Parents ‘worried about taking children to beach’ because of pollution – Sharkey

People are “utterly outraged” at river and sea pollution, with parents worried about taking their children to the beach this summer, environmental activist Feargal Sharkey has said.

The former Undertones singer has been touring the UK highlighting his campaign to clean up waterways, and to support Labour candidates in next month’s General Election.

Mr Sharkey, who is the president of Labour’s Environment Campaign, SERA, said he had heard complaints about water pollution in every area he had visited in recent weeks.

He has called for a public inquiry into what he says is a crisis, saying every river in England is polluted.

“People are utterly fed up, outraged and despondent about the state of rivers and seas,” he told the PA news agency.

“Families are now worried about taking their children to the beach this summer.”

Mr Sharkey is hugely critical of the water companies for their handling of pollution and speaks out against the salaries and bonuses paid to executives in the industry.

He met up this week with fellow musicians ex-Blur drummer Dave Rowntree and Tom Gray, who founded Gomez, who are both standing for the Labour Party in the upcoming election.

Rowntree is standing in Mid-Sussex, which is currently held by the Conservatives, and Gray is taking on the Greens in the Brighton Pavilion seat.

The three met up in Brighton, where Mr Sharkey spoke at the annual conference of Unison.

“If they could only let us musicians sort out the mess, we would actually do something about it,” he said.