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Cheltenham’s Conservative MP blocks plans to tackle water companies killing animals with sewage

Cheltenham’s Conservative MP blocks plans to tackle water companies killing animals with sewage

Liberal Democrat proposals to take new action against water companies dumping sewage in rivers have been blocked by Conservative MPs. A new “name and shame” law would have led to annual figures on animals killed by sewage dumps.

Cheltenham’s Liberal Democrats will be challenging Alex Chalk’s decision to block this action with a motion on protecting local rivers at Cheltenham Borough Council on the 21st of March.

Conservative MPs recently voted to block proposals that would have forced water companies to report on the number of animals killed each year by sewage dumps.  

The Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment to the new Animal Sentience Bill which would have led to:

  • Water companies being forced to produce reports on the number of animals killed by toxic and sewage waste dumped in rivers.
  • The Government being required to publish an annual report into the number of animals killed by poor water quality in rivers
  • The naming and shaming of water companies found to dump sewage in rivers which leads to animals being killed

Max Wilkinson and the Cheltenham Liberal Democrats are proposing a Sewage Tax on water companies to fund clean up projects in rivers, lakes and chalk streams. Analysis by the Liberal Democrats found water companies made a staggering £2.8bn in operating profits last year despite 400,000 sewage discharges taking place in Britain's rivers.

Max will be taking a motion on this topic to Council on the 21st of March, where he will argue that the government must act to stop sewage being dumped in rivers and that water companies should be subject to a 16% Sewage Tax on their profits.

Following the latest vote in Parliament on sewage dumping, Max said: 

“Our local Conservative MP has again refused to take action against water companies. 

“People around here are furious about Severn Trent retaining the right to dump sewage in rivers. It is outrageous to think wildlife in our local rivers is being poisoned by disgusting raw sewage. 

“It is time these water companies stop polluting our rivers and pay for the mess they have made.”

Want to help protect Cheltenham's aquatic wildlife? Sign Max's petition to back the sewage tax!

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