CAMPAIGNERS will meet with the United Utilities boss Louise Beardmore to discuss water pollution in their village after sewage spilled onto their streets. 

The water company will meet with representatives from Staveley with Ings Parish Council, the local community and the Clean River Kent Campaign on Wednesday in Staveley Village Hallfrom 12.30pm to 6pm. 

This meeting was meant to happen in September last year but was postponed to now. 

Parish councillor Arthur Capstick said: "The issue of sewage on the streets has been going on for years in this village - so far there has been insufficient action to deal with it." 

Clean River Kent campaign claims that there have been 66 discharges of raw sewage onto the streets of Staveley from 2015 to end of 2023. 

United Utilities will discuss plans at the meeting for proposed improvements to the local wastewater treatment works. They have committed to these improvements being completed by 2030 at the latest, the campaigners say. 

This will reduce a currently unspecified volume of sewage into the River Kent. The Clean River Kent group said that a total of 4,064 hours of untreated sewage was discharged into the River Kent during 2022, the equivalent of 169 continuous days and nights. 

Under current legislation, water companies are allowed to discharge raw sewage in times of exceptional rainfall to prevent the system from being overloaded with water. Staveley has a combined system which takes in freshwater and adds pressure to the system, residents argue. 

READ MORE HERE: Clean River Kent meeting with United Utilities postponed

“We understand that this is a matter of great importance to the Clean River Kent Group and we share their aims for a cleaner environment. We welcome the opportunity to discuss our investment plans with the group and the local parish council,” a United Utilities spokesperson said. 

Isobel Stoddart, chair of Clean River Kent Campaign said, United Utilities say that they want to work in partnership with local communities to deliver solutions to decades of underinvestment in our sewage systems.

"However, after years of inaction from United Utilities, the proof will be in the commitments they now make – they need to prove that they mean what they say and come to the meeting with costed plans with facts and figures showing how they intend to achieve a Clean River and Clean Streets.”

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