ILKLEY Clean River group is to hold an open public meeting to discuss Yorkshire Water's submission to Ofwat of its proposals for cleaning up the river at Ilkley and the implications of these plans for customers.

The meeting will be held at B hall, Ilkley Grammar School on October 26 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

The group has invited MP Robbie Moore, Ilkley Town Council Mayor Karl Milner, Bradford Council (Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw), the Environment Agency, Martin Christmas Area Environment Manager, Ofwat CEO David Black and Yorkshire Water CEO Nicola Shaw, to share and explain their proposals for cleaning up the river.

Prof Becky Malby, of Ilkley Clean River Group said: "Ilkley Clean River Group has paved the way for a significant upgrade to Ilkley and Addingham sewage infrastructure to clean up the river. Inspired by Ilkley's ambition and success in using the Bathing Status to secure investment in new sewage infrastructure in Ilkley, other campaign groups across England have been applying for Bathing Status, and over 30 local campaign groups have taken up citizen science water testing with the Ilkley Clean River Group's support.

"In October we see the full proposal for a substantial upgrade at Ilkley Sewage works and Addingham to radically reduce the raw sewage discharges. Currently Ilkley STW discharges raw sewage one third of the days of the year. Yorkshire Water's proposal for £77.14m investment for the Wharfe at Addingham and Ilkley is submitted to Ofwat on October 4. This will include how the upgrades will be paid for.

"Ilkley Clean River Group is calling an open public town meeting on the 26th October to discuss the proposals and the implications for us as customers. As the first river to secure such a significant plan it is vital that we secure the best solution for our river but also a blueprint for what can be achieved nationally. Please join us to make sure we get the best possible solution for our town and for rivers across the country."

Prof Malby added: "ICRG takes the view that we as consumers have already paid through our bills for our sewage to be treated. Yorkshire Water has always reported to Ofwat that it was able to meet its obligations to maintain the sewage infrastructure in Ilkley and Addingham, and on the back of that assurance has been able previously to pay dividends and more recently to take out loans (which incur payable interest - about 20% of our bills). This necessary investment in the sewage system at Ilkley and Addingham ensures that these obligations are met, and we have been assured by David Black CEO at Ofwat that we won't pay twice."

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