Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, is backing a new UK-based campaigning group committed to addressing river pollution.
River Action is calling on the UK and Welsh Governments to double their respective regulatory agencies’ environmental protections budgets at the next Spending Review in order to tackle the crisis.
The campaign was founded and is chaired by Charles Watson, and is supported by an expert advisory board including George Monbiot, Feargal Sharkey, Lord Randall, Ruth Chambers (Green Alliance) and Amy Slack (Surfers Against Sewage).
Every single river in England is now polluted beyond legal limits, leaving England ranged worst in Europe for bathing water quality in 2020. 60% of freshwater species are also now in decline.
Despite these stark figures, Government funding for the Environment Agency has fallen by more than 70% in real terms over the past decade. River Action are calling on the UK and Welsh Governments to double environmental protection budgets for regulatory agencies in England and Wales, at an estimated cost of £60m annually. A public petition based on the campaign has been signed almost 40,000 times in its first two weeks.
Gwynne’s support for the campaign follows on from a recent scientific study in 2019 which showed that an area of the Tame Riverbed was identified as having the highest recorded level of plastic pollution in the world.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I’m very pleased to be supporting this campaign. Our local environment is so precious and needs to be protected.
I have seen in my own constituency the effect that untreated wastewater released by water companies has on our rivers. The Government cannot continue to cut funding for the Environment Agency and expect the problem to solve itself. We need to see a massive increase in budgets and regulatory powers so that we can tackle this problem.
I would encourage everyone across Denton and Reddish to support this campaign. We cannot allow our rivers and species to continue to be destroyed.”
To add your name to the petition, click here.