Kay’s Blog: From flying ants to sewage in the Stort

Communities / Wed 16th Aug 2023 at 06:28am

IT’S summer! It’s time to be happy, time to luxuriate in the things that lift our spirits, ideally. Miraculously, I have flowers in my wee garden. I just love those bright nasturtiums, caterpillars and all. The mallow is flowering, too; the jasmine is still blooming as is the fuchia. 

As soon as the seasons began to change, though, the ants moved in. They arrived in number and variety, making it clear they planned to multiply. Bush Fair residents, who made me welcome as soon as I arrived and who personify tolerance, tenacity and generosity, suggested anti-ant strategies. We’re making progress, ant by ant.

The ants aren’t alone in welcoming the warmer weather, of course. Fortunately, Harlow has green spaces where we can breathe, maybe run a bit, maybe just be. We might think of going to a beach too. 

The sea is synonymous with summer. Pure, sparkling, clean water, cool against your feet….. A long time ago I paddled in the sea at Whitepark Bay where white sand stretches forever in my memory. 

But it’s not that easy now, is it? It’s not that safe now.

Months ago we heard of water companies discharging sewage into our waterways. Local MPs told us that the situation is being monitored: it’s under control and there’s really nothing to worry about. 

Yet, some of our rivers have been declared ecologically dead because of pollution. It’s tragic.

20% of our water bills reward water company owners, rather than helping to maintain the system. To last year, shareholders and owners benefited to the tune of nearly £96b. but they’re £54b in debt. Having profited colossally, they’re asking us to clean up their mess and to pay for it.

More and more concerned citizens are talking about renationalising our water service but that’s some way off. In the meantime, we desperately need better regulation and better enforcement. We need political will and water companies doing the right thing. 

According to Surfers against Sewage, the beloved River Stort was polluted 17 times by Thames Water in 2022 … 17 sewage dumps. This matters to us and it’s time we did something about it. 

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9 Comments for Kay’s Blog: From flying ants to sewage in the Stort:

Bruce Downey
2023-08-16 07:18:16

Good luck to the lionesses ⚽️🙏✌️

2023-08-16 07:44:50

Kay, with the vast increase in surface water from development, once Gilston Estate hggt start pumping sewage down into the Stort Valley to the Thames main trunk sewer, that already regularly overflows despite it's designed larger capacity then the river, the flood plain and Harlow homes will all be subject to frequent flooding by combination of sewage and an overwhelmed flood plain. Hggt may have SuDs but because Harlow doesn't the result will be catastrophic for Harlow and all of the farms downstream to Rye Meads. These problems already exist and although you personally campaigned against, neither Harlow Labour or Conservatives, both of whom invited development from East Herts and Epping Councils, gave any informed thought about the really bad outcomes for Harlow. Add to that the pollution and congestion due to the decision to direct traffic from all directions into the east of the town by building the raised culverted road down into the Stort Valley and both major Parties have effectively sold Harlow down the river.

Mike Price
2023-08-16 09:14:12

Lots of sewage in both Lea and Stort is due to liveaboard boat dwellers dumping their porta potties overboard

Kim Oconnor
2023-08-16 10:41:03

Nosradamus is spot on again. ... Labours plans for our river stort..... conservatives signed and sealed it.. With no thought s to the impact s ..you were told the consequences...but all choose to ignore it...PROFIT MORE IMPORTANT.. SAVE OUR RIVER STORT VALLEY.... Before it's to late.. .

Gary Roberts
2023-08-16 13:20:49

Does the Labour party have any policies worthy of the name? At this rate of reversal, obstinatance and pure nonsense they will join the Conservatives in coalition. Water, rail, mail and energy won't change and Starmer will just keep the Tory agenda for years if he is elected. Anyone got a spare ticket to Vancouver?

Nicholas Taylor
2023-08-16 15:42:40

The simple fact is, locally there is really very little difference between Labour and the Conservatives Party, the latter helped create Harlow and Gilston Garden Town and the Conservative led Council is at the heart of the development. Plans for the future of the Town Centre are very similar the only difference now is the fact that funds are available to waste making changes. The Conservative house building programme is similar to Labours although to date not a brick has been laid, some on the towns green spaces. Despite the crocodile tears both at one time or another supported the Stort River crossings. Neither took action to see Harlow's boundaries enlarged and we are now at the mercy of Councillors in Epping and Hertford. Residents need and deserve a change from the same old same old.

Kim Oconnor
2023-08-16 19:50:12

Spot on Nicholas. At the mercy of councillors in Epping and Hearford....indeed..indeed.

Nicholas Taylor
2023-08-16 21:22:56

I should of course have said in my earlier post that the former, ie Labour Party helped create the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town.

Kim Oconnor
2023-08-17 09:57:55

Oh yes...

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