Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has called for an end to the ‘disgraceful’ practise of raw sewage being dumped into Britain’s rivers, waterways and beaches.
Gwynne’s intervention comes after shocking new figures showed that on average, United Utilities discharged raw sewage every six minutes over a five-year period, devastating the North West’s tourism and leisure hotspots. The figures also show that there was 81,588 monitored spills reported by United Utilities in 2021 alone.
The River Tame is one of the most polluted waterways in the world, with a key source of pollution coming from untreated wastewater. Gwynne has long called for more action around sewage discharge, and earlier this year met with the Minister in charge of Nature Recovery and the Domestic Environment to urge her to do more.
In 2021, the Labour Party voted to change the Environment Bill to stop companies dumping raw sewage into British rivers and coastal waters. The Government blocked the attempt and the proposed change was defeated.
Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:
“I’ve long-called for more action to stop water companies pumping filthy sewage into our beautiful rivers and waterways. These figures are a disgraceful indictment of Tory inaction.
Since 2016, the Tories have cut £235m from the Environment Agency’s budget, rendering them ill-equipped to tackle the scale of the problem.
We urgently need to toughen up regulations, hold water company bosses legally and financially accountable for their negligence, and close the loopholes that mean companies can wriggle out of their responsibilities.”