River water quality investigation group’s recommendations
A group of Shropshire Councillors are to deliver their findings following an investigation into river water quality in Shropshire, and options to help make improvements in the county.
The cross-party task and finish group are making nine recommendations to the council and to the wider system of groups and organisations who are involved in helping to improve river water quality.
These include to Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency, to community groups who are campaigning for bathing water status, and to citizen scientists who help test and monitor water quality.
They also make some recommendations to Shropshire Council as a place leader and as the planning highways authority.
Members of the group have sought learning from areas of the country where progress has been made including from Ilkley Clean River Group, Windrush Against Sewage Pollution, Philip Dunne MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee at Westminster, as well as Surfers against Sewage, Shropshire campaigners for bathing water status, and council staff.
Kate Halliday, Chair of the Task and Finish group, said:-
“This is an issue that the group feels very strongly about, and we know that this is also the case in Shropshire communities.
“We want to see a real difference over the coming months and years, and have deliberately taken a balanced, constructive approach and carefully developed our recommendations around what we understand works.
“This isn’t the end of the work to ensure that river water quality improves. There are changes that we will want to see made, and further answers to questions we have asked that will be pursued.
“A personal positive for me from our work has been the confirmation of the support from Shropshire Council for the applications for bathing water status in Shropshire.”
Joyce Barrow, Chair of the council’s Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:-
“I would like to thank Kate Halliday for her leadership on this work and the real passion, from all members of the task and finish group, that has resulted in the report and its well thought through recommendations.
“I believe this is just the beginning of holding the key organisations, including Severn Trent Water and the Environment Agency. to account, protecting the public from harmful releases and seeing the health of our rivers improving, with the benefits to nature and the environment this will bring.”
The report will come before the council’s Economy and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 9 November 2023.