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The official website of the

West Oxfordshire branch

of the

Green Party of England and Wales.

 

 

Serving members, supporters and citizens in the towns and villages around West Oxfordshire, including the following wards:

 

  • Alvescot and Filkins
  • Ascott and Shipton
  • Bampton and Clanfield
  • Brize Norton and Shilton
  • Burford
  • Carterton North West
  • Carterton South  
  • Chadlington and Churchill
  • Charlbury and Finstock
  • Chipping Norton
  • Ducklington
  • Eynsham and Cassington
  • Freeland and Hanborough
  • Hailey, Minster Lovell and Leafield
  • Kingham, Rollright and Enstone
  • Milton under Wychwood
  • North Leigh
  • Standlake, Aston and Stanton Harcourt
  • Stonesfield and Tackley
  • The Bartons
  • Witney Central
  • Witney East
  • Witney North
  • Witney South
  • Witney West
  • Woodstock and Bladon

 

 

 

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RAW SEWAGE IN ALL OUR RIVERS!!!!! – more than 400,000 times in 2020[i] [ii] !!!

Raw sewage was pumped into English rivers for more than 3 MILLION hours last year.

And what’s the Government’s reaction? [iii]   Its “making a plan that will be ready by September 2022”!  [iv]  

This is more a cynical PR stunt, by the Conservative Party, in the run up to the local elections, than a solution.

 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, we don’t want any more sewage in our rivers. After a decade of pollution why isn’t there already a plan being implemented? 

Sewage pollution of our rivers

What we need, right now, is for the Environment Agency to be given the resources and freedom, by their paymasters, to prosecute - not cornered  into ignoring pollution offences. 

 

ALL ENGLISH RIVERS FAILED to meet quality tests for pollution last year due to sewage discharges and agricultural and industrial chemicals entering the water system.

 

Data published in September last year revealed that 96% of English rivers are not “of good ecological standard”[v] and this year it likely to be even worse.

LET’S NOT BE FOOLED BY THE GOVERNMENT’s announcements in January, about creating a “Storm Overflows Taskforce” (a quango dominated by the Government experts and the Water Industry) with the duty of producing a plan by 2022.   

 

The fact is that they already have the law to act NOW, but have decided, years ago, to let the water industry get away with polluting for profit and they will continue to do so until a new plan is devised, by September 2022, then is accepted by Government and eventually starts to be implemented.  The next general election will be on the horizon by the time they get round to actually doing anything!!!! That inevitably will be used as another propaganda opportunity!!!

In the meantime progressively more housing developments will be built on green fields by property developers chasing excessive profits, while they can. Every development adds new pressures on the already overloaded sewerage systems and if they are built in the wrong place they create even more flooding.

 

Climate change is here, we will have more and more flooding events, but as our MP admitted “water infrastructure has not kept pace with development growth”  - chasing after housing targets set by his own party. 

Thames Water sewage spillages into Rivers in 2020

Unless there is a change of power, locally, the problem will get worse before it gets better. In West Oxfordshire and at County Level that change of power is within your grasp when you vote in May. It’s time to tell the Government that is not acceptable to continue to let water companies make our Rivers into open sewers.  According to a recent DEFRA report [vi]  West Oxfordshire has some of the worst and persistent sewage spillages in the whole of the Thames Valley.

Town Councillor for Witney North, Andrew Prosser has called for community control over management of the river and its water resources. Through the Windrush Catchment Partnership, which includes Thames Water and the Environment Agency, he is pushing for joined-up action.


One of the main causes of the shocking discharge of raw sewage into the Windrush is that too much floodwater is getting into the sewage treatment plant due to a poorly maintained drainage system designed for a much smaller population being overwhemed by existing developments.  Andrew is calling for a new sewage treatment works for Witney, fit for the 21st century.

 

We need councillors at all levels of Local government who will stand up against housing developers and water companies. Councillors who will insist that ALL the necessary infrastructure for the housing development is in place before housing development can begin.

 

YOU CAN RELY UPON GREEN COUNCILLORS to do exactly that.

 

On May 6th (or in your postal vote) make sure you only vote for Councillors who will insist on:

NO MORE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WRONG PLACES

and

NO HOUSING WITHOUT THE FULL INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE BEFORE THEY START.

 

 

[i] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/31/water-firms-discharged-raw-sewage-into-english-waters-400000-times-last-year

[ii] https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56590219 

[iii] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/measures-to-reduce-harm-from-storm-overflows-to-be-made-law

 

[iv] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/29/minister-pledges-new-laws-to-cut-dumping-of-raw-sewage-in-uk-rivers

 

[v] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/17/rivers-in-england-fail-pollution-tests-due-to-sewage-and-chemicals

 

[vi] https://environment.data.gov.uk/dataset/21e15f12-0df8-4bfc-b763-45226c16a8ac 

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