AN MP has called for an urgent investigation into potential river pollution.

Newly elected MP Vikki Slade has called on Wessex Water and the Environment Agency to launch an urgent investigation after reports of children falling sick and dead fish and birds being found in the River Stour.

Mrs Slade was alerted by residents of a potential pollution episode at Eye Bridge on the River Stour which has apparently caused children to be unwell and killed swans along with other river birds.

The MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole has written to Wessex Water and the Environment Agency, calling for an urgent investigation and increased water testing along this stretch of the River Stour.

She said: “I visited the site on Sunday evening after being alerted to the problem and spoke with local residents, paddleboarders and a representative of the local angling club.

“They were concerned about how the river had become polluted and I agreed to write not only to the water authorities but also to National Trust and to Dorset Wildlife Trust. I only visited the site in May where I observed their volunteers sampling water for invertebrates that indicated the health of the water.”

Last year, Mrs Slade wrote to DEFRA to apply for bathing water status at Eye Bridge, which has yet to be considered.

Mrs Slade added: “I want people to be able to enjoy wild swimming and paddling away from the beaches, but incidents like this make me very concerned about encouraging people to use the river.

“We have campaigned for many years for clean water, and we need to look at measures like establishing Public Benefit Companies to ensure that the water companies are not just accountable to their shareholders but also to the public through the assessment of social good.”

Wessex Water said: “Nothing has been reported to us, and there are no known issues with any of the Wessex Water assets at that location.

“In fact, our £4 million investment in Wimborne’s water recycling centre is safeguarding river water quality.”

Dorset Council also looked into the issue and added: “Dorset Council is aware of issues with overall water quality in this area, which date back many years.

“However, we believe the land is owned by the National Trust, and river water quality is primarily a concern for the Environment Agency. We have referred the matter to them.”