Liberal Democrat councillors in Ealing and Brent have raised their concerns over pollution that is being seen and smelt in the River Brent by writing to Thames Water chief executive Sarah Bentley and letting her know that they want firm action to be taken.
The four councillors, Cllr Anton Georgiou, leader of Brent Liberal Democrats, Cllr Gary Malcolm, leader of the opposition, Ealing Council, Cllr Anthena Zissimos, councillor for Hanger Hill ward and Cllr Hannah Matin, councillor for Alperton ward have also contacted the Environment Agency so that action can be taken.
“In addition to writing to Thames Water, this letter will be copied to the Environment Agency who we believe must begin the process of enforcement action, as you have failed in your duty to protect the River Brent for so long.”
The Lib Dem councillors join with local environmental group and residents across Ealing who have raised concern over recent pollution being seen and smelt in the River Brent. Local campaining group Clean Up The River Brent (CURB) has highlighted concerns and issued a message of “Save the eels of Ealing!” yesterday (20 September 2022) in a tweet.
Over the last couple of days, locals have noticed unusual smells and debris in the river and have reached out to Thames Water to investigate.
Ben Morris, founder of local campaign group CleanUptheRiverBrent (CURB), told the i newspaper: “The eels have a very high tolerance for low oxygen rivers. They are used to living at the bottom of silty sludgy rivers. If they come up to the top, that means there is serious problem. This is a tide of death going down this much-loved river.”
Musician and environmental campaigner Feargal Sharkey has added his concerns to what has happened in the River Brent by tweeting a message to raise awareness following a recent tweet from CURB to get help from the Environment Agency to come down and investigate.
I've taken the liberty.
Hopefully this close up will help them understand what's going on. pic.twitter.com/J49sGO7HF5
— Feargal Sharkey (@Feargal_Sharkey) September 20, 2022
Ealing Green Party chair Neil Reynolds told EALING.NEWS: “The problem of polluted waterways and seas around the country, has increased in recent months because of the Conservative’s cavalier attitude the environment and lax regulation of water companies. The events of recent days shows that Hanwell and Southall is no exception, with species such as eels particularly badly hit.”
Mr Reynolds added: “There should be enforcement orders on companies like Thames Water to clean their own mess up. In the long-run the failed privatisation overseen by Conservative, coalition and Labour governments needs to be ended.”
A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We have received reports of a sewage discharge into the River Brent. Our network engineers are on site and believe this to be a third-party discharge due to a misconnection. Our team has stopped the discharge and will be investigating further.”