A PROPOSAL will be heard at a meeting of the full council this week, which if approved, will see Cumberland call for action on “the Dirty Water Emergency.”

Cumberland Council will meet at Lakes College today, voting on a proposal to publicly oppose the pollution of the UK’s waterways.

The motion relates to the discharge of raw sewage into the UKs lakes and rivers when sewers become overwhelmed due to heavy rainfall.

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Water companies are permitted to discharge the sewage into bodies of water in these circumstances to avoid flooding.

However, concerns have been raised that the sewage outflows are happening too often, damaging the natural environment.

Today, Councillor Brian Wernham of the Liberal Democrats, will propose that the new Cumberland Council includes the issue in its Public Health work and invites the Environment Agency to a future meeting for a briefing on their own plans to tackle it.

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His motion will also ask the chief executive to write to the Secretary of State for Environment, the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee and Steven Mogford, the CEO of United Utilities.

Cllr Wernham will tell the council: “The Government have the power to force the water companies to take the action that they should take. We know that the water companies have the money to do it. Why are the Government not forcing them to do it now? The motion before us today aims to put a stop to this pollution here in Cumberland.

“This motion about the ‘Dirty Water Emergency’ also notes our worries about rivers feeding into inland lakes and mountainside tarns.

Our lakes are famous for water sports and wild swimming, but are polluted by raw sewage.”

He claims that water companies have discharged raw sewage into English waterways more than 1.2 million times in the last five years.

Cllr Wernham will tell the council that raw sewage was dumped into the River Derwent 136 times last year, 180 times into Bullclose Beck at Gilcrux which feeds the River Ellen.

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