Welsh Conservative MP claims devolution complicates rivers clean-up
A Welsh MP who voted against an amendment aimed at reducing river pollution has said that devolution makes tackling the problem more complicated.
David Davies, Conservative Monmouth MP, claims devolved matters overseen by the Senedd are making it harder to find a united solution.
Mr Davies was speaking after meeting with senior officers from National Resources Wales (NRW) along with Monmouth MS Peter Fox, having first had discussions in August.
He said he was disappointed that having invited local residents who had expressed concerns and environmental campaigners, only a handful turned up.
According to the Forest Review Mr Davies said: “One thing we have learnt when it comes to dealing with the impact of pollution on the quality of our rivers is that devolution is making matters more complicated, especially when you have a river such as the Wye forming part of the border between England and Wales.
“River cleanliness in England is regulated by the Environment Agency (EA), which is funded by and answers to the UK Conservative Government. However, the EA has no power in Wales.
“Here, regulating river cleanliness is done by NRW. This body reports to and is held accountable by the Welsh Labour Government.”
“Another problem is the level of phosphates entering our river system, partly from sewage but more generally from agriculture and runoff from soil.”
He added “I have called on the Welsh Labour Government to replicate the measures being taken in England to reduce the amount of sewage being pumped into the water.
“The fact is the UK Government is taking action to address what it acknowledges is a very important issue. At the very least, the Welsh Government must adopt what is being done in England.”
In November, the ‘Environment Act 2021’, passed in Westminster, introducing a range of new measures that aim to reduce the harmful impact of sewage on rivers and coastal areas in England.
These included new requirements on water companies in England, the UK Minister, and the Environment Agency.
But with no equivalent measures in place in Wales the responsibility for water quality in Wales rests with the Welsh Government and NRW.
Mr Davies was one of ten Welsh MPs who voted against an amendment to the Environment Bill that would have forced water companies to reduce their discharge of effluent into rivers and seas.
The Victorian sewage system was designed to release storm waters into rivers or the seam but struggles at peak times to cope meaning that while there is some basic filtering, foul waste and sewage often ends up being discharged too.
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Please Monmouth get rid of this idiot
He can call on the Senedd to replicate the law he made toothless in England but how fahe r would run if England then had to replicate The Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations 2021? That one sets down specific measures that farmers, the greatest source of water pollution in the UK, must adhere to. Two sides to every coin and with Dwr Cymru getting fined tens of thousands over the years while Southern Water was fined £90M perhaps the English example is one we should be slow to “replicate”? Severn Trent was fined £1.5M this month alone… Read more »
He’s right, the current arrangement is needlessly complex and does add to regulatory response holdups. There’s a very easy answer to this. A fully independent Wales – we’ll be in charge, our elected officials and domestic regulatory bodies would be fully answerable to the Welsh public. No excuses. See, who said there wasn’t a Conservative case for indy?
Fully with you on Indy, CJPh, but don’t think that would work with a river like the Gwy that’s a National border – NRW and EA need their heads knocked together to agree a joint memorandum of understanding that they work together to identify and deal with the sources of the problem, which are on both sides of the border, primarily the gigantic poultry farms there.
No, I know, it was just a little sideways dig at our unionist friends. The broader point is that two sovereign national goverments that have a decent relationship will work to find solutions to common issues. As is, we’re a subsidiary that are viewed as troublesome due to our aspirations (it’s just seen as red tape).
That’s a new one ☝️- wonder why he never raised this on the former National Assembly Partnership Council we both sat on ?
Perhaps the need to clean up rivers is new ! 😂
In my experience as an angler the EA is every bit as incompetent as NRW.
River management is possibly even worse in England than it is in Wales.
Both bodies suffer from a chronic shortage of funding and have completely taken their eye off the ball when it comes to water pollution.
In other words, we are cleaning up our sh1t while those lazy pigs aren’t.
No David Davies. Your actions of voting to dump effluent in Welsh rivers have, not devolution. And your ignorant comment just typifies the corrupt lying little Englander that you obviously are.
David T C Davies asserts, regarding polluted rivers ‘The fact is the UK Government is taking action to address what it acknowledges is a very important issue’. That action seems to me being allowing water companies the freedom to pour sewage into rivers when it suits them. Something which he himself approves of. Along with many of his colleagues he cannot see the contradictions in his pronouncements.
North Shropshire may now see! independence
or if they have any sense reintegrate with a free Cymru as we seem to have a mutual understanding of lovingly that is the right word under a Westminster dominated by English Tories and with such a Prime Minister as Boris and a Cabinet of clowns
Sorry typo living
We in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴 it’s time for a new wales 🏴
We have to make an alliance we can get rid of ALL tories out of Cymru at the next election if we work together and ALL parties can gain seats for themselves, what part of this idea don’t you like?
Awww bless, life must be difficult being a Welsh tory if this is an indication of their level of intelligence
Shove him in that pipe, job done!