Conservative MP votes down compensation for sewage victims

5 Dec 2023
Pippa Heylings being shown Sewage Treatment Works by Louis Harvey, Treatment Manger, and Robin Price, Director of Environment and Water Quality, both from Anglian Water

South Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have slammed Anthony Browne MP for voting against a compensation scheme for swimmers and visitors who get sick from sewage.

The amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, would have allowed anyone who gets sick as a result of illegal sewage dumping to claim compensation from water companies. However, it was voted down in the Commons this week after MPs, including South Cambridgeshire’s Anthony Browne voted it down.

It comes despite a recent report which found a staggering 1,924 cases of people getting sick due to suspected sewage pollution over the last year, nearly triple the number of cases reported in the previous year.

Consistently, the results of local monitoring sites in South Cambridgeshire’s chalk streams have shown high levels of e.coli fecal bacteria and they would be classified as ‘poor’ if they had bathing site designation (a designation which allows for tracking of water quality).

It’s shameful that this Conservative government has once again put water companies’ profits before people’s health

Pippa Heylings, Liberal Democrat Candidate for South Cambridgeshire

Pipa added:

“It is a complete slap in the face to all those in South Cambs who expect their MP to stand up and fight for them, instead of for massive companies who have dumped filthy sewage into our rivers and lakes.

“It is a sad state of affairs when swimmers are falling seriously sick from sewage while water company bosses trouser millions in bonuses.

“The Liberal Democrats have exposed the sewage scandal and will continue to hold these polluting firms to account even if South Cambrigeshire’s Conservatives refuse to."

On Wednesday Pippa visited Haslingfield Sewage Treatment Works alongside Cam Valley Forum and Anglian Water to highlight the growing alarm about sewage leaks affecting our local area.

Pippa Heylings watching sewage overflow in action from storm tank with Robin Price, Director of Environment and Water Quality, Anglian Water
Storm tank, which discharges untreated sewage into the chalk stream whenever rainfall exceeds everyday capacity