Following concern raised by local residents surrounding the important issue of raw sewage ruining the River Medway, the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group used the tool of a Members Item to discuss solutions to this and to directly question Southern Water themselves.

This Members Item was part of last Thursday’s Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting of Medway Council.

After our discussions with Southern Water, we are able to confirm that the following will be taking place:

– A commitment to end outflow releases by 2040 

– Pilot scheme on data + web scoreboards; ensure residents aware of outflows 

– Engagement with local plan process + future-proofing

– Further study on nutrient outflow impacts on tidal ecosystems

Cllr Tristan Osborne, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Spokesperson for Community Safety said:

“The issue of raw sewage polluting our waterways has drawn a lot of attention in the Kent and Medway area, hence our decision to call this Members Item. 

“We were pleased last night to hear from Southern Water themselves as they outlined some of the plans they had to improve their service from this perspective, and we will keep pressuring them to do their utmost to make the kind of investment that prioritises both reducing damage to the River Medway while ensuring that residents’ bills stay as low as possible.”

Cllr Simon Curry, Medway Labour and Co-operative Group Spokesperson on Regeneration, Culture and the Environment added:

“While the Tories are too consumed by infighting to deliver on the priorities of the people of Medway, Labour are leading the way on climate issues locally. We thought it was vital Southern Water would be held to account for pollution in the river, and raised residents’ concerns in the strongest possible terms with them last night.

“This follows us successfully introducing the climate emergency, and also us pressuring the Council into exploring the divestment of their pension funds from fossil fuels into solely sustainable and eco-friendly sources.” 

“We’ll also be having our third public climate change engagement event this week in order to communicate our climate agenda and listen to the priorities of Medway residents. We’re inviting everyone to come along to Nucleus Arts (High Street) at 7pm on Tuesday night.”




Full footage of the Overview and Scrutiny meeting can be found here

More background information on us calling this Members item 

River Medway Damage Highlighted On World Water Day

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