Open Letter to Maria Miller MP

Dear Maria,

Back in 2015, I was a parliamentary candidate for Basingstoke, in the general election.
I unearthed quite a significant issue. Our waterways, the Loddon, the Itchen and others were being used to dump excess untreated sewage. During our investigation, Hampshire County councillor, Andy Moore and myself met with a representative of Southern Water. That representative confirmed that “accidental” spillages occur regularly into the Itchen and other waterways. He also stated that Southern Water had no plans to build new sewage works in the medium term (5-10 years) and they only had sewage capacity for a few hundred new homes. Thames Water had no plans either.

That was 5 years ago, since then 1000’s of new homes have been built across Hampshire, particularly inner town flats. Sewage overspills are happening daily. Both Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council have been covering up this environmental disaster for years. I reported on this problem back in 2015, nothing has improved. With so much house building in Hampshire this problem will only escalate. Neither Southern Water nor Thames water will voluntarily build sewage treatment facilities, they must be compelled.
It has only now come to light that Hampshire County Council has given the green light on raw sewage overflow from Buckskin being piped to Saunders Field, which was recently sited as a future beauty spot for the leisure park development. This is the source of the river Loddon. The Conservatives are actually allowing contaminants like nitrates, cleaning chemicals and hormones (from contraceptives) as well as the obvious, to contaminate Eastrop Park and the chalk stream running through Old Basing.

I understand how difficult it must be for the Conservative party in Basingstoke and Hampshire to stop this happening, so much of their funding comes from developers. Unless we want a major health or environmental crisis, we must block home building until vital infrastructure like sewage and water works, are put in place. We need drastic action to improve our sewerage systems and waterways or this problem will only escalate. Over 100,000 new homes are planned for Hampshire with no extra sewage works. Is it all going to be pumped into our streams and rivers? The Loddon, the Itchen and other rivers in Hampshire must not be used as a dumping ground for anything, let alone sewage.


Alan Stone

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Max Smart
Max Smart
2 years ago

If we continue dumping sewerage into the rivers we will be back to pre victorian times in a few years. ☹

Sheena Grassi
Sheena Grassi
2 years ago
Reply to  Max Smart

Canvey Island is a classic case where by raw sewage floated out of the Thames which would quite often turn in a sea mist. Which, when breath in causing terrible chest complaints or even death, especially if you were new to the area. Many women die in this way, until they cleaned up the River Thames. We are heading in that direction again, the health of the community is under threat unless something done now and immediately.

Sam Kynock
Sam Kynock
2 years ago

The data West Heath (Bow Brook, which flows into River Loddon): 74 spills, 1138.78 hours Kingsclere STW (Kingsclere Brook, which flows into River Enborne): 105 spills, 1669.61 hours Crooked Billet, Hook (River Whitewater): 19 spills, 42.85 hours Sherfield-on-Loddon (Bow Brook, which flows into River Loddon): 34 spills, 393.36 hours Basingstoke STW (River Loddon): 40 spills, 410.85 hours Hartley Wintney STW (River Hart): 41 spills, 442.81 hours Wedmans Lane, Rotherwick (eventually flows into River Whitewater): 6 spills, 37.43 hours Water End, near Andwell (Lyde River): 5 spills, 25.73 hours St Stephens Hall, near Little London (Bow Brook, which flows into River… Read more »

Sheena Grassi
Sheena Grassi
2 years ago

For many years it seem that I haven’t had a political party which inspired me. I am not in the minority because many of my friend are equally in the same opinion. But the common interest you state are similar to my beliefs. It really needs a broader appeal to be successful, to catch the floating voters like me who have not found a new party to join.

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