THE Government will debate bathing water status at Port Meadow next week.
Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran has secured the debate in Westminster Hall on November 2.
Ms Moran met with local campaigners last month to discuss the current state of the River Thames and to support their application for a stretch of the river at Port Meadow to be awarded bathing water status.
If the status is granted, it will create incentives to keep the river clean and limit potential pollutants in the river.
🚨 DEBATE SECURED 🚨
I’m delighted that I will have the chance to put the case for bathing water status in Port Meadow to the Government on Tuesday.
— Layla Moran 🔶 (@LaylaMoran) October 28, 2021
The designation puts a duty on the Environment Agency to test the water regularly.
Research by the Oxford Rivers Project says that in months with heavier rainfall, bacteria levels were on average twice the recommended safety threshold, meaning there was enough bacteria to cause illness to anyone coming into contact with the water.
Ms Moran said: “I am delighted that I will have the chance to raise this issue and the specific application in Parliament, and to be able to speak up on behalf of my constituents.
“In France, over 550 rivers have been given bathing water status, and yet in the United Kingdom, there is only one.
“With this Government’s laissez-faire approach to sewage and pollutants in our waterways, giving the Thames at Port Meadow proper legal protection will allow it to be protected for thousands of people to enjoy.
“I am looking forward to putting our case to the Government in this debate, and I urge them to listen to the calls of Oxford residents and approve this application.”
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