Politicians come to SAS for solutions

Senior members of political parties have been reaching out to find out how they can deal with the sewage pollution sh*t show. Luckily for them, we have just the solution.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had multiple meetings with senior representatives of the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats to talk about all things sewage pollution. This came about following the revelation that water companies discharged sewage over 471,000 times into waterways last year. It’s clear that the status quo isn’t working. Politicians need to do more to stop the pollution that enters our rivers and seas on a daily basis.

Our CEO, Giles Bristow, has met with Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, and Henry Swithinbank, Policy and Advocacy Manager at SAS, met with Toby Perkins, the Shadow Minister for Nature and Rural Affairs, to discuss our calls for all political parties to adopt ahead of the upcoming general election. The calls are set out in the End Sewage Pollution Manifesto – a 5-point plan produced alongside water users and water lovers from across the UK, outlining what the future government will need to do to end sewage pollution for good. 

Both visits saw the senior politicians head to a beach. Shadow Minister Toby Perkins visited Trevaunance Cove, SAS HQ’s local beach. As well as learning more about the manifesto, local volunteers and staff spoke to him about the impact the pollution at the beach has had on them. They showed him the water quality testing they are doing to better understand the risks they face when entering the water and hold water companies to account.

Ed Davey, on the other hand, had a tour around Giles’ local swim spot, West Bay in Dorset, where they discussed the Manifesto, the impact sewage has on water users and water lovers across the UK, and how politicians can help. Both politicians were interested in learning so much about the impact sewage is having on people along the coast and agreed to support our calls to End Sewage Pollution once and for all. This is a brilliant step which we will continue to hold them to as we move towards the general election and in the years to come.

Henry, Policy and Advocacy Manager, talks to Toby Perkins, Labour Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs.

The swell of campaigning and public interest in sewage pollution over the past few years means that the upcoming general election will be one of our best chances to finally end the exploitation of waterways and force the incoming government to act. It is because of the local campaigning happening across the UK that the senior members of political parties are coming to us to learn what they can do. We’re calling, from the beachfront to the front benches, for politicians to listen to people across the country and use their power to finally put an end to this mess.

Keep an eye out for how you can demand action from the political candidates in your area very soon.

Read more about the manifesto here.