Molly has visited two innovative projects during a constituency day in Dorset and Wiltshire, which she says have left her proud to be representing the South West region.
Molly was invited by the Cholderton and District Water Company to ‘cut the ribbon’ and declare open a new system to treat drinking water for nitrate pollution. The new Ionex nitrate water treatment plant is an ion exchange technology that produces near-zero waste – an important benefit for a community that prizes its outstanding natural environment. The Ionex system not only meets its treatment upgrade goals and sustainability targets, it does so at a cost that’s substantially lower than other comparative treatment systems.
Molly paid tribute to Cholderton for upgrading its treatment facility without impacting on the natural environment. She said:
“For a tiny water company that shoulders the same compliance burdens as the country’s largest water authorities, it’s an outstanding achievement for Cholderton to install a state-of-the-art nitrate treatment system. It’s clear that using advanced technology to provide clean water is not at odds with preserving the environment. Cholderton has shown that with the right system, the two can happily coexist. I’m delighted to celebrate the achievement with this forward-thinking community.”
Molly also emphasised the importance of joint-working in improving water quality. She added:
“We need to improve the quality of our water-bodies, including rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater reserves, and I would encourage farmers and others to work together to reduce nitrate pollution at source.”
Molly also visited the Springhead Trust to see firsthand how the Feed-in Tariff for renewable energy has helped establish this North Dorset charity on the road to becoming a leading renewable energy demonstration centre for the South West.
The Springhead Trust is a rural centre promoting creative and sustainable living. Springhead has replaced its septic tank with a reed bed sewage system; installed a composting toilet in the gardens; invested in energy saving initiatives; organised a craftsman to harvest and use its willow, and has put in place recycling systems, including a wormery that converts kitchen waste to garden compost. Future plans include developing a sustainable working model for creating biofuel from algae in the lake, with organic cattle feed as the only waste product. This would be a first in the UK.
Larger investment is now being made in renewable energy systems on-site but this is threatened by the proposed cuts to Feed-in Tariff feed-in-tariff subsidies for renewable power projects. A solar PV array has already been installed and provides energy to the centre but a micro hydro power installation is also planned and is currently at pre-accreditation stage under the Feed-in Tariff scheme.
Molly Scott Cato MEP congratulated the team at the Springhead Trust but warned that government policy was jeopardising such projects:
“This is exactly the kind of project that is now at risk due to the government’s plans to slash Feed-in Tariffs. This government is deliberately destroying UK renewable energy companies and undermining investment opportunities for small-scale investors building the energy of the future.
“The Tories are ignoring British citizens who have shown their willingness to invest in community renewables and support the clean, green energy of the future which our country, and particularly the South West region, is so richly endowed with.”