New Forest Green Party Calls for Immediate Action in Latest Sewage Overflow

New Forest, UK – 25 November 2023 – The New Forest Green Party is calling for urgent action from both the District Council and local MPs in response to the latest sewage crisis to impact our unique New Forest habitat, which has occurred at Flexford Lane near Sway. Recent observations from a concerned Sway resident, who has asked to remain anonymous, at the site reveal a disturbing situation where sewage is overflowing directly into local watercourses and leaving toilet paper stuck in verges, posing a severe environmental and public health risk.

Anna Collar, spokesperson for the New Forest Green Party, expressed deep concern: “The situation at Flexford Lane is unacceptable. Despite efforts to manage the overflow, it’s evident that our current infrastructure is grossly inadequate to protect our precious waterways.”

The Green Party has learned that emergency measures, including the use of contractors and tankers from Heathrow, are in place to manage the overwhelmed sewage system. However, these measures are proving insufficient as untreated sewage continues to leak into the river, as observed at various times throughout the day.

“This is not just about a malfunctioning sewage system; it’s about a failure to invest in robust infrastructure, with companies putting profits before people” said Simon King, another party spokesperson. “We need a sustainable and long-term solution that separates storm drains from sewage pipes to handle extreme weather events.”

The ongoing sewage issues in the New Forest area, including a major leak near Lyndhurst Golf Club, and previous water supply failures affecting thousands of homes earlier this month, highlight a pattern of neglect and mismanagement by Southern Water. The company was fined £90 million in 2021 for discharging billions of litres of sewage into watercourses, including the Beaulieu River.

“We need immediate and significant action from the council and local MPs to prevent further environmental damage and safeguard public health.” added Collar.

“It’s a disgrace that despite a history of failures Conservative led New Forest District Council’s cabinet does not have a representative on consumer panels for either Southern or Bournemouth Water, in the way that they do for Wessex Water.” added King

A Southern Water plan for infrastructure investment, which has been shared with New Forest District Councillors shows the main Flexford Lane issues would not be addressed until 2030 at the earliest.

The New Forest Green Party urges both local MPs and the New Forest District Council cabinet to immediately engage with Southern Water to create a published plan to address this crisis with the urgency and seriousness it demands.

About New Forest Green Party (“NFGP”)

The New Forest Green Party is dedicated to creating a just, equitable society in tune with nature. Through promoting sustainable policies and advocating for the welfare of all, we strive to ensure a green and prosperous future for the New Forest and all its residents.

For more information, please contact:
Simon King, Spokesperson and Parliamentary Candidate for New Forest East, NFGP 07890026746

Anna Collar, Spokesperson and Parliamentary Candidate for New Forest West, NFGP 07538305424

Cllr Adam Parker, New Forest District Council, NFGP 07423 683266