50 beach users a day over a period of 4 weeks during the high season and where there are no lifeguards provided, then a safety risk assessment must be carried out by a recognised professional independent assessor or by a Full Member organisation of the International Life Saving Federation (ILS). Therefore, a safety risk assessment made in-house by the Blue Flag applicant is deemed non-compliant with the Blue Flag criteria.
In previous years, applications for Blue Flag were approved with reference to robust risk assessments that were undertaken by competent, trained internal risk assessors. However, despite the submission of additional supporting information, the 2022 applications were not approved by the International Jury as they did not adequately address the requirement for an independent assessment.
All parties involved recognise that achieving these criteria is an important element in ensuring that the standards of excellence which underpin the Blue Flag award for over 5,000 Blue Flag beaches around the world are maintained. Conversations will continue to outline, in a full and timely manner, all future Blue Flag requirements to ensure that beaches in North West Wales meet these criteria.