Andrew Jones MP appeals for help at ‘critical time’ for River Nidd bathing water bid
Apr 27, 2023
Andrew Jones
Mr Jones pictured in the video

Conservative MP Andrew Jones has issued a plea for volunteers to help in the campaign to achieve bathing water status on the River Nidd.

Mr Jones plans to submit an application for bathing water status at Knaresborough Lido after reports of numerous bathers falling ill last summer.

If successful, it would oblige government agencies to take action to improve water quality.

In a three-minute video on his Community News website, the Harrogate and Knaresborough MP blamed the Victorian-era sewage system, run-off from agricultural land and drainage from housing estates for polluting the Nidd.

He asked for volunteers to help with the campaign. He said:

“May this year is a critical time as it marks the start of the bathing season when evidence must be collected for the bathing water application that I’m leading.

“This campaign is building momentum but we can’t let it slide. That’s why I’m calling out to anyone who is passionate about our environment or who uses the River Nidd to come forward and help with the volunteer work.”

Mr Jones said data would be collected over summer and urged anyone interested in helping to get in touch.

He said he would be working alongside Nidd Action Group between now and September to apply for bathing water designation.

Steve Kirkley, from Blenkhorns Boats

Steve Kirkley, from Blenkhorn’s Boats

Steve Kirkley, from Blenkhorn’s Boats, which operates boat hire on the Nidd, told the video improved water quality would “lead to more enjoyable surroundings” while David Clayden, secretary of Harrogate Fly Fishers’ Club, said it would create “a better environment for the river”.

Nicola Shaw, chief executive of Yorkshire Water, said it was important to work in partnership to improve water quality.

‘Nidd plagued by foul sewage’

This week Tom Gordon, the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, accused Conservative MPs of “blocking new tough measures on water companies” to tackle sewage discharge.

Mr Gordon said the Sewage Discharge Bill would have introduced automatic fines on water companies breaking their sewage dumping permits but Conservative MPs voted to block it.

Mr Gordon, said:

“The Nidd has been plagued by foul sewage discharges. People across Harrogate and Knaresborough are furious about this, yet the Conservative government keeps blocking new laws to get tough on water companies.”

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