Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt explains why she voted against stopping water companies from dumping sewage into seas and rivers

A PORTSMOUTH MP has explained why she voted against an amendment which would have stopped water companies from dumping raw sewage into rivers and the sea.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 1:01 pm

The Tories have faced strong criticism after voting down the amendment to the Environment Bill last week.

Just 22 Conservative MPs rebelled and backed the proposals which sought to place a legal duty on water companies not to pump raw sewage into British rivers and seas.

A video from Chris Pearsall Photography shows sewage being pumped into the Solent from Budds Farm on Thursday.

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Penny Mordaunt, the MP for Portsmouth North, used social media to explain her reasons for voting against the amendment.

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She tweeted: ‘My colleagues and I voted against an amendment to the Environment Bill passing unlimited costs onto consumers.

‘Discharges can only be stopped by new infrastructure. The Bill I supported allows the mandate to accelerate this with an urgent action plan.’

Southern Water's Budds Farm sewage treatment works. The sewage outlet pipe in the north-east corner of Langstone Harbour, with a green marker post surrounded by seagulls, and pipe stretch out from Southern Water's Budds Farm sewage treatment works. PICTURE: MICHAEL SCADDAN (070820-0075)

Continuing she wrote: ‘The Environment Bill I voted for means Govt. must produce: an action plan with dates to reduce discharge.

‘The detail of what is needed to eliminate discharges from storm overflows in England, and the costs and benefits of those actions. Deadline for this is no later than 9/22.

‘Water Companies and The Environment Agency also have new orders including to: Monitor and publish data on storm overflow and water quality - in real time.

Penny Mordaunt MP

‘Show how they will manage and develop their drainage+sewerage over 25 years including stopping storm overflows.

She added: ‘The Government rejected part of an amendment from the House of Lords which would have left the public entirely exposed to the cost for these works.

‘Figures from recent work done in London added £19 to household water bills per annum. However we need to know what the cost will be for in people in Portsmouth, and who will pay - Government or households.’

Southern Water was fined £90m earlier this year after being found to have pumped untreated sewage into Solent and Kent waters at 17 treatment sites.

Earlier this month, the Environment Agency warned people not get into the water off Eastney and Hayling Island due to an ‘abnormal situation’ after being told of ‘sewage, litter and odour. However Southern Water said there were ‘no incidents’.

People were warned not to go bathing at Southsea East, Eastney, Eastoke, Beachlands West and Beachlands Central.

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