Liberal Democrats establish County Council Task Group to scrutinise polluters and hold water companies to account for polluting Gloucestershire’s rivers and endangering public safety.

Our county’s rivers are flooded with harmful pollutants, including raw sewage discharged from Gloucestershire’s water companies, Severn Trent, Thames Water and Wessex Water.  Back in 2019, these companies were found to have discharged into English Rivers for a combined 400,000 hours.

Last September, Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats brought a motion to the County Council, calling on it to take urgent action to address pollution in our county’s rivers.  This motion passed resoundingly, supported by councillors from all parties. 

Now, we’re turning up the heat on the county’s biggest polluters, forming a County Council task group that will:

  • Investigate the extent of pollution present in our rivers
  • Investigate the extent of the damage this pollution is having on the ecosystems within our rivers and the safety issue it poses.
  • Scrutinise the activities of water companies and other polluters, and to challenge them to change their behaviour. 
  • Explore the opportunity to create a designated bathing spot in some of Gloucestershire’s rivers to make them safe for the public to enjoy. 

Commenting on the next steps, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, the Lib Dem spokesperson on the Climate Emergency, said:

“We are extremely fortunate to live in a county with such an incredible natural landscape and waterways, yet for decades water companies have been allowed to abuse our rivers to the point that they have destroyed natural habitats and are endangering public health.

“I am extremely pleased that we’re taking the next step and forming a task group to scrutinise their actions, to hold them to account for the dumping of sewage and to challenge them to change their behaviour. 

“This is an exciting opportunity to build back better from this challenging period, because Gloucestershire deserves better than filthy polluted rivers.”

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