South Swindon Labour Parliamentary Candidate Heidi Alexander has put her name to an open letter to Conservative MPs about sewage dumping.
It calls on the MPs to vote for Labour’s upcoming Opposition Day motion, which paves the way for what Labour calls its Bill to end the Tory sewage scandal.
The letter, critical of Conservative MPs who during the passage of the Environment Bill “...walked through the voting lobbies [voting] to continue the Tory sewage scandal” by blocking Labour-backed amendments to end sewage dumping, accuses the MPs of showing disregard for the “...environment, for public health and for businesses that rely on the beauty and nature of Britain to attract visitors and thrive.”
The open letter comes as Labour prepares to force a binding vote in the House of Commons to introduce its Water Quality (Sewage Discharge) Bill.
Labour will use an Opposition Day motion to provide for parliamentary time on Tuesday 2nd May 2023 to allow for the passage of the Water Quality (Sewage Discharge) Bill, introduced by the Shadow Environment Secretary.
The Bill seeks to legally underpin four crucial reduction measures:
- Setting a legal requirement for the monitoring of all sewage outlets and penalties for failures in adhering to monitoring requirements
- Imposing automatic fines for sewage dumping
- Implementing a legally binding target to reduce sewage dumping events
- A requirement for the Secretary of State to publish a strategy for the reduction of sewage discharges and regular economic impact assessments.
Heidi Alexander said: “A future Labour Government would 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.
"Many of our rivers are like open sewers and with the River Ray incidents over the last year, I know people in Swindon will be watching very carefully to see how our current MPs vote.”
The Shadow Environment Secretary said: “It’s clear that we have a Tory government that has run out of road, only regurgitating old announcements that do nothing to end sewage dumping. That’s why Labour has brought forward legislation to clean up our water system.
“The onus is on Tory MPs to support Labour’s Bill which will put an end to sewage dumping once and for all or alternatively, once again vote to continue the Tory sewage scandal."
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