Blue plaqued and deservedly so

On Saturday 28th January, over 80 English Heritage style blue plaques appeared at various locations across the country to draw attention to those MPs who voted against an amendment to the Environment Bill which would have offered better protection to our rivers and coasts from sewage dumping. The cross country action on Saturday was a reminder to those MPs that voting the way they did has consequences.

This is how the actions around Bristol were covered by The Bristol Activist:

Parody blue plaques highlight dire quality of Bristol’s water – The Bristol Activist | 28.1.23

Campaign group Dirty Water Bristol installed satirical blue plaques around Bristol harbour, over the weekend criticising politicians who voted to allow sewage into waterways.

Members of Extinction Rebellion, local health professionals and a group of synchronised swimmers put up the blue plaques around Bristol Harbour, at sites along the River Frome and in Keynsham. Similar plaques were installed by anti-sewage campaigners across the UK.

A further plaque received a more theatrical unveiling in Conham River Park by a person dressed as Jacob Rees-Mogg, accompanied by a giant poo.

The Dirty Water Bristol campaign targets Jacob Rees Mogg, MP for North East Somerset, and Luke Hall, MP for Thornbuy and Yate, who in October 2021 voted down an amendment that would have required water companies to reduce sewage discharge into open water.

You can read the rest of this report here.

This is what Extinction Rebellion UK had to say:


Yesterday, over 80 English Heritage-style blue plaques appeared across the UK at beaches and rivers to highlight the decisions made by UK politicians to block an amendment to the Environment Bill which would have given better protection for rivers from raw sewage dumping.

Etienne Stott, Olympic Gold Medal canoeist, said: “The Government will say that the level of untreated sewage in our waterways is unacceptable, but their actions show insufficient urgency. They will point to record levels of fines recently levied on water companies, but all that shows is how little action was taken and how few fines were given out in the past. Less money is being invested than is being paid out in dividends to shareholders. Both the water companies and the Government simply must do more and more quickly”.

In Northamptonshire, six MPs including Kettering’s Philip Hollobone, voted to allow water companies to continue dumping raw sewage into waterways. In Morecambe, swimmers reported that they saw the sewage in the water, which had been release by United Utilities, the local water company.

If politicians voting to let privatised water companies profit from pumping sewage into our rivers & seas makes you angry, come to Parliament from #21April:

We’ve got skin the game with this issue. Firstly because as we live in Keynsham, Jacob Rees-Mogg who was one of those voting down the amendment to the Environment Bill is currently our local MP. Secondly, because as we get out and about for a fair few walks in the countryside round our way, many of them along the River Avon, we get to see and sometimes smell the consequences of sewage dumping by the likes of Wessex Water. Trust us, it’s not pleasant. That’s before you take into consideration the damage sewage dumping does to already fragile river eco-systems. This means we support the actions that took place on Saturday 28th January and also, those to come.

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