Birkenhead MP blasts Tory sewage scandal

Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley slammed the government when the news came through of the extent of raw sewage being pumped into our waters.

“The Tories are continuing to allow sewage dumping onto our beaches and into our waters. This isn’t just a destruction of our natural environment, it’s also a significant public health hazard” Mick said.

The Birkenhead MP added, “Families flock to the Wirral and Merseyside coasts to enjoy the British summer. They shouldn’t have to worry about being able to enjoy its coastal hotspots or whether they are swimming in sewage-infested waters.

“Our country is facing a dirty water emergency and the Government and water companies are making the situation a whole lot worse. These privatised companies have handed their CEOs £34.1 million in pay and bonuses and their shareholders £57 billion in dividends – a big fat cash reward for them pumping sewage into our precious waterways and seas.

“The Conservatives have presided over a water system that is ageing and at bursting point, with poor planning and neglect of our vital infrastructure. Recent Labour Party analysis has shown that over the last six years, there have been at least 1,261,498 sewage spill events.

“This means that on average, the Government has allowed water companies to spill sewage onto our beaches and into our waters every two-and-a-half minutes. Rivers in England are used as open sewers. Not one river is in a healthy condition, with none meeting good chemical standards and only 14% meeting good ecological standards.

Mick continued, “Whilst water companies are paying billions in dividends, the Tories have allowed them to cut corners and pump filthy raw sewage onto our playing fields, onto our beaches and into our waters. Tory MPs had the opportunity to put a stop to this, but instead walked through the voting lobbies to block changes to the Environment Bill, effectively voting to allow water companies to dump filthy raw sewage.”

Mick Whitley told, “Labour will end this disgraceful practice by ensuring there can be enforcement of unlimited fines, holding water company bosses legally and financially accountable for their negligence, and by toughening up regulations that currently allow the system to be abused.

“But I personally believe that water should be a resource for everyone not a commodity for the profit of a few. I want to see the industry brought back into public ownership. This is the surest way to save our waterways and end this sewage scandal once and for all.”

Image: Tom Fisk

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