Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has blasted the Government’s failure to tackle raw sewage discharge, after Labour analysis revealed that, in 2022, there were 3,580 hours of sewage discharged into the River Tame and the local environment.
Labour’s analysis of Environment Agency data reveals that 1,088 sewage dumping events have taken place locally in the last year, and increase of 183 from 2021. This equates to a new sewage spill every 8 hours.
Gwynne has long-called on the Government to act on river pollution. The River Tame, which runs through the local area, is one of the most polluted waterways in the world, something that Gwynne has branded a “shameful indictment of Tory inaction”.
Across the country since 2016, a new sewage dumping event has taken place an average of every two-and-a-half-minutes, with rivers, lakes, seas and beaches having faced a staggering 1,276 years’ worth of raw sewage over just a seven-year period. Sewage discharges have more than doubled since 2016, coinciding with the current Environment Secretary Therese Coffey’s decision to cut funding for environmental protection during her tenure as Water Minister.
Commenting, Andrew Gwynne said:
“These are dreadful statistics, and are a shameful indictment of Tory inaction.
“The River Tame is one of the most polluted waterways in the world, I have raised this fact countless times with Ministers and urged them to get serious about tackling sewage discharges. There seems to be no urgency and no recognition of how bad the problem is.
“Labour are the only party who are committed to ending the Tory sewage scandal. We need to see automatic fines levied to failing water bosses, end systematic sewage dumping and protect our precious local environments.”
Jim McMahon OBE MP, Shadow Environment Secretary said:
“That the Tories have allowed villages, towns, and cities across the country to be treated as open sewers shows that they have no respect for places where people live, work and holiday.
“Communities across Denton and Reddish should be able to just enjoy the place where they live without having to worrying about encountering filthy raw sewage.
“The next Labour Government will end the Tory sewage scandal, delivering mandatory monitoring on all sewage outlets, introducing automatic fines for discharges, setting ambitious targets for stopping systematic sewage dumping and ensuring that water bosses are held to account for negligence.”