Adam Thompson: Labour Party activist

Adam Thompson

Residents against sewer pollution logo

Open letter to Maggie Throup MP on sewage pollution in Erewash

Dear Maggie Throup MP,

I am writing to you, further to the email I sent to you on 17th January 2022, as I have not yet received a response from you regarding the issue that I contacted you about. I have copied the text of that email below, to reiterate the points made, and have summarised some further points I have noted since January at the end of this letter.

Last autumn, you will recall that you and many of your colleagues in the house of commons voted against an amendment to the environment bill, that was meant to stop water companies like Severn Trent from pumping raw sewage into rivers and the ocean. Nationally, raw sewage was allowed to enter our waterways 400,000 times last year, for a total of about 3,100,000 hours.

The choice you made that day has had extensive national consequences, with the BBC reporting as recently as 13th January 2022 that “Raw sewage, microplastics and slurry are coursing through all of England’s rivers, putting health and nature at risk”, as concluded in the recent parliamentary report from the Environmental Audit Committee. The environment minister noted that your Government is currently tackling these issues, but it is clear from your Party’s stance in the autumn that not enough ‘tackling’ is being done.

Locally, the Golden Brook, which flows from Breaston, through West Park and much of Long Eaton towards Attenborough, where it joins the river Erewash, is routinely polluted with raw sewage during heavy rainfall. On Wilsthorpe Road in 2020, the sewer storm overflow spilled into the Golden Brook 12 times for a total of 105 hours, while on Marlborough Road in Breaston, the sewer storm overflow spilled 3 times into the Golden Brook for a total of 3 hours.

West Park in Long Eaton is regularly used to capture flood waters and during heavy storms the park is routinely flooding directly with sewage. Ilkeston fares no better, with untreated sewage entering the Erewash River on 130 occasions for a total of 515 hours in the Ilkeston area.

The proximity of the Golden Brook to the children’s play area in West Park is of particular concern, with flood waters polluting the park substantially during extend periods of flooding. The council has to build thousands of new houses, but the current infrastructure can’t cope, and we’re all going to be here when things go wrong.

In the autumn, you voted for this to continue to happen, and the Conservative-run Erewash Borough Council have done nothing to protect their own parks from sewage pollution.

I ask you to #EndSewagePollution in Erewash. I request, as your constituent, that you work to eradicate the pollution of waterways and parks in Erewash as soon as possible, by working with Erewash Borough Council, your colleagues in parliament and the water companies to end overflow from sewerage systems in the Borough. I would appreciate a response to this request at your earliest convenience.

Since I contacted you in January, I have spoken to a large number of residents in Long Eaton, Ilkeston and the surrounding areas who have generally informed me of their strong feelings regarding this issue, largely in line with my own. I gather a number of other residents have also written to you on this topic, and to my knowledge, have similarly not received a response from you.

The petition to Erewash Borough Council I am leading on this issue has, at the time of writing, gathering a little under 400 signatures from Erewash residents (petition available at the following link: https://chng.it/WwPjZmvk. I recently also held a public meeting to discuss sewage pollution in Erewash, which was attended by various members of our community who expressed anger at the existence of this problem. I hope you understand that this issue is clearly of great importance to residents in our area, and that you can contribute positively toward stopping this significant blight on our community.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss these issues directly, please let me know if such a meeting would be possible.

Kind regards,
Adam Thompson