North East Herts MP Oliver Heald and Broxbourne MP Charles Walker have set up a new All-Party Parliamentary Group to fight for better river quality in chalk streams and less damaging abstraction. The two MPs have for many years campaigned on chalk stream issues. The North East Herts constituency includes eight chalk streams and abstraction on the Rivers Beane and Mimram has been reduced as a result of their efforts.
The inaugural meeting of the Group was held on 15 September and Charles Walker was elected as Chairman with Oliver Heald as Vice Chairman. Other Hertfordshire MPs involved were Julie Marson MP for Hertford & Stortford and Daisy Cooper Lib Dem MP for St Albans. The meeting was attended by more than 20 Members of Parliament. Other Hertfordshire MPs are supportive, including Stephen McPartland MP for Stevenage. It was a very good meeting with a lot of enthusiasm from MPs to try and improve the quality of our streams. The first step will be to meet the Minister to press the case for our chalk streams.
Commenting, Oliver Heald said "I am really excited at the prospect of our new All Party Group which is something local river groups support and I hope that this will enable us to make progress on river quality and particularly the issue of abstraction."
Note: The eight chalk streams in North East Hertfordshire are the Ivel, Upper Rhee, Rib, Quin, Beane, Mimram, Ash and Lea