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Designated Bathing Area on the River Cam

To consider support for an application to DEFRA for an inland water stretch along the River Cam within Cambridge City Council subject to approval from the Executive Councillor following consideration by the Environment & Community Scrutiny Committee;

To consider the evaluation of the application to DEFRA in order to secure an improvement in water quality while also taking into account the impact of any increased usage and avoidance of significant additional cost.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Significant effect on communities living or working in any ward in Cambridge;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 21/08/2023

Decision due: 5 Oct 2023 by Executive Councillor for Open Spaces and City Services

Lead member: Executive Councillor for Open Spaces and City Services

Department: Communities Group

Contact: Alistair Wilson, Strategic Delivery Manager Email: Alistair.Wilson@cambridge.gov.uk.

Additional Information: This is a key item and will automatically appear on the agenda.

Background Information: On 21st July 2022, a motion was passed by the Council regarding Rivers, Safe Swimming and Sewage, which recognised the cumulative impact of sewage discharge events. The responsible bodies are the Environment Agency for general oversight, Cambridge Water for water supply, and Anglian Water for sewage. Despite members highlighting the issues in this Council, and engaging with the Environment Agency and Anglian Water, recent evidence shows that pollution levels in our rivers and chalk streams remain unacceptable. Many residents and local organisations have rightly raised concerns about the health implications of the poor water quality in our rivers and chalk streams, especially during summer months when local children and families would expect to be able to bathe and enjoy nature-rich riverbanks. Cam Valley Forum have undertaken water quality tests for the year 2021 to 2022, and Anglian Water continue to take weekly tests. All show poor water quality.


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