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Campaigners say Ilkley residents should challenge water bill rise

Residents listen to Feargal Sharkey (Photo: ICRG)

150 Ilkley residents gathered on Sunday lunchtime to hear environmental campaigner and singer Feargal Sharkey support the Ilkley Clean River Group's (ICRG) campaign to stop residents paying more money in their bills for Yorkshire Water to treat sewage.

Outside the Riverside Hotel Feargal said how Yorkshire Water last week shares its plans to reduce the sewage pollution at Ilkley, a welcome set of nature-based solutions alongside storage. However, to provide this Yorkshire Water is proposing to hike the bills to pay for it.

Mr Sharkey described the campaign group as "incredible" saying: “I wanted to come up and just give them an enormous round of applause to the extraordinary people that are the Ilkley Clean River Group."

Residents listen to Feargal Sharkey (Photo: ICRG)

Becky Malby from ICRG says: "We are fighting for Yorkshire Water and all water companies to use the money we have paid them to provide the services they have been saying they are providing for years, and to stop polluting our rivers so that they are unfit for wildlife and people."  

Nicola Shaw, chief executive officer of Yorkshire Water, told the BBC the money would be spent before the end of March 2026.

"These are huge numbers for a town of 14,000 people," she said.

Ms Shaw said she recognised it was "difficult" to ask customers to pay higher bills.

"I absolutely assure customers they won't be paying twice, we've made sure that what we are doing is new work so they are paying for work that needs to be done," she added.

Yorkshire Water is holding an engagement drop in at Ilkley Playhouse on Wednesday 20th March between 3 - 6.30pm. At the rally the Ilkley Clean River Group encouraged people to drop in with their bills and ask where their money was going.


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