The Lib Dems join the Greens in calling for action on the state of the Mersey.

17 Sep 2023
Rebecca Turner at Albert Dock

The Lib Dems are seconding a Green Motion at September’s full Council Meeting to tackle sewage dumping in the Mersey.

Waterfront South Lib Dem Councillor, Rebecca Turner, is seconding the Green Party motion ‘United Utilities: ‘Clean up your act and keep our Mersey Clean’’. The motion puts the blame for the increase in sewage dumping in Mersey at the feet of the water company United Utilities, and Government deregulation.

Councillor Turner said, “The state of the Mersey is terrible. It’s going back to the way it was in the 70s and 80s, heavily polluted and foul smelling. In 2022 alone, The Rivers Trust recorded over 8,500 spills in the Lower Mersey lasting for more than 50,000 hours – in 2021 it was even worse. This is terrible for residents and businesses on banks of the Mersey. No one wants to sit at outside for a drink, or open the windows in the morning to have the smell of dumped sewage hit them.”

“The City Council needs to work with other councils in the City Region, United Utilities, and the Government, to tackle sewage dumping in the Mersey – not only for benefit of residents and visitors, but for the health of the Mersey itself.”

Nationally, the Liberal Democrats have been campaigning against sewage dumping in Rivers and Waterways from Morecambe Bay to the Sussex Coast. They’ve called for a sewage tax on the £2.2 billion water company annual profits, a ban on water company executive bonuses, and direct action from the Government to have the water companies clean up their own mess.

This marks a shift in the style of opposition from Liberal Democrat Leader, Carl Cashman. He states he wants to focus on taking action for residents and make sure that the City Council gets stuff done. Cllr Cashman wants to show, unlike Labour, that he’s willing to build consensus with other opposition groups on the Council.

Councillor Cashman said, “On common sense issues like whether we want sewage dumped into the Mersey, there’s agreement with other groups on the Council that we need to act. That’s why Councillor Turner is seconding the Green motion. Just last week, we saw another Council essentially go bust – as a Councillor, it’s worrying. That’s I want to work constructively with other groups, so that we can do what’s best for our residents, and not just act out some ideological fantasies.”

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