MP teams up with pop royalty to call for end to Britain’s sewage scandal

May 17, 2023 2:50 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

Last night, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron chaired a meeting in Westminster alongside former Undertones frontman and environmental campaigner Feargal Sharkey, on how to tackle the scandal of sewage being dumped in Britain's lakes and rivers.

They were also joined by the founder of Surfers Against Sewage Hugo Tagholm, the Director of Communications and Advocacy for the Rivers Trust Tessa Wardley, and the journalist and television presenter Lucy Siegle.

During the meeting, Tim cited figures which showed that since 2020, there have 960 occasions of illegal sewage dumping in the UK - but only 16 prosecutions.

Meanwhile, Tim also said there had been 1.4million events of legal sewage dumps for 10 million hours, in the same time period.

Tim also raised the issue of six of the top ten longest sewage discharges in England last year happening here in Cumbria.

Tim put forward three solutions to help tackle the scandal:

  1. A sewage tax on the profits of water companies to be used to fix Britain's creaking sewage system
  2. Turn water companies into "public good companies", ensuring environmental goals are just as important as profit, whilst putting environmentalists on the company boards
  3. A ban on bonuses for water company bosses and instead use that money to invest in keeping Britain's water clean and safe

Speaking after the event, Tim said: "I'm absolutely delighted to be working alongside Feargal Sharkey, who has been a vociferous campaigner on this issue for many years now.

"The dumping of sewage in our waterways has appalling consequences on our environment, on our local tourism economy, on our wildlife and on the health of people who swim in our lakes, rivers and seas.

"It's critically important that we all keep up the pressure on the Conservative Government to act and to tackle pollution in our lakes and rivers here in Cumbria and beyond."