Woking’s MP creates a stink by blocking new sewage bill in Parliament 

April 27, 2023 2:10 PM

Will Forster and Leslie Rice

  • Conservative MPs block new tough measures on water companies discharging massive quantities of sewage into our rivers, lakes and on our beaches.
  • Liberal Democrats called out and voted against the scandalous decision by the Government to block the bill.

On Tuesday 25th April, Conservative MPs, including the local MP for Woking, Jonathan Lord, voted to block the bill which would have introduced automatic fines on water companies breaking their permitted sewage dumping limits.

Opposition MPs, including the Liberal Democrats supported the Sewage Discharge Bill.

The Sewage Discharge Bill would have:

  • Imposed automatic fines on water companies for non-permitted sewage discharges
  • Introduced legal requirements for monitoring sewage
  • Introduced fines for broken sewage monitors
  • Implemented legally binding targets for reduced sewage discharges
  • Required the Government to produce and publish a strategy for the reduction of sewage discharges

Last year raw sewage was pumped into rivers and seas for 1.75 million hours, an average 825 times per day according to official Environment Agency data.

Liberal Democrat analysis of Environment Agency data also found 2,300 sewage monitors were found to be faulty last year, a staggering one in six of all monitors.

The Liberal Democrats are demanding an end to all sewage discharges into wildlife habitats and public swimming areas, including rivers, beaches and bathing water status lakes. The party is also demanding a ban on the payment of bonuses to all water company senior executive until the discharges stop.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Woking, Will Forster, said:

"This is a hammer blow to our local community who are desperate for the sewage crisis to end."

"The River Bourne and the River Wey have been plagued by foul sewage discharges. People across Woking are furious about this yet the Conservative Government keeps blocking new laws to stop the discharges.

"Enough is enough. Conservative MPs, including those in our area, need to start listening to local people. This shameful vote by Conservative MPs is really outrageous."

Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson Tim Farron MP said:

"It is scandalous that Conservative MPs have blocked the Sewage Discharge Bill."

"This is a new low for Conservative MPs who simply don't care about the sewage crisis. They seem to be content for these water firms to continue making millions in profits whilst we all swim in sewage. Frankly, the whole thing stinks."

"The British public will rightly be furious with the Conservative Government for this latest sewage vote fiasco. Next week will be judgement day for Conservative politicians at the ballot box, when voters will have their say on the sewage crisis."