Residents and ‘Mr Poop’ protest first council cabinet meeting about sewage leaks and Royal Mail depot proposal in Patcham

On Thursday 27th June, concerned residents staged a protest during the first cabinet meeting at Brighton Town Hall to voice their distress over recurring sewage leaks and a proposed Royal Mail industrial depot in Patcham.

The protests featured local resident, Paul Mannix, dressed as ‘Mr Poop’ alongside Green and Conservative councillors, as well as parliamentary candidates from the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. AI Steve, the Social Democratic Party and Reform have also thrown their support behind the campaign to stop Royal Mail’s bid for Patcham Court Farm.

Protestors sang an adaptation of a song from Grease featuring the lyrics “We’ve got poop. It’s multiplying, Patcham’s losing control. Southern Water they’re denying, it’s terrifying” and “You’re the one we don’t want (Royal Mail Royal Mail) poo poo poo”

'Mr Poop’ Paul Mannix said:

"I am frustrated that issues in Patcham are being brushed under the carpet. Royal Mail’s bid for Patcham Court Farm has received over 1,100 objections from planning experts, environmental groups, conservation societies and residents. We have a clear sewage and flooding problem, and Royal Mail’s plans will worsen it. Patcham has been ignored, but it’s hard to ignore a guy dressed as a giant poop!

“Patcham is tired of being silenced. I am helping to organise protests dressed as ‘Mr Poop’ to raise awareness and get the council to address the sewage issue and scrap Royal Mail’s plans. Hopefully, I am also bringing some light-hearted relief to a serious issue that worries and angers people."

Protesters are demanding greater transparency and action from Southern Water and Brighton and Hove City Council regarding flood management and sewage infrastructure. They call for the rejection of Royal Mail's depot proposal, citing increased flooding, permanent damage to Patcham’s heritage, water contamination risks, air quality concerns and road safety issues.

An assessment carried out by Mott Macdonald on behalf of Royal Mail revealed that the flood risk at Patcham Court Farm and the surrounding area would more than double if Royal Mail’s depot plans went ahead.

According to data from Southern Water, in the past four years, Patcham has endured more than 280 sewage leaks, averaging at least one incident per week. These leaks have resulted in raw sewage reaching streets, homes, and school playing fields. Independent testing last year recorded E-coli on the school playing fields at Patcham High School which has become a flooding hotspot.

Residents regularly report sightings of bubbling brown liquid, human waste, tissues, and foul odors in several roads across Patcham. In May, on a dry and sunny day, a large lake of sewage filled a bus stop, disrupting bus services.



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