Conservative MPs block plans to tackle water companies killing animals with sewage

  • Liberal Democrat proposals to take new action against water companies dumping sewage in rivers blocked by Sutton's Conservative MPs
  • New “name and shame” law would have led to annual figures on animals killed by sewage dumps 

Conservative MPs voted last night to block proposals which would have forced water companies to report on the number of animals killed each year by sewage dumps - including Sutton's two Conservative MPs Elliot Colburn and Paul Scully.

This is the second time Sutton's Conservatives have voted to protect the Water Companies from having to clean up their act. Last winter, Conservatives voted against a ban on water companies dumping sewage in places like Beverley Brook and the River Wandle. Paul Scully voted against the ban outright, while Elliot Colburn didn't even bother to turn up for the vote. 

The Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment to the new Animal Sentients Bill which would have led to:

  • Water companies forced to produce reports on the number of animals killed by toxic and sewage waste dumped in rivers.
  • The Government being required to publish an annual report into the number of animals killed by poor water quality in rivers
  • The naming and shaming of water companies found to dump sewage in rivers which leads to animals being killed

283 Conservative MPs voted against the proposals, versus 179 opposition MPs including Liberal Democrats who voted for. The vote follows toxic substances known as “forever chemicals”, being detected in otters across England and Wales.

The Liberal Democrats have demanded an end to sewage dumping in rivers to prevent wildlife being killed and the environment being irreparably damaged.

The party is also proposing a Sewage Tax on water companies to fund clean up projects in rivers, lakes and chalk streams. Analysis by the Liberal Democrats found water companies made a staggering £2.8bn in operating profits last year despite 400,000 sewage discharges taking place in Britain's rivers.

Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:

“Conservative MPs should hang their heads in shame. Yet again they have let water companies off the hook whilst our precious rivers are being pumped full of raw sewage. 

“Enough is enough, we need to name and shame water companies which are being found to destroy precious wildlife habitat.  It is scandalous that animals are swimming in filth and seeing their habitats become sewage traps. 

“This is a national scandal. Time and time again Conservative MPs refuse to take tough action on water companies. When will they finally listen to the public and do the right thing before our rivers are damaged beyond repair?”


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