More than 100 people have attended a public meeting with Southern Water bosses to call for action after repeated sewage releases into the sea.
Campaigners have been calling for more transparency and demanded to know how the company planned to improve its tarnished record.
The group met in Ramsgate last night (April 21), with the following aims:
Compensation for business
Water testing so swimmers would know when the sea became safe after a sewage release
Improved communication from Southern Water
Campaigners react to the meeting with Southern Water.
ITV Meridian cameras weren't invited inside but the company says it is making massive investment to improve the sewage system.
Dr Toby Willison, Chief Environment and Sustainability Officer for Southern Water, said: “Last night’s constructive and open conversation is an important part of restoring public trust and confidence.
"We understand that what matters most is seeing our performance continue to improve.
"We’re going to ensure the excellent dialogue started at the meeting continues by setting up a stakeholder group."
In July last year Southern Water was fined £90 million for deliberately dumping raw sewage into seas and rivers thousands of times.
The company admitted to 6,971 illegal spills between January 2010 and December 2015 across 17 sites in Kent, West Sussex and Hampshire. Almost all of the sites were in protected, picturesque coastal areas.
And there have been a number of incidents which have led to swimming being banned off the Thanet coast. In June 2021, beaches had to be closed after a lightning strike damaged a Southern Water site in Margate.
In recent months campaigners have held protests calling for action, gathering on beaches with banners and the Mayor of Ramsgate.