Responding to the news that South West Water chose to ferry millions of litres of waste to a pumping station near Exmouth beach, despite knowing it would cause raw sewage to be spilled into the sea, Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord said:
“South West Water has repeatedly claimed that sewage spills are unavoidable. Now they have been caught cack-handed ferrying millions of tons of waste to a pumping station they knew wouldn’t be able to process it.
“This is more than just incompetence; this is outright environmental vandalism on an industrial scale. The fact they continue to allow raw sewage to pollute our rivers and beaches wantonly is a scandal and we need tougher action to bring them into line.
“While this Conservative Government continues to sit idly by, the Liberal Democrats have repeatedly demanded tougher action.
“We have pushed for a sewage tax on the companies and their executives, as well as a beefed-up regulator. The regulator needs teeth to clamp down on practices which water companies try to get away with when they think we were not looking.
“Sadly, Conservative MPs, including the current MP for Exmouth, have blocked these measures at every turn. Their disregard for this issue is letting water companies get away with choking our waterways.
“As a Lib Dem MP for much of East Devon's beautiful coastline, I will continue to stand up for people across our communities who are impacted by these spills, until we see South West Water brought into a line by a Government that can grip this issue.”