Ministers shrug while sewerage discharges

Posted on: 22nd August 2022

Water companies are still “taking the mick” while Conservative Ministers shrug shoulders. Comment on the latest of this sewerage discharges – this time on Long Rock Beach in west Cornwall today.

This announcement comes at a time when Water Companies are getting away with outrageous contempt towards our environment and public health.

Water Companies were originally set up by the Conservatives as risk-free money printing emporiums for their shareholders and senior executives. They’ve collectively paid out billions in dividends – another £1.1 billion last year alone; a 19% increase – and another 20% rise on senior executive bonuses. And this at a time of continued discharges and increasing pollution of rivers and seas.

Instead of paying out bonuses and dividends these companies should be forced to invest in infrastructure to avert these discharges and protect our beaches, coast and rivers.

In spite of some initial attention-seeking rebellions by some Conservative MPs, all Tory MPs fell into line and backed the Government’s limp regulation of Water/sewerage companies last year. Companies are now able to take full advantage of new “post-Brexit freedoms”, given that they and the Government no longer need to worry about being sanctioned by the EU.

This disgraceful situation is avoidable. The Government could and should have made sure these privatised companies were required to meet decent standards to provide attenuation against anything other than the most extreme storm conditions and to put higher standards before the massive dividends and bonus payouts which have been standard fare in the sewerage industry since privatisation.

Info on Longrock beach discharge:
Long Rock Pollution Alert: Storm sewage has been discharged from a sewer overflow in this location within the past 48 hours.
The second of four beaches enclosed in Mounts Bay, Long Rock beach is a one kilometre stretch of sand backed by sea defences. Within the catchment area of Heliport beach there is a sewer overflow that discharges into the Ponsdale Brook, 130m upstream of the beach, three that discharge into Trevaylor Stream and four more sewer overflows that discharge into the sea east and west of the beach.