Sewage Scandal - Save Our Rivers in Tonbridge and Malling

22 Feb 2023
River Medway

 Lib Dems Cllr Frani Hoskins and Cllr Garry Bridge brought forward a motion to full council on February 21st noting the appalling statistics for sewage discharges into our rivers. Southern Water is the worst performing company in England and the River Medway and its tributaries in and around Tonbridge are one of the worst affected areas. And yet their CEO is paid huge bonuses and they make vast profits.

We believe that: the UK Government should commit to:

  • Restoring Environment Agency budgets to deliver the necessary oversight.
  • Increasing inspection regularity of water companies and farms, and rigorously prosecuting offenders through the Environmental Audit Committee and OFWAT.
  • Funding local and highways authorities to introduce systems to prevent road pollutants from entering our water courses.
  • Setting more ambitious targets for water companies to improve storm overflows.

We request the Chief Executive write to:

  • The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs calling for the Government to make these commitments.
  • The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee to advocate for greater enforcement of existing regulatory powers.
  • The Chief Executive of Southern water calling for urgent action to address the impact of waste-water discharges on our local rivers.
  • The Regional Director of the National Farmers’ Union requesting clarification on the action being taken locally by farmers to prevent nutrient run-off.
  • The charities River Action and The Rivers Trust expressing this Council’s support for their campaign to restore the health of Britain’s rivers.

We asked that our MPs Tom Tugendhat and Tracey Crouch to be copied into this correspondence and asked for their support.

The motion was proposed by Cllr Frances Hoskins and Seconded by Cllr Garry Bridge. It received the unanimous support of all Councillors.