A toilet in the sea with a crossed through poo on a sign

Lib Dems outraged at Southern Water’s inadequate plan to solve sewage crisis and Conservative move to pass infrastructure costs to households

19th November 2023

Liberal Democrats are furious that sewage spills have become a way of life since privatisation of the water companies. Storm overflow spills have been especially bad in Chichester constituency over the last few weeks due to the lack of
investment by Southern Water in sewerage infrastructure. Chichester’s waterways are paying the price of this under-investment, and the government just stands by.

Jess Brown-Fuller, Chichester’s parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats said: “as far as I’m concerned, dumping raw sewage under any circumstance is environmental vandalism. The Tories are letting Southern Water get away with this
“legal” sewage dumping – while paying lip-service to the concerns and outrage of residents. Southern Water’s 12 year plan to tackle this disgusting problem makes a mockery of residents’ calls for urgent action and investment”.

Conservative backed move to pass infrastructure costs to households is wrong. The water companies have taken £56bn in profits since privatisation – but now they claim they can’t afford to invest. So, bill payers are being asked to invest - that’s why the Tories support an increase of £156 in the water bills of every household – to finance the sewage infrastructure that we were promised at privatisation, and which is now so urgently overdue.

Bianca Carr, co-founder of Clean Harbour Partnership commented: “I’m pleased there will be a cash injection into Southern Water’s infrastructure to reduce storm overflows but incredibly disappointed that customers are going to have to pay for it, and that Southern Water still don’t accept the chronic under investment in their infrastructure over the past decade, whilst reaping enormous profits”.

It is clear that voters have had enough, and that a different approach is needed. That’s why Jess Brown-Fuller and the Liberal Democrats are calling for a “sewage tax” on water companies’ profits, a ban on their executives’ bonuses, and to turn
Southern Water into a public benefit company.

These measures will ensure that profits are re-invested in the infrastructure we need to stop raw sewage being dumped in our waterways, having to be tankered away from overflowing drains located in residential housing estates, or cleaned up
after backing up through domestic toilets into local homes. These are radical policies – but are well-overdue on an industry that has been allowed to get away with profiteering from its environmental vandalism for too long.

Jess Brown-Fuller laying a wreath at the Midhurst Cenotaph

Jess Brown-Fuller, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Chichester honours the fallen

12th November 2023

On Remembrance Sunday Jess Brown-Fuller, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the Chichester, laid a wreath on behalf of the Royal Marines.

This Sunday was especially poignant for Jess who lost her close friend, Corporal David O’Connor, when he was killed in action whilst on tour in Afghanistan.

“I feel honoured to have the opportunity to lay a wreath on behalf of the Royal Marines every year and to remember my very dear friend, Dave. It is humbling to see communities come together to pay their respects every year. It was my community that supported me and gave me strength when Dave was killed in action” said Jess Brown-Fuller, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Chichester.

“Remembrance Sunday has a particularly special meaning to our constituency with the 2000 active members of the armed services and their families based here at Thorney Island. We’re proud to be a constituency with an active military base, and where six per cent of the population are veterans” continued Jess.

The Liberal Democrats launched their Armed Forces policy in September. This new policy provides a fair deal for armed forces personnel, veterans and their families.

The policy covers:

  • Strengthening the Armed Forces: Cancelling the Conservative Government’s Army cuts and Placing a legal duty on government departments to give due regard to the Armed Forces covenant, the Covenant can be found here.
  • Improving Housing: Rigorously reviewing maintenance contracts for Ministry of Defence housing and establishing a minimum quality standard for Single Living Accommodation.
  • Empowering Families: Establishing a centralised information hub for families of service personnel. Reaching an agreement with the European Union for reciprocal access to spousal employment for families of service personnel.
  • Promoting Diversity: Reviewing Armed Forces recruitment processes to boost diversity within the Forces, ensuring that steps are taken to foster a more inclusive environment.
  • Protecting Women: Implementing the recommendations of the Atherton Report on women in the Armed Forces.

More information:
Jess Brown-Fuller’s campaign to become MP for Chichester: www.chichesterlibdems.co.uk/say-yes-to-jess/home

More information on the policy: https://www.libdems.org.uk/news/article/a-fair-deal-for-our-armed-forces-community

Royal British Legion Remembrance Sunday Poppy Appeal: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk

A toilet in the sea with a crossed through poo on a sign

Liberal Democrats frustrated at lack of action by County Council on water quality

8th November, 2023

The Liberal Democrats are asking West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to stand up for residents as a strong voice against a government that appears to be abandoning its major environmental commitments. Only last week the government showed it is still doing little to stop river and waterway pollution in announcing it will diverge from the EU’s standards for monitoring water quality in England.

The Liberal Democrats submitted a proposal in September, asking the Council to set up a working group on water quality, supply and sewage, all of which would involve local councils, water companies and community interest groups working closely together.  The Conservative leadership prevented the debate happening, saying it was unnecessary, as they were developing their own proposals.  Yet no further information has been forthcoming in public, and further enquiries of Cabinet Members have drawn a blank.

Jess Brown-Fuller, Liberal Democrat candidate for Chichester constituency “We desperately need more urgent action on sewage. Chichester District’s population has grown by around 10% in a decade. We’ve had a great deal of unplanned development forced on us by the Government’s unrealistic targets, dysfunctional planning system and failure to deliver on promises to reform it. We need the Government to recognise the reality of how the current system is working – or rather failing. We cannot continue with planning appeal inspectors overlooking our lack of sewage treatment capacity. Because of historic underinvestment in sewage processing, this area represents something like a quarter of all sewage overflows in West Sussex.”

Kirsty Lord, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at WSCC, said: “We need action fast. The Conservative government isn’t taking charge of this problem. That’s why we proposed the county council takes a lead on action and set up a group to tackle not just sewage but water quality, nitrates, water supply and flood management. The Conservatives told us they didn’t need to debate our plan because they were already preparing to do this, but since then nothing has happened to indicate anything will be happening soon.  We need to get all the local Councils, Southern Water and the Environment Agency together and help them debate and create an action plan that works.  We’ve already waited too long for action to improve every aspect of water quality for all our residents.”

Andrew Kerry-Bedell, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Bourne said, “Sadly, direct action on this country’s sewage scandal has been left to local people to try and tackle. Liberal Democrat councillors have been working behind the scenes with Southern Water for three years to take action on desperately needed sewage capacity improvements. This has worked, with the company submitting definitive plans recently to Ofwat to improve sewage capacity at the most restricted of Chichester’s sewage works. Once OFWAT approves the plans next year, this means that we could finally move forward and build more of the affordable houses that local people need, and in the places they want them.”

Sir Ed Davey, Jess Brown-Fuller and the Lib Dem team standing around a blue door labelled "Show Keegan the Door"

Ed Davey visits Chichester to Support Jess Brown-Fuller

2nd November, 2023

Ed Davey, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, chose to visit Chichester on Wednesday 1st November to launch Jess Brown-Fuller’s campaign to be elected as MP for Chichester at the next General Election (widely touted for 2024).

The Liberal Democrats are fighting to unseat Gillian Keegan (Secretary of State for Education) and her Conservative party from Chichester.

In May 2023, the Liberal Democrats routed the Conservatives from Chichester District Council. The Liberal Democrats now have a huge majority of 25 of 36 district councillors’ seats and the Tories were reduced to only 5 seats.

Huge numbers of previously Conservative voters in Chichester have told the Lib Dems that they want to use their vote to say YES to the Lib Dems’ radical sewage and environment policies – and so address the disgusting environmental vandalism that is blighting Chichester constituency.

Right across the constituency, voters are telling us that they want to say YES to the Lib Dems’ housing policy, which will protect local communities like ours against speculative property developers and prevent house building on flood-plain arable land.

Local people are furious about the undermining of their beloved NHS. Chichester residents are pledging their vote to Jess Brown-Fuller and the Liberal Democrats’ unwavering commitment to the NHS, its patients, and its wonderful staff.

Gillian Keegan had a majority of 21,490 majority at the December 2019 General Election – which requires a 17.5% swing for the Liberal Democrats to win in 2024. The Liberal Democrats have over-turned majorities far bigger than this – especially in constituencies where there is effectively NO Labour presence. And that’s the case for Chichester. There are 0 Labour District councillors, only 1 Labour City Councillor and a complete absence of an effective local party support team – hence a designation from Labour HQ of Chichester as a non-priority seat for Labour. Only last weekend Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, David Lammy spontaneously offered his assessment of Conservative Gillian Keegan’s chances when he said on his LBC radio show: “Chichester: it looks like Gillian Keegan is in trouble. It looks like the Liberal Democrats will win Chichester”.

In Chichester, the Liberal Democrats were voted-in to run the City Council. The Liberal Democrats were voted-in to run Chichester District Council. Neither the Labour party, nor the Greens can win in Chichester. Even senior Labour figures are predicting a win for the Liberal Democrats in 2024. That’s because Liberal Democrats have a fabulous and truly local candidate in Jess Brown-Fuller – who is passionate about putting Chichester First, who listens to local voters and who advocates the policies that local voters want to see on issues they hold most dear.

It's no surprise that Ed Davey, Leader of the national Liberal Democrats party wants to come to Chichester and be associated with the woman widely touted as the next MP for Chichester!

Jess Brown-Fuller and her children dress up for Halloween

Jess Brown-Fuller joins in the Halloween fun with her family

31st October, 2023

Just like many families across Chichester constituency, Jess Brown-Fuller has been getting dressed up and joining in the fun of Halloween with her young children.

Jess said: “Halloween is a special time in our household as we go a bit mad on decorating the house. Spiders, cobwebs, pumpkin-carving, party games and even fake smoke when the Dracula-door bell rings are all part of Halloween for the Brown-Fullers. We love this family-time together and I’ve really enjoyed seeing so many kids and adults dressed-up when I’ve been knocking on doors this week to introduce myself to voters across Chichester. The spooky doorbells make me laugh”.

Jess Brown-Fuller at Priors Meadow development

Jess Brown-Fuller calls on Government to make good on promise to give Chichester District Council powers to block wrong development.

24th October, 2023

Residents of Chichester could be forgiven for being somewhat baffled by Andrew Griffith’s piece in last week’s Chichester Observer, when he trumpeted again the much promised (since December 2022) planning reforms contained in the
Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. Mr Griffith drew our attention to the potential of brownfield development in the area – but given there is hardly any land categorised as such in Chichester – this is irrelevant here.

Oddly, Mr Griffith made no mention of the key reform that the people of Chichester constituency are actually most interested in, and who anxiously await its confirmation of inclusion in the Bill. That reform is Secretary of State Michael
Gove's promise to give local authorities - including Chichester’s District Council – the power to stop developments they consider to be inappropriate and wrong in their locality.

As the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Chichester, Jess is committed to halting inappropriate and wrong development anywhere in the constituency:

  • Jess has written directly to Michael Gove, calling on him to urgently make good on his much publicised promise to give local councils like Chichester the power to stop wrong development.
  • Jess strongly supports Chichester District Council in fast tracking the delivery of the Local Plan (which was three years’ overdue when the Lib Dems took over in May 2023) and the protection this will give against wrong development in the area.
  • Jess is working with Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, to overhaul the country’s planning and housing policy – so that local councils can better reflect the needs and wants of their residents.

Jess said: “Having promised these powers would be made available to Chichester almost a year ago, it would be an outrage if the Conservative government now fails to deliver them. We cannot allow the Conservatives to allow profit-hungry developers to destroy our beautiful countryside with inappropriate developments, which will negatively impact thousands of local people, their environment, and their livelihoods. It’s just wrong”.

For more information on Jess Brown-Fuller’s campaign to become MP for Chichester: www.chichesterlibdems.co.uk/say-yes-to-jess/home

Jess Brown-Fuller at St Richards Hospital

Jess Brown-Fuller slams “scandal” of local NHS waiting lists

Friday 20th October, 2023

Waiting lists for diagnostic tests in the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Trust (which includes St Richards in Chichester) reached 28.6% in July 2023, up almost 25% from June 2019. Those waiting over six weeks for diagnostic tests like MRI and CT scans reached 27.9%, where the NHS target is fewer than 1%.

Chichester Liberal Democrats are calling for an expansion of community diagnostic centres to bring services closer to where people live and ensure they can be seen more quickly.

The party is also calling for the right of everyone to see their GP in seven days by increasing the number of appointments and the number of GPs by 8,000. In addition, the Lib Dems have called for investment in new hospital equipment to ensure that
patients get the first-class treatment they deserve.

Jess Brown-Fuller, Chichester Lib Dem’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Chichester, said, “What this Conservative government has done to the NHS is nothing short of a national scandal. Thousands of patients in Chichester are forced to wait in pain and discomfort, anxiously wondering when they will get a diagnosis, let alone treatment.

“Ministers are missing in action in this NHS crisis and its patients in Chichester who are suffering. We need urgent action to get on top of this mess, end these appalling delays and ensure our community get the local health service it deserves.”

Improving access to the NHS is something Jess feels very deeply about: very sadly she lost her father to cancer when he was unable to access diagnostic and treatment services during the pandemic. She said, “Nothing is more important than your health and we deserve and NHS that works.”

Jess Brown-Fuller’s campaign to become MP for Chichester:  www.chichesterlibdems.co.uk/say-yes-to-jess/home
NHS Diagnostic test waiting lists data set: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1b_qG48SrLll1Ym4rbTrMdjFKuO7j-yX3/edit?pli=1#gid=2095380301

Liberal Democrats support Stonepillow’s “Big Sleep Out”

Saturday 14 th October, 2023

Chichester has a reputation of being a comfortable, affluent city but the reality is that it has dozens of local people who are having to sleep rough every night. Hundreds more are sofa-surfing, sleeping in cars, vulnerably housed or at risk of eviction.

Stonepillow is a Chichester-based charity that supports and empowers homeless and vulnerable people to achieve sustainable independence and well-being. 430 people are currently using its services, an increase of 123% over the last five years and, over the last year, there has been a 50% increase of users of its day hubs.

The Big Sleep Out is Stonepillow’s major annual fund-raising event.

On Saturday night many members of our local community stepped outside their comfort zone by sleeping in home-made shelters alongside Chichester Cathedral. This will bring just a small insight into what being homeless is really like, particularly as we head into the wind, rain and freezing temperatures of the winter months.

On Saturday afternoon, Jess Brown-Fuller, prospective Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Chichester, went to support James Vivian, Chichester Central’s Councillor (Lib Dem) in Stonepillow’s “Big Sleep Out”. They were joined by Hilary Bartle, Stonepillow’s Chief Executive, and Chichester West’s Councillor (Lib Dem) Clare Apel, founding member and Trustee of Stonepillow.

James was all set to spend the night in a shelter that he created himself, and with temperatures due to drop to 4 degrees overnight, he was dressed up warmly. James appreciated that his involvement would not replicate the dreadful experience of rough sleeping, but hoped that his actions, along with that of his co-sleepers, would raise both funds and awareness of the utter desperation of the homeless.

James said, “In participating in the Big Sleep Out, I’m hoping to play even a small part in preventing someone from having to sleep rough this year.”

Jess Brown-Fuller, the Liberal Democrats’ prospective parliamentary candidate for Chichester, explained that the Lib Dems are setting a national target for building social homes of 150,000 a year to be built by the end of the next parliament. This target would be supported by new powers for local authorities and a voice for local people.


More information

Jess Brown-Fuller’s campaign to become MP for Chichester: www.chichesterlibdems.co.uk/say-yes-to-jess/home
Stonepillow: https://stonepillow.org.uk/

This magazine was sent to all residents of the Chichester constituency in the post

Jess Brown-Fuller calls for sewage tax on Southern Water.

Saturday 30th September, 2023

Residents and visitors in Chichester’s rivers and coastal communities are disgusted to learn that Southern Water continues to dump untreated sewage locally. Latest government data reveals that Southern Water discharged 2,731 spills across 44,589 hours from Chichester’s outfall stations over 2021/22.

Jess met West Wittering’s Toby Wilsher from the sea-swimming group The Jolly Swimmers, this weekend. After braving the waters together, Jess heard from Toby Wilsher about his health fears of swimming in sewage-polluted waters, and the devastation of local sea and shore habitats and wildlife.

Jess said: “I share our community’s dismay and disgust about this environmental vandalism. Sewage in our rivers and seas is the biggest environmental scandal of the day. The government is letting water firms get away with destroying swimming spots and wildlife habitats - all whilst pocketing outrageous profits. By failing to act, this Conservative government is literally rewarding these firms for environmental


As the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Chichester, Jess is committed to putting an end to sewage dumping by:

  • Endorsing national policy work by Tim Farron MP and Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson to reset the country’s water industry – which will include a sewage tax and punitive fines on polluters like Southern Water – to make it fit for purpose.
  • Supporting Chichester’s Liberal Democrat County Councillors’ calls to WSCC to improve water quality and supply across West Sussex.
  • Encouraging Carolyn Roberts, emeritus professor at Gresham College in her class action legal case against the water companies’ abuse of their monopolies and failure to reveal the true scale of raw sewage discharge in England and Wales

Jess said: “The public have had enough. The blame lies squarely with the Conservatives – including Gillian Keegan, Chichester’s MP - who consistently vote against Liberal Democrat motions to get to grips with this vandalism – because the Conservatives simply don’t care enough about our water and our waterways. Protecting the environment is in every Liberal Democrats’ DNA. That’s why we are committed to stopping the water companies’ pollution and forcing them to put planet before profit.

Jess Brown-Fuller’s campaign to become MP for Chichester: www.chichesterlibdems.co.uk/say-yes-to-jess/home
Class action lawsuit against water companies: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/aug/09/public-could-receive-hundreds-of-millions-as-water-firms-face-sewage-lawsuit
Event Duration Monitoring – Storm overflows Government data https://www.data.gov.uk/dataset/19f6064d-7356-466f-844e-d20ea10ae9fd/event-duration-monitoring-storm-overflows-annual-returns
Greenpeace report on UK sewage pollution: https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2023/07/31/sewage-uk-water-pollution/

Jess Brown-Fuller calls for support of our local NHS heroes.

Friday 22nd September, 2023

There is no issue closer to the hearts of local residents than our NHS. As waiting lists hit record highs last week, people living in Chichester are now anxious about the impact of doctors’ strikes at St. Richard’s Hospital.

There are now a record 7.4 million people on NHS waiting lists across England. Nearly 40% of patients spend longer that four hours in A&E (the target is 5%). Hospital wards are almost at capacity and ambulance waiting times are at an all time high. Doctors desperate to save the NHS have announced a series of strikes over the next few weeks and a third have said they plan to leave the UK within the next 12 months. Already one in ten posts are unfilled.

Jess said, “You can’t help but be in awe of the heroes that kept our NHS going through the pandemic. But after the covid crisis was over, the extent of the Government’s underfunding of the NHS was laid bare. Our local paramedics, nurses and doctors are over-worked, short-staffed and under-paid. They are leaving the profession or the UK, due to unrelenting pressure, made worse by this Conservative Government’s refusal to pay a decent wage to these highly trained and dedicated medical staff”.

As the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Chichester, Jess is committed to fighting to save the NHS, especially in the Chichester constituency. She said,
“Like all of us, I want the NHS to be the best it can be for everyone in our community and for hard-working medical staff. As your MP, you’ll see me fight for our local NHS, not my political career”. That’s why I’m launching a petition today to support our NHS, especially in Chichester – that I will be taking to Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, alongside a demand to agree A FAIR DEAL for our pandemic medical heroes.

Find Jess’s petition to support our NHS and demand a FAIR DEAL for our pandemic heroes www.tinyurl.com/YEStoJESS-NHS

Jess Brown-Fuller’s campaign: www.chichesterlibdems.co.uk/say-yes-to-jess/home

Data on medical staff emigration and doctors’ pay: https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/factcheck-how-many-uk-doctors-are-going-abroad-and-how-does-pay-compare

Jess Brown-Fuller fights back against speculative development plans.

Friday 15th September, 2023

Residents living in Chichester constituency’s coastal communities are up in arms about the long list of speculative development proposals blighting the area. More than 75% of residents in the Chichester constituency are affected.

Jess said: “I share our community’s frustration and anxiety about the deluge of developer applications in our area. This is a dreadful situation. We all deserve so much better.”

As the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Chichester, Jess is committed to halting wrong development in the coastal areas by:

  • Writing directly to Michael Gove, calling on him to urgently make good on his much publicised promise to give local councils like Chichester the power to stop wrong development.
  • Supporting Chichester District Council in fast tracking the delivery of the Local Plan (which was three years’ overdue when the Lib Dems took over in May 2023) and the protection this will give against wrong development in the area.
  • Working with Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP to overhaul the country’s planning and housing policy – so that local councils can better reflect the needs and wants of their residents.

Jess said: “We cannot allow profit-hungry developers to destroy our beautiful countryside with inappropriate developments, which will negatively impact thousands of local people, their environment, and their livelihoods. It’s just wrong”.

For more information on Jess Brown-Fuller’s campaign to become MP for Chichester: www.chichesterlibdems.co.uk/say-yes-to-jess/home

The letter sent to Mr Gove by Jess Brown-Fuller:

Dear Mr Gove

I initially welcomed your statement of 5th December 2022 concerning the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, promising qualifying local councils the power to stop inappropriate planning developments – but I am dismayed that your much publicised promise has yet to materialise into tangible action.

Chichester urgently needs the powers you promised to prevent further destruction across our constituency.

In the absence of these powers, we have seen a developer free-for-all; especially in our coastal wards which are home to Chichester Harbour AONB, Pagham Harbour’s Site of Special Scientific Interest and the famous National Trust beach at East Head, West Wittering. Many developer sites are on flood plains, are rich in agricultural land and host precious land and sea habitats. None have the infrastructure to cope with the deluge of houses being applied for. Just 1⁄4 of Chichester constituency’s land mass must host ALL of the Government imposed targets for new houses here. Current national planning and housing policy is inadequate – and is leading to the irreversible destruction of one of the most beautiful constituencies in England.

Chichester’s Local Plan is at an advanced stage - qualifying Chichester for special consideration.

As at May 2023, Chichester’s Local Plan was running 3 years’ overdue – but is now being fast-tracked in an attempt to secure protection from predatory developers’ proposals. Chichester must be able to take immediate advantage of the 4 year housing land supply and the two year review period to enable us to consult with our communities, assess issues around housing demand, the environment, infrastructure, flood risk and continued release of untreated sewage into our rivers, harbours, and sea. We support the need for housing to support genuine local need and affordable housing for our young residents who are currently being excluded from living here. Our aim is to build homes that people want without damaging the environment, tourism, or community cohesion. Our residents are fed up with speculative planning applications that are approved by Council or the Planning Inspector when it is clear they are unsustainable.

Please protect Chichester’s unique area now - by immediately enacting the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill’s local council powers to stop inappropriate development


Yours sincerely
Jess Brown-Fuller
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Chichester

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