Poo plaque protest! Eye-catching demo in Totnes to tell the truth about the sewage scandal

Photo by the author

Dozens of protesters gathered at the Totnes Conservative Club at Station Road. to protest at the sitting MP Anthony Magnall’s environmental voting record, particularly with regard to voting against an important Lords’ Amendment to the Environment Bill during November 2021.

The lively gathering today was made up of many diverse groups including swimmers, recreational water users, kayakers, paddle boarders, climate activists, environmentalists and worried Totnes residents who are increasingly concerned at the poor water quality and frequent pollution incidents in the River Dart.

Ed Funnell, from the Better Devon group, gave a short talk outlining the lack of real action from Anthony Mangnall.

“Everyone will have deep misgivings about the untruths, the misinformation, the misquotes and incorrect statements that are being fed to us about the Environment Act.

We all pay Mr Mangnall’s 84k salary plus allowances, plus expenses. He works for us [this reminder was met with shouts of ‘shame!’]. Instead of nailing down tighter controls on water companies by passing them into law as he should, he is wasting our time by going cap in hand to South West Water, begging for them to do more on the side. Parliament is where real action will happen.”

The gathering expressed much humour and laughter at the dancing poo antics, and the brave dancers in their swimming gear lightened the mood; but the harsh reality is that, in the UK, virtually every river in the UK is experiencing a decline in water quality and seeing biodiversity crash.

Editor’s additional comments:

South Hams Climate Action Network said:

“In 2021, raw sewage was poured into rivers in Totnes constituency for a total of 27,465 hours: https://top-of-the-poops.org/map.html?c=Totnes. Hundreds of people have become ill as a result, and it’s dreadful to consider the impact on wildlife.

We are shocked at Anthony Mangnall’s statement at the end of the video, which is completely untrue. We set out the independent facts here: https://www.sh-can.org/sewage-in-rivers/

Mr Mangnall claims he did not vote for sewage in our rivers and it’s a shame that the mainstream media did not fact check him, because while he did not actively vote to put sewage in the river (who would?) he DID vote against a Lords’ Amendment, the purpose of which was to :

“try to eliminate, not simply reduce, the harm caused to the environment and individual and public health by the discharge of untreated sewage into rivers, and to ensure that the various agencies use their powers of enforcement.”

There’s a vital difference between elimination and reduction, as Mr Mangnall must know!

Incidentally, the story is no better for our beaches: