Extraordinary goings on at West Oxfordshire District Council’s Water Day yesterday. This was not an annual aquatic event, but a response to the apparently dire state of the River Windrush. The campaigning group (Windrush Against Sewage Pollution) kicked off the day with a prodigious exposition of the situation from WASP’s Ashley Smith and a showing of the Countryfile film on Windrush pollution.
WASP was followed by a shambolic group from the Environment Agency which refused to admit there was any problem – or any problem that could not be solved with regular monitoring by, say, 2030 or 2050.
Then came the Thames Water group, which at least admitted that something was going on which Thames Water did not understand. Given the intellectual level of its standard primary school presentation (“Think of the 3 Ps – poo, pee and paper”), Thames Water was not on course ever to understand it.
The room was packed to the rafters with 150 concerned, knowledgeable people (plus Robert Courts, our passionate MP, who was just concerned). All deserved, and expected, very much better. Were it not for WASP, responsible agencies would not be doing anything at all to return the Windrush to its previous state. Even with WASP, they are doing very little.
BBC South Today, July 2018