Chiswick Rowers Go to Westminster

Students put their case against river pollution before MPs


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Three Chiswick secondary students took their campaign against sewage in the river Thames to Westminster last week, when they addressed MPs and journalists at the Houses of Parliament.

The three, Conor Newman Walley, Helen Yang and Paros Loftus set up an environmental campaign group called Rowers Against Thames Sewage ( RATS) to generate support for the Thames Tunnel Coalition.

They were invited to participate in the Thames Tunnel Now debate in Parliament which was hosted by Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith.

The three , who are all keen rowers and pupils at Latymer Upper School, are fighting to ensure the building of the tunnel to get sewage out of the river. They have also generated awareness through the use of social media and the internet, including Facebook.

Conor Walley also addressed the meeting on behalf of the group and explained that they were trying to counter local resident’s concerns about the tunnel from the perspective of the river users like themselves.

“RATS is our attempt to bring the Rowing community on board. We are trying to get support from every rowing club on the Thames to take responsibility for looking after our river.

The Thames has two big problems: litter/rubbish and sewage. We think that our generation can deal with the Thames rubbish – we can change attitudes to prevent it.

However, sewage is too big for us to solve. Our generation should not have to play in it and we look to your generation to fix it”, he commented.

February 3, 2012

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