Karin Smyth MP demands an end to the Tory Sewage Scandal

As people visit Britain’s lakes, seas and rivers over half-term, the Member of Parliament for Bristol South – Karin Smyth – is demanding an end to the Tory Sewage Scandal which is putting lives and livelihoods at risk.

Figures from the Environment Agency show that there were more than 300,000 discharges from storm overflows in 2022 – amounting to some 824 spillages every day.

Recently, Labour put forward amendments to the Government’s environmental legislation which would have seen a fundamental overhaul of our water networks to improve cleanliness. These measures would have seen:

• Every single discharge point requiring a pollution monitor by law.
• Automatic fines on water companies the second sewage was discharged into our seas, rivers, and lakes.
• Failing water companies would finally have to take account of their actions with greater powers for the regulator to call in the utility bosses to answer for their failings.

All these measures were voted down by Conservative MPs.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“It’s not just our rivers that stink, it’s the Tories policy towards cleaning up our waterways. When we have 200 hours of sewage being released into the Conham River Park and 300,00 discharges nationally we can see the water companies have become a law unto themselves.

“The UK has some of the most precious and rare habitats. Chalk streams and fenland have been put at risk because of the Tories lack of interest in protecting our environment. Not only are we seeing rivers become devoid of life, we are seeing the places Bristolians like to holiday becoming nothing short of open sewers.

“Britain is better than this. The Conservative race to the bottom has undermined our natural world, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Labour has a plan which will tackle the source of this failure: the water companies. We will pump accountability back into the system and clean up our rivers, lakes and seas for everyone to enjoy once more.”