Portsmouth MP steps up pressure on Southern Water to improve

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THE MP for Portsmouth North has put pressure on Southern Water to keep local waters clean and curb the pollution of Langstone Harbour.

Penny Mordaunt says she has written to the firm – which has been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent years for dumping raw sewage – asking for assurance it remains committed to improving its practices.

We still have this issue, though it’s getting better, with less sewage being washed out on the eastern side of Portsea, which is terrible for maritime leisure, but also fishermen whose business it is to fish for shellfish. But we need cleaner waters.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt

Southern has spent £30m on upgrades – but Ms Mordaunt believes much more can be done.

And she says she will fight to gain funding for the company to cover projects ensuring discharges are kept to a minimum and that wildlife is protected. It comes after more than 5,500 people signed a petition asking the Worthing-based firm to stop ‘polluting’ Langstone Harbour.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘Southern Water needs to do more to clean up our local seas.

‘We still have this issue which is terrible for maritime leisure, but also fishermen whose business it is to fish for shellfish.

‘But we need cleaner waters.

‘I have asked Southern Water to be very clear about the kind of investment it needs to make sure we have cleaner shores. I have asked the company to look at this as a priority and I will make the case for investment in government.’

A Southern Water spokesman said: ‘We work closely with Penny Mordaunt MP on issues close to residents’ hearts. One subject which we recently discussed was our storm water releases into Langstone Harbour which protect the city from flooding.

‘We have invested a significant amount of time and money into reducing the frequency of these releases and improving their quality, while continuing to safeguard homes and were pleased to report this success to Penny.

‘The cleanliness of water in the Solent, where all bathing waters meet the statutory standards, was also discussed with Penny recently.

‘We are committed to doing more to help improve coastal water quality – alongside the other organisations responsible for the range of factors which affect it.

‘Our innovative Bathing Water Enhancement programme is working with local authorities, landowners and the Environment Agency to improve coastal water quality and aims to bring all bathing waters in our region up to excellent standard by 2040.’

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