Severn Sewage campaigner criticises Environment Agency cuts

28 Nov 2023
Alex Wagner discussing sewage in the River Severn

A local councillor campaigning on River Severn sewage dumping in Shrewsbury has criticised the Government over cuts to the Environment Agency in the Autumn Statement, which he claims will make it more difficult to hold water companies to account.

The Environment Agency’s budget will be cut by 11% next year, in a move that the councillor claims 'will make it harder to clean up our rivers and tackle sewage in the Severn'.

The DEFRA budget will fall from £4.7bn in 2022/2023 to £4.1bn in 2024/2025. This amounts to a real-terms cut of £500 million. This includes funding for the Environment Agency, the watchdog tasked with enforcing rules to prevent water firms dumping sewage into rivers and seas.

Shrewsbury councillor Alex Wagner said: “The loop of the river is a large part of what makes Shrewsbury the town it is. I have long campaigned for us to protect our natural environment and take pride in the Severn. That means serious investment in clean-up efforts and holding water companies to account.

Environment Agency cuts will make it harder to clean up our rivers and tackle sewage in the Severn - it is as simple as that.

If the Government wants to improve the lives of people in places like Shrewsbury, it should listen to local people about their priorities. The doorstep issues are about the health service, the cost-of-living crisis, and cleaning up our river. Environment Agency cuts fly in the face of what people here want to see".