Liberal Democrats call for protected status for rivers in Mid Sussex after sewage dumped 664 times in 2023

4 Jun 2024
Alison Bennett outside Goddards Green WTW

The Liberal Democrats have called for a new protected status for local rivers and marine protected areas, after shocking figures reveal that Southern Water dumped sewage 664 times in Mid Sussex in 2023.

Analysis of official data from the Environment Agency by the party shows that Southern Water discharged sewage in Mid Sussex’s waterways for a staggering 6,185 hours in 2023.

In an effort to tackle sewage dumping, the Liberal Democrats have announced a massive expansion of marine protected areas and a new Blue Flag status for rivers will be included in the party’s general election manifesto. The introduction of Blue Flag status would set legally binding targets to prevent sewage dumping in those sites, giving special protected status for swimmers and wildlife. 

Mid Sussex’s Liberal Democrats have led the way in campaigning against sewage dumping in the area and nationally the party recently announced plans to abolish Ofwat, introducing a new regulator with greater powers, which follows its plans for a ban on water company executive bonuses.

Alison Bennett, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mid Sussex, said:

“Mid Sussex’s precious rivers and streams have been ruined after years of a Conservative government letting water firms get away with environmental vandalism.

“It is time we got tough on polluting and profiteering water firms, yet Conservative MPs have stood by whilst swimmers have become ill and wildlife killed by sewage discharges. 

“This scandal has to end. The Conservative party has failed to protect swimmers and wildlife. 

“The Liberal Democrats will have the boldest manifesto on cleaning up our rivers and coastlines. Families should be free to swim safely in the knowledge that our waters are not polluted with sewage.”


Dats source:

Liberal Democrat analysis of Environment Agency data of sewage discharges in bathing water sites can be found here.

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