Save Our Rivers: Liberal Democrats call for Sewage Tax on river polluters

Oldham’s Liberal Democrat councillors have called on government ministers to tax water companies responsible for over 750,000 sewage dumps over the last two years.

Last year the Environment Agency found that every river in England suffered from pollution. All local rivers including the Beal, Irk, Medlock and Tame rivers failed the most recent chemical pollution tests carried out by the agency.

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader and Leader of the Opposition councillor Howard Sykes MBE said, “It’s despicable that the Conservative government has allowed these harmful sewage dumps to happen in the first place. The very least a responsible government would do is to make these polluting companies pay for the clean-up. This pollution has a lasting effect on eco-systems for aquatic, bird and insect life not to mention the effect on people who live by our watercourses, or who visit them for recreational reasons.”

“The Liberal Democrats successfully brought a motion to Oldham Council in November committing Oldham Borough to tackling river pollution. But we need Ministers in London to stand up to the big water companies and others who ride roughshod over our local environment.

Howard Sykes, looking out across Shaw

“There are a number of things the government could choose to do to tackle pollution. Restoring Environment Agency funding would be a start, but we need a Sewage Tax on companies that continually harm our rivers and waterways. They aren’t going to stop unless the government makes it painful for them to continue.”

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