Tag Archives: dump

Sign the petition to make water companies pay YOU if they dump untreated sewage

State-approved sewage: but if the water companies are dumping untreated sewage, then they’re not fulfilling their contract with their clients – the public – and they owe us a refund.

Here’s a very good point:

We pay for the water company to take away surface-foul water to be treated at local sewage works.

This amounts to around 45-50% of our annual bill.

If the companies dump that waste water into the river or sea, without treatment, they are ripping us off.

Water companies have dumped sewage into rivers or the sea for years. Even in the height of summer during periods of low rainfall.

It is more profitable for them to occasionally sluice the sewage, when they think they can get away with it, rather than treating it.

If they were not just fined for any illegal dumping but forced to refund for treatment they haven’t done, it may make them a little more hesitant to carry on this disgusting practice.

That is the object of a new petition on the UK Parliament website: as water companies aren’t treating sewage – despite being contractually obliged to do so – then they owe their clients a hefty refund.

This is something that seems to have passed by the Tory government when it offered the privatised water companies a free pass from treating sewage on the grounds that they couldn’t get the chemicals from the European Union.

But the logic is clear. If they’re not buying and using the chemicals, then they don’t need the half of our water bills that is supposed to pay for it.

And the UK’s Tory government should make sure we get our money back. Right?

If you agree, sign the petition.

You can find it here: Require Water Companies to Refund Customers When They Dump Sewage – Petitions

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Whitstable’s people are refusing to pay water bills over sewage crisis – will you?

Protest: people in Whitstable demonstrated against Southern Water’s pollution of the coastline in October.

How wonderful to see the exercise of people power!

Residents of Whitstable, in Kent, are refusing to pay their water bills until the local privatised water company stops discharging sewage into the sea.

It seems they have a very good reason to withhold their cash, as Kent Online has reported claims that people had become ill after swimming in nearby coastal waters.

Local councillor Ashley Clark explained his reasons for holding back the cash in a letter to the company dumping the sewage, Southern Water. He wrote:

Southern Water has continued to send my untreated sewerage – along with that of other local people – directly into the sea which I use on a daily basis to swim from April to October.

I find the thought of swimming in a mixture of local sewerage and seawater totally abhorrent and not something that I should be charged for.

If I paid someone to clear out my garage and take rubbish away to the tip but instead they fly-tipped it into the countryside I would be upset. Canterbury City Council prosecutes offenders for that type of activity.

Yet Southern Water continues to fly-tip sewage into my bathing water with impunity and spend my contributions on both director’s bonus payments and shareholder dividends rather than treating sewerage which hitherto I have paid for.

Accordingly, I will not be paying the £158.63 claimed by Southern Water until such time as I am satisfied that all my payment is being used for the intended purpose and I am compensated for the days on which I was advised not to swim in the sea.

Others have reported their own reasons for withholding payment.

Water companies cannot cut off residents’ water supply if they do not receive payment – they are legally prohibited from doing so, although they can take payment defaulters to court for payment.

But they may find the courts unsympathetic at the moment, because water firms are legally required not to dump untreated sewage in the UK’s waterways and on the coasts. People are justified in their anger – and they’re not saying they’ll never pay their bills.

It seems a good tactic – possibly the best, as it hits the water firms where they are most likely to pay attention: the bank account.

So the operative question is this: are you willing to do the same?

Source: Whitstable residents refuse to pay Southern Water bills until discharging sewage into sea ends

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‘If Johnson refuses to save our bacon, farmers should dump pig carcasses outside Number 10’

Pigs in peril: yes, I’m using the same image as before – of a pig that looks like Boris Johnson. It’s to establish a ‘running theme’ between stories on this topic.

A shortage of butchers and abattoir workers caused by Brexit means 4,500 pigs are likely to be culled within days – and the government isn’t even talking to farmers.

It seems the government is not only failing to help the UK’s livestock farmers; it is refusing to help them.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s only reaction to the crisis was a poor taste comment last week that the pigs would have become “bacon sandwiches” anyway – stupidly missing the point that they’re not going to become any kind of foodstuff at all.

Meanwhile, it seems his government is failing to help the UK farming industry – which faces implosion – while signing trade deals with foreign countries for substandard food.

It seems this is the true meaning behind the Brexit slogan about “Taking back control”: destroying the UK farming industry and buying bad food from abroad.

For a snapshot of the situation, watch this BBC interview with a pig farmer – and take note of the comment on Twitter that this is someone who campaigned for Brexit . Undoubtedly this person is now regretting turning a blind eye to Johnson’s lies:

Personally, I like Sam Brook’s suggestion of how farmers should deal with this issue:

It really is the only way to bring the situation home to Boris Johnson: dump it on his doorstep. Do any of our farmers have the guts to do it?

UPDATE October 12, 2021: Minutes after this story went up, a Facebook commenter wrote: “Don’t do that – we know what those Tory boys do with dead pigs.”

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Legal challenge to stop nuclear waste dumping near Cardiff

Don’t drink the tap water if you live anywhere near Somerset, Bath, Bristol or southern Wales – especially Newport and Cardiff.

That was the advice of net-based activist Tracy Kelly, in response to the announcement that 300,000 tonnes of nuclear waste is to be dredged from the seabed near Hinkley Point and dumped a mile off the Cardiff shoreline.

But a legal battle has been launched to stop this environmental disaster from being inflicted on the people of south Wales and the West Country.

Here’s the situation, courtesy of Ms Kelly: “Millions of cubic metres of radioactive sludge is being dumped in the Bristol Channel, contaminating inland waters, fisheries, oysters, seals, and will stay radioactive for the next – wait for it – 12,000 years!

“The sludge will create a whole new toxic sandbank which will be so big it’ll be picked-up on marine Radar and will be viewable by space satellites… George Osborne, the former chancellor who couldn’t answer a kid what six times seven was, made the cheap decision to just dump the toxic mud one mile offshore from Cardiff.

“The toxic sludge comes from the Hinkley A nuclear reactor. This is one of several dangerous old reactors in the west of England and western Scotland which have created no less than 19 million tonnes of toxic waste.

“About four million tonnes of that waste is dumped into the Irish Sea from outflow pipes near Windscale where there are high numbers of children with blood diseases and cancer.

“The French company building Hinkley C in North Somerset are the same people building a mega-reactor in Normandy which had to be stopped because the concrete dome cracked.

“Theresa May gave the French EDF company a ‘marine licence’ to dump radioactive waste in Cardiff Bay. Nice. Protestors in their thousands have written letters, staged demonstrations and also submitted petitions – however, BBC current affairs has refused to broadcast a single second of a single protestor’s views on national prime-time news – even though there have been concerned resident meetings happening since the year 2000.”

A barge made its first trip to dump radioactive mud off the coast near Cardiff yesterday evening (September 10).

That is the situation.

Here‘s what’s being done about it:

Opponents to a controversial scheme to dump mud from a nuclear plant off the coast of Cardiff have launched a last-minute legal challenge.

The Campaign Against Hinkley Mud Dumping submitted an application to the High Court in Cardiff on Monday seeking an interim injunction.

Campaigners have argued Natural Resources Wales (NRW) failed to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment and said core samples were insufficient under international rules and did not cover all significant radioactive substances from the Hinkley plant.

Here‘s some evidence in support of that statement:

Independent Assembly Member Neil McEvoy said… only 5 samples of mud had been taken from a level lower than 5 centimeters for analysis. The Welsh Assembly petitions committee had asked Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to require the French energy company  EDF (who are building the new nuclear power station) to carry out additional analysis, but this had been refused.

I imagine the petitions committee had made its request after receiving the petition publicised by This Site, here.

The Labour-run Welsh Government said NRW made its decision based on “expert advice”. It also concluded the material was within “safe limits” and posed no “radiological risk” to human health or the environment.

But it seems the tests on which this “expert advice” was given did not assess whether uranium, plutonium and other alpha-emitting elements were present in minute “particulate” form. As such, they can be more easily inhaled into the deep lung and the lymphatic system, and will emit more radiation.

The injunction is an interim measure – if the mud dump is to be stopped for good, protestors will have to fund a costly judicial review.

If you care about your environment, your health and that of your children enough to do something about it, you can add to the crowdfunding scheme that is financing the legal battle.

Please visit the website here to make your contribution.

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Grammar school pressured into reversing rejection of under-achieving sixth-formers

Lawyers acting for some of the affected families had issued judicial review proceedings against St Olave’s [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].

Does anybody think the head and governors of St Olave’s would have backtracked on their policy if not for the glare of public disapproval on them?

And what will happen now? Will the issue be brushed under the carpet or will we see schools behaving more responsibly in future?

I fear the former.

The grammar school revealed to be systematically pushing pupils out halfway through the sixth form has dramatically backed down and said that all affected pupils will be able to rejoin the school next week without conditions.

Pressure from parents taking legal action and media coverage … has seen St Olave’s grammar school in Orpington, south-east London, change its stance and drop its stringent academic requirements, which had seen pupils who had not achieved top marks being abruptly told to leave midway though their A-level courses.

The affair has lifted a lid on the possibly illegal practice designed to boost a school’s league table position, carried out at a number of high-achieving schools across England, despite schools being unable to exclude pupils for reasons other than behaviour. Friday’s development will put pressure on other schools which follow the same practice to reconsider their policies.

On Friday evening a statement was finally issued on the school’s behalf by the diocese of Chichester.

“Following a review of the school’s policy on entry to year 13, the headmaster and governors of St Olave’s grammar school have taken the decision to remove this requirement and we have today written to all parents of pupils affected to explain this and offer them the opportunity to return to the school and continue their studies,” it said.

“Our aim as a school has been and continues to be to nurture boys who flourish and achieve their full potential academically and in life generally. Our students can grow and flourish, making the very best of their talents to achieve success.”

Source: St Olave’s allows rejected sixth-formers to return to school | Education | The Guardian


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St Olave’s cruelty to pupils shows the ruthlessness of the league table system

St Olave’s grammar school in Orpington, Kent. ‘St Olave’s needs to rethink this shameful policy before it damages more of the young people in its care,’ writes Mark Crane [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].

Can open, worms everywhere.

St Olave’s Grammar School has been exposed as expelling pupils for underperforming in mock examinations – in order to maintain its position at the top of school league tables.

The practice has been condemned as it harms the future of the pupils it discriminates against – and members of the public have come forward to express their disgust in the letters page of The Guardian.

Here’s Lucy Binney, of Oxford:

Young people who have achieved well enough at 16 to be accepted by these highly selective sixth forms are having to change school halfway through their A-levels, and are likely to end up with qualifications far below their potential.

When a school prioritises its league table position, it suits its interests better for a pupil to get no A-levels once off their hands, than for that pupil to get mediocre A-levels while still on the school roll.

The pupils involved and their families don’t usually make a fuss, because they are humiliated and don’t want to identify the young person.

So the strategy is not only to dump the under-performing pupils, but actually to sabotage their chances.

That is evil. It is exactly the opposite of the way a school should behave.

Sixth-form teacher David Hampton makes another excellent point:

While those responsible for the policy put their own kudos ahead of students’ needs, the media’s tendency to highlight only the successes of these highly selective schools doesn’t help.

True. As a local newspaper reporter, This Writer had to produce many stories praising schools on the exam results gained by their pupils.

But the practice of dumping students isn’t confined to grammar schools, according to Jane Weake, of London:

This practice is also commonplace in many London comprehensives… These students are just being cynically abandoned to sink or swim. Often they sink! This is not in their best interests.

Philip Kerridge of Bodmin asserts:

While schools are under enormous pressure to deliver results they will cheat. Who says so? Not only me but also Durham University’s Professor Rob Coe in evidence to a House of Commons committee investigating primary school assessment.

Environmental toxicologist Mark Crane, himself an Old Olavian, expressed his surprise at the school’s current policy:

If such a punitive system had been in operation when I was at the school then I, and most of my schoolmates, would have been asked to leave, and it is unlikely that I would have gone on to complete a PhD, teach at the University of London, publish over 100 scientific papers, and build a successful scientific consultancy.

So the school is harming not only pupils’ life chances but also the UK’s ability to compete, not only in academia but in commerce and world markets (I would say).

Retired headteacher Chris Dunne warns that the Conservative government’s drive to turn all schools into privately-owned academies would make parents’ attempts to gain redress almost impossible:

The parents who are now seeking legal redress against St Olave’s should count themselves lucky it is a maintained school, and as such governed by laws that make what amounts to an exclusion on these grounds illegal. The government’s drive to turn all schools into academies will effectively close off such an option for all but the most determined, and wealthy, parents.

So the Tories are complicit in this con.


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Is there a lie at the heart of ‘top-achieving’ grammar schools?

Parents and teachers have criticised the school for behaving like ‘an exam factory’ [Image: David Jones/PA].

Is this how grammar schools achieve their elite status?

Around 16 pupils at St Olave’s Grammar School in Orpington have been slung out on their ear because they didn’t make the grade in AS and equivalent internal exams before entering their final A-level year – the top grade, that is.

This brings a new dimension to the “social mobility” argument about grammar schools: In this situation, the pupil’s background doesn’t matter at all – their only purpose is to present an impression that the school offers the highest-quality education and creates the best-qualified alumni, even when it doesn’t.

Doesn’t that make this organisation a fraud?

And what about the students who have been penalised? Their entire careers are in jeopardy because of this late-stage betrayal by the school they thought they could trust to guide them onto the next level of their lives.

Regardless of their background, their progress into the higher echelons of UK society has ground to an unceremonious halt.

Is it really because they aren’t good enough? Or is it because their teachers can’t be bothered to do the extra work?

It’s easier to just dump the chumps, after all – right?

Then the school maintains an unfairly-earned high status for which the staff haven’t had to work.

Is that what is happening here?

If so, Theresa May should kiss her plan for more grammar schools goodbye – forever.

One of the country’s leading grammar schools has been accused of acting unlawfully by throwing out sixth-form students who failed to get top grades in AS and equivalent internal exams ahead of their final A-level year.

About 16 pupils at St Olave’s grammar school in Orpington, in the London borough of Bromley, were told their places for year 13 – the last year of school – had been withdrawn after they failed to get the required three Bs. One father accused the school of dumping his son like “old garbage”.

Parents and teachers have criticised the school for behaving like “an exam factory”, focusing purely on results and school league table success at the expense of students’ education and welfare.

Days before the start of a new term, those students who have lost their places are reluctantly looking at alternative schools or colleges at which they can complete their A-levels in order to go on to university or pursue a career. All are devastated at losing their friendship group, and many are struggling to find schools that offer the same examining board.

Education experts say a number of other schools – including other high-achieving grammars – are employing similar tactics to ensure the best possible results, but it is thought to be the first time the issue been challenged in court.

Source: Grammar school ‘unlawfully threw out’ students who failed to get top grades | Education | The Guardian


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