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Welsh water campaigner sees off debt collectors for the fifth time

A CAMPAIGNER who has devoted her life to highlighting the plight of Wales' rivers in the face of pollution has been faced with legal action for withholding payments on her water bills.

Angela Jones is well known all over the country for her high-profile demonstrations - often costume-clad - which help to highlight the issue of river pollution and the fight to save the environment.

Recently she was even awarded with Mayoral recognition for her environmental efforts.

However, upon returning home from the awards ceremony, Ms Jones was greeted with a sight just as unwelcome as the pollution she rails against.

A letter from Welsh Water lay on her mat, instructing her to "contact me URGENTLY" to avoid further action over withheld funds.

"I couldn’t believe it," she said.

"I went from standing in front of the mayor, getting an award, to getting home to this."

However, Ms Jones remains defiant, saying she stands by "everything from when I started this campaign".

"You have to go into it full-hearted and not just dabble," she said.

She explained that, rather than refusing to pay the bill, she had simply "withheld" the money. It was now sitting in an account marked 'Welsh Water'.

"I’m happy to pay it," she said, "but only when they start providing a proper service."

This letter is the fifth time they’ve threatened to send debt collectors to Ms Jones' house.

"Every time they phone I always talk to them," she said.

"When they realise who I am they often agree with me.

"This latest agency have been more persistent though."

A campaigner for many years, Ms Jones does it all off her own back and shows no signs of slowing down.

"I don’t get a penny for what I do, but I’m willing to take it all the way," she said.

"If people don’t make a stand it will drop out of the public consciousness.

"I need to keep it in people’s minds."

The next march to highlight pollution in Welsh rivers will take place in Brecon on May 26. This time the focus is on the river Usk.

In response to Ms Jones' claims, a spokesperson for Welsh Water said they take "environmental performance very seriously".

“Customers who therefore choose not to pay their water bills will only increase the financial challenge we face as a company," they said, claiming that such actions would "transfer the cost burden on other customers – many of whom are struggling to make ends meet".

"A non-payment of bills will only exacerbate the problems we’re facing," they said.

Full story in the South Wales Argus:

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