More Feargal Sharkeys needed to combat sewage says Tim Farron

Gloucester Live reports:

Water companies should be forced to give local environmentalists a “seat at the table” of their management boards to combat sewage dumps, the Liberal Democrats have said…

By forcing water firms to accept local environmentalists onto their management boards, the public will be able to hold them to account, the Lib Dems said. “Local groups will hear first hand how bad the problem is from water companies and be able to release the details to the public,” the party said.

The Lib Dems said the move is inspired by the former frontman of the Undertones, Feargal Sharkey, who has campaigned to clean up Britain’s waterways. Mr Farron said: “It is time to name and shame water companies for their disgusting sewage dumps in our rivers.

“Local environmental groups should have a seat at the table to stop water companies trying to get away with outrageous damage to wildlife habitats and popular swimming spots. The campaign to save our rivers from sewage has captured the public’s attention like nothing I’ve seen in years.

“We have to thank Feargal Sharkey for that. I want to see a Feargal on the board of every water company, ensuring this scandal ends once and for all.”

Earlier, on the same theme, The Guardian reported:

It may seem an unlikely electoral secret weapon, but as the Liberal Democrats gather for their spring conference this weekend, polls and canvassing have highlighted an issue the party hopes can help secure soft Tory votes: sewage in rivers.

Described by one official as the rural equivalent of air quality in cities, the problem of privatised water companies discharging raw sewage has, Lib Dems say, become electorally toxic for the government, and could push more Conservative-held seats the party’s way.

The conference, which will be online apart from a speech by the leader, Ed Davey, is the party’s first gathering since its stunning win in December’s North Shropshire byelection, a result that the Lib Dems say means they can target Tory constituencies beyond “blue wall” commuter belt areas.

Read the rest of the story here.

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