Winchester is fortunate to have some of the most beautiful chalk streams in the world. But our Conservative MP voted to allow them to become a dumping ground for raw sewage. Like many in our community, Danny Chambers took the news personally. The River Itchen is one of his favourite places to run and he’s passionate about protecting our local environment.

England’s sewage companies have been allowed to get away with dumping sewage in our rivers, lakes and coastlines for far too long. In England over the last three years there have been 1,076,659 sewage dumps lasting for 7,523,601 hours.

Meanwhile, in 2020 and 2021 water company executives have paid themselves £51 million in remuneration including £30.6 million in bonuses over the same period. The Environment Agency has even suggested that executives deserve to go to prison.

The Tories have done nothing to stop water companies from dumping sewage into our rivers. They have consistently voted AGAINST tougher action to stop sewage dumps, while the water regulator, Ofwat, said that six of the eleven sewage companies met their sewage dumping targets, with three described as “top performers.”

The Conservative’s plan to reduce these sewage discharges is a ‘licence to dump sewage’. Under their plan  water companies will be permitted to continue to dump sewage until 2050 and bill payers will see hikes to pay for it.

Danny and the Liberal Democrats are calling for an end to sewage dumping. Read our plan to stop the sewage below.

  • Water executives should be banned from paying themselves bonuses until sewage dumping stops.
  • Ofwat should be abolished and replaced with a new regulator with teeth.
  • Water companies should be reformed as ‘public benefit companies’. They would have to consider economic and environmental policy objectives when running the company, not just give a return for their shareholders.
  • Water companies should have representatives of local environmental groups on their boards.
  • A sewage tax should be introduced on the water company profits to urgently fund the clean up of the most polluted lakes, rivers and coastlines.

Protect our rivers from sewage

Water companies are dumping sewage in rivers, lakes and coastlines all the time and the Tories have done nothing about it. Their plans will see dumping continue until 2050. Danny and the Lib Dems are calling for dumping to end by transforming water companies into public benefit companies, banning bonuses for water company executives, a new sewage tax to fund the clean up of the most polluted rivers, lakes and coastlines and replacing Ofwat with a new powerful regulator. It's time for water companies to clean up their own mess and stop dumping sewage in our rivers and lakes.

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