Cllr Bridget Chapman (left) welcomes all to the gathering Photo: Ray Duff —

By Ray Duff – Around fifty concerned citizens gathered on the picturesque Sunny Sands beach to voice their opposition to the ongoing practice of dumping sewage into the seas—both locally and nationally.

Organized by local activists, including representatives from Save Our Seas and Surfers Against Sewage, the gathering aimed to draw attention to the environmental impact caused by water companies discharging sewage directly into the sea instead of investing in proper treatment facilities on land.

Elaine Heffernan from Whitstable Save Our Seas speaks Photo: Ray Duff —

Campaigners highlighted the lack of investment by these companies, even as their profits soared and shareholders reaped rewards. They called for the full renationalization of water companies, emphasizing the need for essential investments and sparing customers from bearing the burden of proposed substantial bill increases.

Nicole Hayden, a passionate campaigner, expressed her frustration at being unable to swim in local waters due to sewage discharges, particularly at locations like West Hythe. Meanwhile, Elaine Heffernan from Whitstable Save Our Seas criticized the recent statement by the CEO of South West Water, who asserted that no one has an inherent right to swim in the sea.

Tony Vaughan and Nicole Hayden re-unveil the plaque Photo: Ray Duff —

In a symbolic gesture, local campaigners Tony Vaughan and Nicole Hayden unveiled a plaque dedicated to MP Damian Collins, who has twice voted against measures to halt sewage dumping. While Collins has recently initiated discussions with Southern Water, campaigners believe it is insufficient and overdue.

As the protest concluded, participants pledged to persist in their advocacy on this critical issue.

By Ed

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