Labour’s parliamentary candidate in North West Leicestershire, Cllr Amanda Hack, has expressed concerns over a new report, which finds that none of the rivers and brooks in the constituency are in good health.

The latest ‘State of our Rivers’ report published last week by the Rivers Trust, a conservation charity, reveals that rivers across England are blighted by sewage, chemical and plastic pollution. A grim summary concludes that ‘our rivers are not healthy – far from it’. The situation has not improved since the Trust last reported in 2021, despite assurances that action is being taken to clean up our rivers.

Ibstock Brook, which feeds the River Sence, and Long Whatton Brook, which feeds the River Soar, are both given ‘Poor’ ratings – indicating that these waterways have undergone major changes because of human activity with measurable impact on wildlife and restrictions to their use.

Cllr Hack said:

“I am grateful to campaigning organisations like The Rivers Trust, who tirelessly investigate and expose the true state of our waterways. Last year, I was shocked to learn that 46% of England’s rivers and brooks are affected by sewage pollution. This prompted me to look more closely at the state of things locally.

Sewage dumping was getting worse at six out of ten locations. Discharges at Packington and Kegworth had more than doubled. Untreated human waste was poured directly into Ibstock Brook for 945 hours– a more than threefold increase since 2020. The situation is also deteriorating at Severn Trent sites in Snarestone, Swannington and Thringstone.

In total, 1,263 sewage dumping incidents were recorded across North West Leicestershire in 2022, with the discharges continuing for almost 12,000 hours – or 500 days!

These new findings signal that things are not improving. The Conservatives are giving the privatised water companies free rein to pollute and neglect vital infrastructure.

Our beautiful natural environment is one of the things people love most about Britain. A Labour government will clean things up by introducing mandatory monitoring of sewage outlets, automatic fines for sewage discharges, and a standing charge penalty for outlets without monitoring.

If elected in North West Leicestershire, I will vigorously support these measures to tackle sewage dumping in our waterways and demand action against the polluters.”

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