South Oxfordshire District Council’s Thames Champion, Cllr Jo Robb, is calling on two Oxfordshire MPs to support a bill to improve UK waterways.
Last month South Oxfordshire District Council passed a motion calling for more stringent water testing and reduced pollution to make the Thames and its tributaries ‘safe for all’.
Now Cllr Robb, who brought the motion, has written to John Howell, MP for Henley, and David Johnston, MP for Wantage. In her letter she has outlined her role as our Thames Champion, looking at ways of improving the water quality in the Thames. Jo is a keen river swimmer and was part of the Henley Mermaid team that swam the Channel in June.
She calls on the MPs to support Philip Dunne MP’s Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill which will have its second reading in Parliament on 15 January 2021.
The Bill is the result of joint working by Mr Dunne and groups including Surfers Against Sewage, The Rivers Trust, The Angling Trust, Windrush Against Sewage Pollution and others.
It will improve transparency and monitoring of the impact of sewage spillage on water quality, require separate surface and foul water drainage systems from new infrastructure and housing development, encourage nature-based solutions for water treatment, prohibit use of plastics in flushable products, require water meters in homes and promote improvements in bathing water standards for inland waters and rivers.
Cllr Robb says: “Our sewage system is facing untold pressure from climate change and population growth and it’s our rivers that are suffering. The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill is an important step towards ending sewage pollution and cleaning up our rivers. I hope our MPs will join the growing number of cross-party MPs supporting this Bill.”
She added that residents can join the campaign to #EndSewagePollution here.