Shrewsbury river pollution protestors to cause stink ahead of water boss's talk

River pollution protestors are aiming to cause a stink at a demonstration outside Shirehall on Monday night - as a water company boss prepares to address Shrewsbury Town Council.

Up Sewage Creek campaigners unhappy about sewage being discharged into the River Severn
Up Sewage Creek campaigners unhappy about sewage being discharged into the River Severn

Campaigners from Up Sewage Creek are due to be waiting outside in "poo hats" and other regalia ahead of a meeting, at which Severn Trent managing director James Jesic will discuss issues affecting the River Severn in Shrewsbury.

The protest group has been campaigning against the issue of raw sewage being dumped in the River Severn since late last year. They have held demonstrations including a march along the river in which they banged drums and carried placards with slogans including 'Stop the Poonami'.

After that protest, Claire Kirby, a spokesperson for the group, said: “As Shrewsbury residents, we’re fed up of seeing our beautiful river, and the footpaths around it, ruined by human excrement and sanitary waste.

"The Severn is the jewel in Shrewsbury’s crown and loads of people, including children, swim, canoe and paddleboard on it. So why are we letting Severn Trent Water treat it like a toilet? Since privatisation in 1991, water company shareholders have made £57 billion in dividends, while failing to fix our Victorian sewer system. We have had enough."

Mr Jesic has prepared a presentation in which he will tell councillors and others in attendance that rivers are improving overall, but "we need to ramp up the pace".

He will tell the meeting that the water sector has cut serious pollution by 90 per cent in the last 30 years, but there are still too few rivers with "good" status regarding pollution.

Severn Trent says its plans to improve rivers involves £12bn investment in improving the overall sewerage system and £566m to alleviate flooding.

Among ways "we can all play our part" in helping clean up rivers, Mr Jesic will say, is making sure new housing developments are water efficient, supporting regenerative farming, banning sewer-blocking plastic wet wipes, and promoting sustainable drainage for roads. He will also explain why the River Severn has "bad" and "moderate" ratings in some areas of Shrewsbury.

The town council meeting starts at 6pm.

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