Lib Dems call for protected status for rivers in Woking after sewage dumped over 600 times in 2023 

3 Jun 2024
Will Forster

The Liberal Democrats have called for a new protected status for local rivers and marine protected areas, after shocking figures reveal that Thames Water dumped sewage 609 times in 2023. 

Analysis of official data from the Environment Agency by the party shows that Thames Water discharged sewage in waterways in and around Woking for a staggering 11,289 hours in 2023. 

In an effort to tackle sewage dumping, the Lib Dems 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.  

Will Forster and the Lib Dems 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. 

Will Forster, Lib Dem candidate for Woking, said: 

“Woking’s precious rivers and streams have been destroyed 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 now.  The Conservative Party has failed to protect swimmers and wildlife.” 

“The Lib Dems 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.” 

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