Candidates in hot water at Clean River Kent Campaign hustings

100 people attended to question six local candidates about their policies.

A view of the crowd seated in a hall at a hustings event in Kendal.

At a lively election hustings, organised by the Clean River Kent Campaign (CRKC), members of the public questioned six parliamentary candidates for the Westmorland & Lonsdale constituency on what action they would take to clean up our lakes and rivers.

The event on 12 June was chaired by BBC Farming Today presenter, Caz Graham, and the candidates were Phil Clayton (Green Party), Tim Farron (Liberal Democrats), Matty Jackman (Conservative Party), Pippa Smith (Labour Party), Izzy Solabarrieta (Heritage Party) and John Studholme (Independent).

In front of an audience of 100 people, candidates fielded questions on topics from sewage and pollution incidents – affecting Windermere, the Kent and Eea rivers, Staveley and Burneside – to their positions on tougher regulation and renationalisation of the water industry.

Ginny Branney, from CRKC, commented:

‘Passions ran high at the hustings because people care deeply about the state of our rivers and lakes. And there is anger about water companies having paid out huge amounts in dividends instead of investing more in water infrastructure.

The candidates clearly ‘got’ the strength of feeling about these issues and there was no shortage of ideas about what needs to change. But, if this hustings is anything to go by, the incoming government will be expected to take swift action to start putting things right.’