Performance of South West Water

The Westminster Hall debate, chaired by Simon Jupp, rescheduled form Zelenskyy’s visit will now take place at 2.30 tuesday 28 February.

It will be recorded in Hansard and there may be a live video feed.

“I’m from Devon, I live near the sea in Sidmouth, and I love where we live…..I voted for a crackdown on sewage spills.” – Simon Jupp

In October 2021 Johnson’s Conservative government, with the votes of Simon Jupp and Neil Parish, succeeded in voting down a Lords amendment designed to stop private water companies from dumping raw sewage into the UK’s waterways. The amendment would have placed a legal duty on companies “to make improvements to their sewerage systems and demonstrate progressive reductions in the harm caused by discharges of untreated sewage.

In November 2021 what Simon voted for was a watered down version which changed a legal duty into a nebulous progressive aim of a “reduction of adverse impact of storm overflows’ and make it enforceable under a different Act.

In December 2022 the Government announced abandoning the principle of a legal target for river health, and postponing a deadline for agricultural run-off reduction by three years (from 2037 to 2040).

The government has also promised a new “plan for water” this year, and that 160 sewage treatment works will be upgraded by 2028 to cut phosphorus pollution being dumped in to rivers. Campaigners said, however, that the promises fall far short of a blueprint to clean up the country’s waterways.

Ashley Smith of Windrush Against Sewage Pollution, an Oxfordshire-based group, noted that there are more than 5,200 sewage treatment works in England.

“We estimate at least 2,000 combined sewer overflows are dumping too often,” he said. “This plan does nothing to stop pollution from being profitable.”