Harpenden and Berkhamsted's newly elected MP used her first day in office to call for "urgent action" over the deepening sewage crisis in the River Ver.

Victoria Collins was elected as the first MP for the newly-created constituency on Thursday last week, and got straight to work on a key campaign priority for her Liberal Democrat party.

More than 2,500 hours worth of raw sewage has been pumped into the River Ver, a precious chalk stream that runs through St Albans and its surrounding areas.

Last month, research found more than 3,000 dangerous E.coli colonies in the Ver, a bacteria that is having a harmful effect on residents.

On her first official day in Parliament, Ms Collins has written to Thames Water to urge them to act on the crisis.

She wrote: "With only around 200 chalk streams in the world and 85 per cent of them in England, it is unacceptable that they are being treated in this way."

The newly elected MP has requested a meeting with chief executive Chris Weston and made three requests of the company.

They are:

1. Prioritising the upgrade of the Markyate overflow as a matter of urgency.

2. Ensuring communications are in place to warn local people of the dangers of being in the water, notably at nearby paddling spots.

3. Taking urgent action to clean up the pollution in the River Ver and surrounding area.

Read More:

• General Election 2024: Daisy Cooper and Victoria Collins win Herts seats

• High levels of E.Coli detected in St Albans' River Ver

• River Ver: Dog castrated after contracting E.coli

After being elected with a majority of over 11,000 votes on Friday, Ms Collins told the Herts Ad that the sewage crisis would be an important issue for her to highlight as a 'local champion' in Parliament.

The Liberal Democrats made the environmental crisis facing Britain's rivers and streams a key part of their national campaign leading up to last week's election and will now need to deliver on a problem that has worsened since the start of 2024.

Their deputy leader Daisy Cooper was re-elected as MP for St Albans at the election and she also told the Herts Ad that she would work to "force water companies to clean up their own mess".