The widespread revulsion surrounding the wholesale discharge of sewage into our rivers and onto our beaches every time it rains is obviously getting to Simon Jupp.
Again he goes into print trying to shift the blame onto the water companies. Despite voting down the Lords amendment placing a legal requirement on water companies to demonstrate progressive reductions in harm caused by discharges of untreated sewage. Simon claims this Conservative government has brought in the toughest ever crackdown on sewage spills, But these have been criticised as being too weak, and are being challenged in the Court.
The watered down scheme Simon thinks is so good, gives water companies a deadline of 2035 to reduce the amount of sewage flowing into bathing water and areas of ecological importance, and until 2050 to stop dumping sewage elsewhere.
He also re-announces that Sidmouth and Tipton St John are set to receive a share of £70 million from SWW’s own coffers for infrastructure upgrades to help improve bathing water quality by reducing storm overflows.
Owl has already looked into this funding.
According to OFWAT, the immediate funding is being taken forward as part of the Ofwat/Defra “accelerated infrastructure delivery project for English Water companies” funded through the “transition expenditure process”.
Owl’s take on all this bureaucratic gobbledygook is that the accelerated costs will be financed initially by the taxpayer, with the water companies paying on the “never never” over a period ending in 2030.
The question then arises as to how the water companies levy their customers and/or shareholders to provide the payback. The only explanation Owl can find talks about setting an appropriate “time value of money” so that companies are not financially incentivised to delay making investment.
These projects have not been chosen on the basis of any priority but because they are the (only) local ones that Ofwat considers to be “oven ready” (to coin a phrase).
It’s all smoke and mirrors to Owl.
“The Conservatives are responsible for this sewage crisis after allowing water companies to dump sewage in our rivers for years. They need to take responsibility for fixing it. The public shouldn’t be forced to pay the price with our rivers and coasts ruined for generations to come.” – Tim Farron
Tory local election Pledge 3 Standing up for our environment. You have told us how important protecting green spaces and the natural environment is to you. We will make this a priority for this Council.
We must do all we can to protect our countryside, rivers and coastline
Simon Jupp www.devonlive.com (Extract of relevant paragraph)
….We must do all we can to protect our countryside, rivers and coastline. I live close to the sea in Sidmouth and have relentlessly campaigned for investment in our water infrastructure. In the last few weeks, I was delighted to see multi-million-pound plans to upgrade Sidmouth and Tipton St John’s sewage system unveiled by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
Back in February, I led a debate on the performance of South West Water in Parliament. Whilst this Conservative government has brought in the toughest ever crackdown on sewage spills, it is simply unacceptable that we pay the highest sewerage bills in the country but still witness an all too frequent use of combined sewer overflows (CSOs). They are supposed to be available in an emergency, not used whenever the system can’t cope due to a lack of investment. South West Water should upgrade their systems instead of rewarding bonuses.
The Environment Act and Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan backs this up, introduced to ensure that water companies face strict limits on when they can use storm overflows. WaterFit Live, a new website from South West Water, is useful tool to help monitor the use of these CSOs across our shores so we can hold failing companies to account. It currently shares information about water quality in our area but sadly won’t provide real-time data until later this year.
Sidmouth and Tipton St John are set to receive a share of £70 million from SWW’s own coffers for infrastructure upgrades to help improve bathing water quality by reducing storm overflows. On top of this, £3.1 million is also being invested at the Axminster-Kilmington water treatment site which will help reduce nutrient pollution to further protect East Devon’s waterways. I also want to see investment in Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton. I won’t stop my calls for change until South West Water clean up their act and our water…..