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Tory MP calls for Welsh Government to act on sewage discharged into rivers, despite voting to allow it to continue

07 Sep 2022 4 minute read
Waste mangement system. Raw sewage. Effluent. U.S. Department of Agriculture (CC 1.0) Right, Virginia Crosbie

A Conservative MP has called on the Welsh Government to act on sewage discharged into rivers, despite voting last year to allow the practice to continue.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Ynys Mon MP Virginia Crosbie asked then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice to call out the Welsh Government on the practice by water companies of discharging waste into Welsh rivers.

There was a warning not to swim at six Welsh beaches yesterday – Newport North, Poppit West, Llangrannog, Traeth Gywn New Quay, Aberystwyth South and Aberdyfi – after sewage was discharged after heavy rain.

“River pollution and sewage discharge in Wales is the responsibility of the Welsh Labour Government and last year there were more than 3,000 discharge incidents in waters around Anglesey,” Virginia Crosbie said.

“I have received many letters from my constituents who are concerned about the pollution of beautiful beaches such as Benllech as a result of the actions of Welsh Water. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the Welsh Government need to take responsibility and urgently implement a plan?”

Responsibility for water quality in Wales rests with the Welsh Government and NRW. However the regulatory arrangements for discharges from storm overflows are governed by UK Government regulations, which allow Natural Resources Wales and the Environment Agency in England to permit discharges to the environment.

In October of last year an amendment to the environment bill that would have placed a legal duty on water companies not to pump waste into rivers was voted down by a majority of Conservative MPs – including Virginia Crosbie.

George Eustice, who was replaced in his post by Liz Truss a few hours later, responded to Virginia Crosbie that “my honourable friend is absolutely right to say that we need the Welsh Government and the devolved Administrations to play their part too”.

He later added in response to a question from Ceredigion MP Ben Lake on the same issue: “Obviously, the issue is devolved; the action we have taken is in respect of England and it is for the Welsh Government to tackle some of the challenges they have in their own area.”

In March, a report by a Senedd Committee called on the the Welsh Government to take urgent action to tackle sewage discharges made by water companies into Welsh rivers.

The report puts forward a series of recommendations to protect Welsh waterways, calling on the Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS, to immediately begin working with water companies to reduce the amount of raw sewage being dumped into rivers.

‘Assembly’

Another Conservative MP, Fay Jones, said in the same debate that there was a need to “drag the Welsh Government to the table” to deal with problems of river pollution.

The MP for Brecon and Radnorshire said that the Welsh Government needed to work with the UK Government to tackle the problem of pollution in rivers that crossed the border between Wales and England.

Fay Jones said that the River Wye “flows from my constituency into England and back again” but that when she suggested a meeting between the Welsh and English environment ministers she was told by the Welsh Government that there was “no value in it”.

She asked George Eustice if he could “advise me on how we can drag the Welsh Government to the table and engage with them on this issue?”

George Eustice responded that “we are taking clear and assertive action in England to tackle the problem. We need the devolved Administrations, particularly Wales, to play their part as well”.

“I would advise her to work with Members of the Welsh Assembly to try to bring matters to a head and address the issue.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
19 days ago

Cool…I never thought I would see a Welsh Tory calling for an Independent Cymru, but there we are…. because that can be the only takeaway from this…..either that or she is a certified idiot.

hdavies15
hdavies15
19 days ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Completely confused and muddled in the head. One day voting for less restraint on the Water companies, next day howling about pollution. That stuff she inhales is doing her no good at all.

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
19 days ago

A very muddled MP indeed. Regrettably though, no more muddled than the Welsh governments management structure. Try figuring out which of the politicians are responsible for environmental matters. Julie Hames? (Climate change) or perhaps Lesley Griffiths? (Rural affairs). I can’t soot any politician having an ‘environment’ portfolio ticked under their arm.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
18 days ago
Reply to  Argol fawr!

I have the sad misfortune to have her as my MP.

Really not the brightest tool in the shed, yet surprisingly smug with it.

A General Election to send her packing from this island cannot come soon enough.

I know many who are repenting after having voted for her.

I have little doubt she won’t survive a ballot contest against Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Last edited 18 days ago by SundanceKid
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

So much wrong with this, first, being lectured to by the atomic hypocritical kitten, second, knowing the complacency and affection for keeping the status quo between the Senedd and its planetary agencies…boats never should rock in the Bay…I hope there are one or two consciences pricked by this embarrassing exchange…

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
19 days ago

I can’t believe this as on several occasions she has refused to get involved in devolved matters … it must be a spoof!

Gareth
Gareth
19 days ago

Hypocrit or fool, or maybe both, nothing a Tory politician says these days surprises me.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
18 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Hypocrite maybe, she is definitely a fool though. Or perhaps clown would be a more apt descriptor.

Phil Nedin
Phil Nedin
19 days ago

Like most Tory’s, she is clearly living in a parallel universe to the country at large. Anyone who cannot recognise that their actions have consequences that they must be held accountable for are probably either deluded or privileged – or Tory politicians of course!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
19 days ago

How can the Welsh Government work with an English Conservative party conserving cross-border sewage contamination when their Government minister, Secretary of State for the Environment, George Eustice, is ignorant of devolution by refering to our Senedd Cymru as Assembly? What a moron. And the irony is. The ones shouting the loudest like “Welsh” Conservative MPs “atomic pussy” Virginia Crosbie & Fay Jones, are the very same who voted to dump sewerage into our seas & rivers. You couldn’t make it up? Also, this question needs answering too. What’s our so-called Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland, doing to educate those political knuckle-draggers… Read more »

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
19 days ago

Sheer diarrhea.

George
George
19 days ago

Make sure everyone writes to their “Assembly” member in this “devolved administration” – quoting from Mr Eustice – because Wales is such a key part of the United Kingdom.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
19 days ago

Before she tries to lecture the Senedd, she needs to face her constituents and tell them, to their faces, why she voted for our rivers to be in this position.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
19 days ago

Will she be demanding the Senedd get rid of her spent nuclear fuel too?

kerry davies
kerry davies
18 days ago

Fay Jones is the more stupid of the two since the Wye flows entirely through the constituencies of none but Tory MPs who all voted to allow this dumping.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
18 days ago

She really is a few sandwiches short of a picnic isn’t she.

I cannot wait until the people of Ynys Môn send this one packing.

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