I am an elderly 89-year-old retired chartered civil engineer having spent my career initially in local government, overseas public works and finally in engineering aspects of development principally on drainage and highways. 

I became used to the powers of local authorities, river boards, and after 1974 river authorities in monitoring potential pollution of waterways from sewage treatment works and stormwater overflows. 

This was covered by Victorian and more recent public health legislation and was subject to public scrutiny. 

I have to say I find it hard and potentially dangerous that in the last 20 years or so since the monopoly privatisation of these former public services with the consequent lack of public accountability most disquieting.

I now have a reply to my request to the environmental agency regarding any of the potential pollution from stormwater overflows and treatment works that they no longer carry out sampling of the same and have no records of any earlier sampling taken. How sad.

To use a rural analogy whilst reformed poachers may make very good gamekeepers but not whilst still remaining poachers.

Michael Biddle