Andrew Jones MP and Frank Maguire looking at a sample of the river water
Andrew Jones MP and Frank Maguire looking at a sample of the river water

Yorkshire Water back water quality campaign following top-level meeting

10 January 2023

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP, Andrew Jones’s water quality campaign has moved up a gear in the new year. Last week Mr Jones met with the Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water, Nicola Shaw, to discuss his ongoing campaign for bathing water status for the River Nidd at the Lido Leisure Park in Knaresborough. He also met a representative from the Environment Agency.

Mr Jones used this opportunity to ask about the crucial role Yorkshire Water will play in attaining bathing water status but also the work and investment that will be required from them if bathing status is granted at the Knaresborough

Lee Pitcher, Head of Partnerships at Yorkshire Water, also attended the meeting. He shared his experience of working with the Ilkley Clean River Group on their successful application which was granted last year.

This marks a key milestone in Mr Jones’ community campaign, as Yorkshire Water pledged to assist the campaign for bathing quality status.

Mr Jones commented:

I am grateful to Yorkshire Water for sharing their experience and expertise with me. Ms Shaw reaffirmed Yorkshire Water’s commitment to improve water quality, not just in the Nidd, but all the waterways in the region. I was fortunate to be able to talk with Lee Pitcher who shared insights from working with Ilkley Clean River Group.

Mr Jones also met with the Environment Agency to review the work that has happened since the River Wharfe gained bathing water status at Ilkley and what the implications would be for the Nidd.

Mr Jones continued:

Gaining bathing water status is only the first step. Our water quality is affected by the operation of the Victorian sewer overflows in heavy weather, by rainwater run-off from agricultural land carrying pesticides and animal waste and from what we put down our own waste pipes. Once we achieve bathing water status there is a lot of work to do to translate that into the quality of water that we want to see.

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