Local MPs vote to protect water companies from prosecution over sewage spills

20 May 2024
John Milne visiting a local stream

On Wednesday 17th May, local Conservative MPs Jeremy Quin and Andrew Griffith both voted against a new law which would have seen water companies in court for sewage spills.

Ironically the vote in Parliament took place on the same day a BBC report found that 10 million litres of raw sewage had been illegally dumped into the middle of Lake Windermere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The new law, which was voted down by Conservative MPs, would have created criminal offences for failing to meet pollution performance commitment levels, ensuring the polluting firms would go to court and face punishments including fines. 

The Environment Agency has previously called on water company Chief Executives and board members to face criminal charges, including court imposed fines. 

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Horsham, John Milne said:

“It is shocking that our local MPs have once again voted against taking meaningful action against polluting water firms.

Lake Windermere is one of our country’s finest natural assets, yet even here we’re not safe. There was a similar incident in the same lake as recently as June 2022. Clearly, the current level of deterrence clearly isn’t working.

It’s disappointing to see this Conservative government, with the support of our local MPs, would rather look after the interests of water companies than swimmers, wildlife and our natural environment.”

View the full list of how MPs voted.

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