Campaigners kick up a stink in sewage row at Sheffield beauty spot

Sheffield MP Clive Betts.
Sheffield MP Clive Betts.
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Community campaigners and an MP have demanded urgent action over sewage spills blighting a beauty spot in Sheffield.

Local residents branded Yorkshire Water ‘disgraceful’ after it refused to fix drainage problems at Shirtcliffe Valley due to budget restraints.

There is a blockage in the stream a few hundred yards downstream of this manhole. Paul and I found 'Rag' on the surface of the Brook at this blockage.   Clive Betts MP [Sheffield South East] has castigated Yorkshire Water's response to the problems of sewage in the Shirtcliffe Valley.     Clive Betts originally took up complaints from local residents and from the Friends of Shirtcliffe Valley with the Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water, which is responsible for the sewage problems.

There is a blockage in the stream a few hundred yards downstream of this manhole. Paul and I found 'Rag' on the surface of the Brook at this blockage. Clive Betts MP [Sheffield South East] has castigated Yorkshire Water's response to the problems of sewage in the Shirtcliffe Valley. Clive Betts originally took up complaints from local residents and from the Friends of Shirtcliffe Valley with the Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water, which is responsible for the sewage problems.

For some time, heavy rain has been causing raw sewage to leak across public footpaths in the area.

In recent weeks wet weather has resulted in rags and litter being washed downstream, while overflowing sewage has carved a runnel into brambles.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts wrote to water bosses to highlight the problem, after which chief executive Richard Flint told him ‘all options for a solution are currently unaffordable’.

Mr Betts said: “The response is totally unacceptable.

This shows Stack 1, near the Trans Pennine Trail Bridge (Grid ref. SK 40838 85377). The lid has lifted and there are bits of sewage litter showing. There is also quite a lot of sewage litter round the base of the Stack.'''Clive Betts MP [Sheffield South East] has castigated Yorkshire Water's response to the problems of sewage in the Shirtcliffe Valley.'Clive Betts originally took up complaints from local residents and from the Friends of Shirtcliffe Valley with the Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water, which is responsible for the sewage problems.

This shows Stack 1, near the Trans Pennine Trail Bridge (Grid ref. SK 40838 85377). The lid has lifted and there are bits of sewage litter showing. There is also quite a lot of sewage litter round the base of the Stack.'''Clive Betts MP [Sheffield South East] has castigated Yorkshire Water's response to the problems of sewage in the Shirtcliffe Valley.'Clive Betts originally took up complaints from local residents and from the Friends of Shirtcliffe Valley with the Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water, which is responsible for the sewage problems.

“Yorkshire Water claims that all the options for a solution are unaffordable, but gives no indication of the estimated costs of any scheme.

“In any event, raw sewage flowing across public footpaths is simply unacceptable.

“Coming to clear it up after each event, if the public complain, is not an appropriate action. I find it difficult to believe that this would be the response if it was happening adjacent to the chief executive’s home.

“Remember this is Yorkshire Water, which last year made an operating profit of £331 million, after increasing bills by 6.6 per cent.”

Mr Betts has written another letter demanding urgent action. He plans to take the issue to regulators Ofwat.

Pat Howells, of the Friends of Shirtcliffe Valley, said: “Yorkshire Water’s response is disgraceful.

“Yet again this week sewage is strewn over whole sections of the valley and across public footpaths.

“The company is showering shareholders with money, while allowing the Shirtcliffe Valley to be showered with sewage.

“If an individual behaved like Yorkshire Water, it would be served with an ASBO.”