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Lib Dems – This election is chance to save Wales’ rivers

THE WELSH LIBERAL DEMOCRATS have stated that this Thursday’s election represents a historic chance to save Welsh rivers. The Party has accused both UK Conservative Ministers and Welsh Government Labour Ministers of neglecting the crisis and allowing water company bosses to go unpunished.

Several of Wales’ rivers are in poor condition having been impacted by the sewage dumping scandal.

Among the worst rivers in Wales is the River Tawe, which runs through Brecon, Radnor & Cwm Tawe and Swansea which is the 10th most sewage-filled in the UK in 2023 with 2,592 spills lasting over 22,776 hours.

Other poorly performing rivers in Wales include:

·       River Severn – sewage dumped for 30,236 hours

·       River Teifi – sewage dumped for 28,371 hours

·       River Usk – sewage dumped for 15,439 hours

·       River Wye – sewage dumped for 13,853 hours

·       River Taff – sewage dumped for 13,593 hours

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have committed to banning executive bonuses for water company bosses, replacing Ofwat with a regulator with real teeth and extending blue flag status from beaches to rivers. They would also boost Natural Resources Wales’ budget by £500,000 a year to increase enforcement and monitoring of sewage spills.

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The bosses of Dwr Cymru (which markets itself as a non-profit) have received over £1 million in bonuses since 2020. Welsh Water also has some of the highest bills in the UK, despite the abundance of fresh water and failure to invest in sewage infrastructure.

Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds on River Wye

Commenting, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

“This Thursday voters have a real chance to stand up for our incredible natural wildlife and environment across Wales.

“A vote for the Welsh Liberal Democrats is a vote to ensure that water companies are no longer allowed to get away with dumping raw sewage into our precious rivers and ripping off customers while doing it.

“Time and time again Welsh Conservative MPs have failed to back votes calling for tougher regulation on Water Companies and sewage dumping.

“Meanwhile I’ve seen first hand in the Senedd, Labour Welsh Government Ministers who refuse to accept their responsibility for Dwr Cymru.

“Labour has cut Natural Resources Wales budget multiple times, leaving it with fewer and fewer resources to monitor sewage pollution. They have also cut the rural affairs budget as a whole.

“By voting Welsh Liberal Democrat this Thursday, the Welsh public can send a message that they won’t accept raw sewage being dumped in our rivers and on our beaches any longer.”