Sir Bill Wiggin has been accused of “posturing” over the river Wye pollution problem rather than taking meaningful steps to address it.

At Prime Minister’s Questions this week, The Conservative MP for North Herefordshire accused the county’s “bypass-hating” ruling coalition of failing to back “proven technology” to address pollution in the river Wye.

Coun Ellie Chowns, leader of the co-ruling Greens group who is due to stand against Sir Bill at the next general election, said the MP’s comments “demonstrate his lack of engagement and lack of understanding of this issue”.

Herefordshire Council “has no powers to stop the pollution – the Minister and the regulatory agencies are the only ones who can do that”, she maintained.


“Instead of posturing at PMQs, Mr Wiggin would do better to put pressure on the polluters, support our call for a water protection zone, and work to reverse the devastating Conservative cuts to Environment Agency funding.”

In January last year, Herefordshire councillors voted unanimously to press the Government to bring in a water protection zone covering the Wye catchment, which would have placed tighter restrictions on farms and other pollution sources – a bid rejected by environment minister Rebecca Pow.

Sir Bill’s question this week appeared to back a controversial bid to process waste from the county’s chicken farms, a major source of river pollution, at a planned new anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Whitwick Manor near Ledbury.

Herefordshire Council had given itself until today (March 31) to determine the planning application, but it has yet to publish a decision.