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Effluent Is Turning The Affluent Green

The Greens hope a wave of outrage over the polluted River Waveney will help deliver a seismic victory where the Tories have "always" won.

“We have raw sewage running down the street every single time we get heavy rain. You have to walk through it. It's grim. It's medieval.”

Lucy Elkin, a Green Party councillor, is gesturing to the road leading uphill out of Eye, a small village on the Suffolk, Norfolk border. When rainfall is heavy, residents have grown used to excrement, menstrual products and general detritus coursing down the road back into the village stream, flowing past cottages, into the River Waveney.

“I've repeatedly been talking to Anglian Water and planning department about drainage issues in the town,” says Elkin. “We've had severe flooding, so lots of people have had water coming into their homes and sewage in their homes through that route. We've been pretty active.”

Eye sits in the new Waveney Valley constituency straddling Suffolk and Norfolk, with the River Waveney flowing across its border. The Waveney is the symbolic heart of this new seat. But now, perceived government failures to reduce sewage pollution are turning traditionally wealthy, Conservative voting residents towards a party with big aspirations this election: the Greens.

A recent Wildlife Trusts poll revealed nearly 80 per cent of the public think the majority of the main parties are faring poorly on river pollution. Yet nearly two in five said they would vote based on environmental policies offered by candidates. This is a sentiment Adrian Ramsay, leader of the Green Party and Waveney Valley candidate, is tapping into.

“People are deeply angry about the sewage issues,” he says. “We know that in the local rivers, including the river Waveney, which

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