11 June 2024 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems call for “Clean Water Authority” to tackle sewage dumping and overhaul failing water industry
  • Conservative manifesto: no one will believe what they’re promising
  • Suspected drug deaths increase by 10%

Lib Dems call for “Clean Water Authority” to tackle sewage dumping and overhaul failing water industry

  • Ed Davey announced plan to launch the Clean Water Authority, a tough new regulator with powers to tackle sewage dumping and reform the water industry in England and Wales
  • Water companies would be required to publish real-time data on the volume of sewage they dump into rivers
  • Analysis reveals Conservative MPs voted over 1,600 times against tougher measures to tackle sewage dumping in last Parliament
  • Leader Ed Davey said the bold proposals “will end the Conservative sewage scandal once and for all” and clean up our waterways

The Liberal Democrats have today announced plans to launch the Clean Water Authority, a tough new regulator with powers to take decisive action against failing water companies over the sewage scandal.

The party would scrap Ofwat and replace it with a new tougher regulator called Clean Water Authority which would have powers to:

  • Ban bonuses for water company bosses
  • Revoke the licence of poorly performing water companies swiftly
  • Force water firms to publish the full scale of their sewage spills
  • Reform water companies to put local environmental experts on the boards of companies
  • Set legally binding targets on sewage discharges

The party would consult on the new headquarters of Clean Water Authority, with a shortlist of locations around England and Wales impacted heavily by sewage pollution, which could include Woking, Cardiff, Cambridge, Greater Manchester or Exeter.

It comes as analysis by the Liberal Democrats has identified that since 2019, Conservative MPs have voted 1,621 times against tougher measures to tackle the sewage scandal. The votes included strengthening provisions against sewage dumping, making water company bosses criminally liable for sewage discharges and reducing the fines polluters are made to pay.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

People are rightly outraged that Conservative MPs have let water companies get away with pumping their filthy sewage into our rivers and beaches.

Our plan to set up the Clean Water Authority would help end the Conservative sewage scandal once and for all.

Through a tough new regulator, we will make sure water companies put the environment and their customers first instead of lining the pockets of their shareholders.

Every vote for the Liberal Democrats at this election is a vote for a strong local champion who will fight to clean up our rivers and protect the environment.

The new regulator Clean Water Authority would also have the power to ban bonuses for water company executives. Water company bosses in England and Wales have received a staggering £54 million in benefits, bonuses and incentives since the 2019 election. It comes despite 1.5 million sewage dumps, lasting over 11 million hours, during that period.

The Clean Water Authority would have the power to force water companies to publish the true scale of sewage dumping they are carrying out. Currently, water firms are only required to record the number and duration of spills. Under Liberal Democrat plans, they would be forced to publish the volume in litres of sewage discharged, essential information for understanding the true environmental impact.

Data uncovered last week by the Liberal Democrats through an Environmental Information Request revealed Thames Water had pumped a staggering 14.2 billion litres of sewage into the river Thames in central London last year. This is the equivalent of 5,680 Olympic sized swimming pools of sewage being dumped in the Thames.

Conservative manifesto: no one will believe what they’re promising

Commenting on the publication of the Conservative manifesto, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper said:

Rishi Sunak got one thing right in this speech: people are frustrated with him and the Conservative Party. This manifesto isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. No one will believe anything they’re promising today.

From his D-day disservice to a Formula One flop, Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives have packed their campaign with desperation and lies.

After years of taking people for granted, the Conservatives have overseen crumbling hospitals, sewage scandals and a cost of living crisis like no other. It’s time for a change.

Frankly, it’s astonishing that they managed to sit politely in a room and agree with each other for long enough to publish something.

Suspected drug deaths increase by 10%

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today demanded the SNP Government reverse its “unforgiveable” cut to drug and alcohol support services after it was revealed that the number of suspected drug deaths has increased by 10% in the last year.

Police Scotland figures show that there were 1,219 suspected drug deaths over the 12 months to March 2024 – an increase of 10% (114).

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

100 people a month are dying in Scotland’s drugs deaths emergency. Every death is a life cut short and a family torn apart by grief.

Scotland has by far the worst drug death crisis in Europe. These figures show things are getting worse so it is unforgiveable that the SNP have just inflicted a real-terms cut to drugs services.

It’s why Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for this key budget to be protected, for new drug checking facilities and a nationwide network of safer consumption rooms, and for people misusing drugs to get treatment instead of prison.

We need to do everything possible to stop people dying.

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This entry was posted in News, Press releases and Scotland.

One Comment

  • The Conservative manifesto launch was far more like the funeral for an unpopular corpse than a christening… Little about past achievements much on ‘future snake-oil sales’..

    1) We have raised taxes to the highest in 70 years BUT re-elect us and we’ll cut them, ‘honest’
    2) We know we promised to reduce immigration and that it is at an all time high BUT re-elect us and we’ll cut the numbers, ‘honest’
    3) We know we promised to reduce NHS waiting times and that they are longer now than when we made the promise BUT re-elect us and we’ll cut them, ‘honest’
    4) We know that since we have been in power it’s harder to get your own home than ever before BUT re-elect us and we’ll make it easier, ‘honest’
    5) 6) 7) etc..more of the same

    The final humiliation was the promise, from their resident ‘nutters’ (Braverman and Jenrick), “Don’t worry if you don’t like these policies, we have another manifesto with different ones..
    Marx, Groucho not Karl, must be laughing..

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