Brecon and Radnorshire’s MP Fay Jones and MS James Evans welcomed UK Government ministers to Builth Wells earlier this month, as part of their campaign to clean up the river Wye and Usk.

UK Government minister Rebecca Pow visited sites in Builth Wells and Presteigne with local MP Fay Jones and Welsh Parliament Member James Evans. Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart MP also joined the meeting which culminated in roundtable discussion with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Welsh Water.

The Minister was invited to visit by Mr Evans and Ms Jones who have been battling to secure a joint approach from both the Welsh and UK Governments.

Although Welsh Government ministers declined to join, Mrs Pow was briefed on the current status of the rivers in Brecon and Radnorshire after a number of alarming reports about its condition.

The Minister – who introduced measures to force water companies to improve their infrastructure and increase water quality in the Environment Act – learned about Welsh Water’s work to improve water quality in the Wye catchment.

Ministers also heard from Natural Resources Wales who oversee environmental protection in Wales. NRW called for greater resource and ministerial direction from the Welsh Government.

James Evans MS said: “It was fantastic of both the Environment Minister and Secretary of State for Wales to come and see this issue for themselves. We are desperately concerned about the condition of the rivers and the lack of action we have seen so far. I’m glad we were able to get the key decision makers around the table – although I’m appalled Welsh Government ministers declined to attend.

“Improving the water quality of the river Wye and other rivers right across Brecon and Radnorshire and beyond is a top priority for myself and my colleagues at both a local and national level.

“This issue is complex and there is no one size fits all approach that can work. But action must be taken and I am pleased the UK Government is leading with a plan to clean up our rivers.

“Corporate firms must take responsibility for the sewage they spill into our rivers and this is an issue I have and will continue to regularly raise in the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff Bay.

“I hope that seeing Minister Pow last week and raising this issue on BBC Wales Live will push this issue up the political agenda and get action sooner rather than later.”

Fay Jones MP said: “This is the latest in a series of meetings on this issue. It is the number one issue in my inbox and has been since I was first elected. The current stalemate on water quality is preventing homes from being built and businesses from being expanded. All the while, the condition of the river continues to decline.

“I want to pay tribute to all those who are campaigning to clean up the rivers in Brecon and Radnorshire. With proper resource for Natural Resources Wales, we might be able to turn their hard work into meaningful change.

“We have asked many many times for Ministers in Cardiff Bay to grip this issue but we are turned down every time.

“ I’m glad that Ministers in Westminster get it but until Welsh Labour Ministers play their part, our rivers will continue to decline.”