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Vince Cable to chair meeting addressing River Crane pollution

Public can quiz representatives from Thames Water at the meeting in Whitton later this month about what is being done to prevent future sewage releases

The River Crane

Vince Cable will chair a public meeting later this month addressing pollution of the River Crane, which has been hit by a string of sewage leaks.

The Twickenham MP and business secretary will be joined by representatives from Thames Water and the Environment Agency at the summit in Whitton Community Centre on Friday, October 31, titled 'River Crane - Environmental Asset or Urban Drain?'

Rob Gray, chairman of the charity Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE), which has more than 500 members, said: "This meeting is an opportunity for the public to put their concerns regarding the river directly to those involved; and for those organisations to set out their plans for how the river will be improved over the next decade."

The Crane Valley is an important nature reserve, which runs through five west London boroughs and is well used by the half a million people living within a five-minute walk.

But it has been rocked by a series of devastating sewage releases in recent years, which have seriously harmed wildlife in and around the river.

Thames Water was ealier this year ordered to pay £170,000 after admitting responsibility for flooding the river with sewage in 2011, killing an estimated 10,000 fish.

Another serious sewage leak in 2013 was blamed on vandalism, the culprits for which have never been found.

Thames Water blamed a fatberg, created by customers pouring fatty liquids down their drains, for the latest pollution incident affecting the river, on July 2 this year.

* The public meeting will take place in Whitton Community Centre, in Percy Road, on October 31, from 7pm-8pm. To ask a question on the night please email it in advance to info@force.org.uk together with your full name.

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