Something stinks! Back in October 2021, 265 Tory MPs voted on the Environment Bill – which passed and is now known as the Environment Act.
Both The House of Lords and The House of Commons took part in the vote, The House of Lords predominantly voted to eliminate raw sewage discharge being released into our rivers and our seas led by Charles Wellesley.
In The House of Commons, most non-Conservative MPs also voted in favour of eliminating the discharge of raw sewage into the country’s waterways.
Whereas the majority of Tory MPs voted in favour of reducing the amount of raw sewage into our rivers and our seas instead siding with the big water firms, which I highly doubt will surprise anyone and we know that in reality these reductions if they even happen won’t be enough to slow or reverse the damage being done to our rivers and seas, the issue of agricultural waste and the subsequent damage being caused by modern farming practices also needs to be addressed but this
is a hugely complicated issue, we know that with population growth and an increase in demand for food and produce farms will grow much larger and farmers will have to up their output to keep up with demand.
Naturally a lot of farmers will struggle to farm in an environmentally friendly way. There is no doubt that most if not all Welsh rivers are in a bad way and you don’t have to look far to source credible data on the issue. Campaigning groups such as SAS (Surfers Against Sewage) tirelessly campaign against the government and the big water companies along with angling groups and other environmental groups.
As a passionate angler and someone who cares for the environment, it is very disheartening to see that the two MPs charged with representing Pembrokeshire and both being former Secretaries of State for Wales, voting in favour of the big water companies essentially allowing them to continue to discharge raw sewage into Welsh rivers, into our seas and on to our beaches.
Our beautiful county relies heavily or solely (as some would have you believe) on tourism and being a national park, you would like to think the MPs voted into Westminster to represent Pembrokeshire would have the environment and the protection of it in their best interests.
Of the top ten places in the UK which see the most sewage being dumped into the environment, five of these are in Wales including the top three locations. I believe that the Welsh government at the Senedd really needs to step up and address this issue head on.
Why should decisions that affect Wales’s environment and beautiful countryside be made in London by people who have no invested interest in improving the country’s environmental health? Wales’s national parks, rivers and beaches are some of our greatest assets as a nation and they need to be cherished and looked after.
No matter which side of the fence you’re on regarding the climate crisis, I think we can all agree that these assets deserve to be protected and at all costs.
This article was written by Jonathan Williams and published in the Pembrokeshire Herald on the 3rd February 2023.