MP's vote to dump raw sewage into South Devon's waterways

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2021)

Last week, parliament voted against an amendment to a bill that would have prevented raw sewage from being pumped directly into Britain’s waterways.

The vote, which was for an amendment to the Environment Bill, sought to place a legal duty on water companies not to pump sewage into rivers.

The environment minister, George Eustice instructed his MPs to vote against the amendment. Despite this 22 Conservative MPs rebelled against the government. Labour, the Lib Dems, Greens and other opposition parties also voted against the government.

Since the vote, public outcry on social media has been significant, with water companies trending on twitter and MP’s being publicly shamed for their involvement in the environmental disaster.

Weeks ago, the Government said polluters could dump risky sewage into rivers because Brexit disrupted water treatment chemical supply chains, which has led many political commentators and MP’s to blame Brexit for this issue.

The Independent reported that Brexit was causing issues to water treatment facilities in September this year. Jon Stone wrote: “The government has given polluters the green light to dump risky sewage that has not been properly cleaned into rivers and the sea as Brexit and Covid disrupt normal water treatment.

In recent weeks some businesses have found it more difficult to get hold of water treatment chemicals because of supply chain disruption at ports blamed primarily on Britain’s departure from the EU.”

Over the last few weeks and months, beach goers have been warned not to swim in the sea due to high sewage pollution levels.

The Southend Echo reported last week that sewage spillage contaminating beach water had caused signs to go up around the area warning the public not to enter the waters.

Torbays MP, Kevin Foster was absent for the vote in Parliament but has been on twitter over the last 24 hours to share tweets condemning public outcry for what he and other Conservative MP’s are describing as “nonsense”.

Foster shared a tweet from another MP, with the caption “A good thread setting the record straight on some of the nonsense being talked about sewers and storm overflow this week.”

It’s fair to assume he supports the government’s action to pump raw sewage into Britain’s waterways.


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Jack. 24 years old. Journalist at We Are South Devon and a national political campaigner.