§ Mr. Llew Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the national beach awards made by the Tidy Britain Group.
§ Mr. Yeo
The seaside awards scheme was introduced by the Tidy Britain group (TGB) in 1992. It recognises beaches which have attained high standards of facilities, management, beach cleanliness and the water quality requirements of the Bathing Water Directive (76/160/ EEC). At present only those beaches which are entered for the scheme are considered for awards.
My Department supports TBG in its operation of this awards scheme which encourages high standards at both resort and rural beaches. The criteria by which entrants are judged are exacting and in some cases more stringent than for the Blue Flag scheme for resorts.
This year's awards, announced on 3 June, were presented by my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment on 7 June. One hundred and thirty-three beaches received awards compared with 94 last year.