our voice

Standing up for Canterbury, Whitstable and the villages

2. TAKE ACTION ON THE SEWAGE SCANDAL

Sewage was dumped in Canterbury constituency 295 times in 2023 – for a total of 1460 hours. This scandal is having disastrous consequences for our fishers, tourism, wildlife, bathers, and public health. Our water bills continue to go up, while water bosses hand themselves bonuses for a job well done.
 
As your MP I have held annual public meetings to hold Southern Water to account for the ongoing sewage dumping in our sea and our rivers. Members of the audience at my first meeting went on to form campaign group SOS Whitstable and I was proud to help them deliver a petition to Downing Street of over 250,000 people demanding nationalisation of our water industry which I also raised in Parliament.
 
We need tough, immediate action – enforce much better monitoring, block the bonuses, fine the dumpers, and prosecute bosses who continue to break the law.
Rosie has been hugely committed to backing Whitstable's fishing community. During a time when the fishing industry has struggled, she has listened, campaigned and supported us through the sewage scandal. I am hugely thankful to her efforts on our behalf, she has helped to give our industry a much-needed voice.
Esther Gilson
Whitstable Fishing Association

OUR PLEDGE

We need national legislation to sort out our sewage infrastructure. A new Labour government would:

Improve environmental enforcement

Create a water quality regulator which could bring together most of the Environment Agency, the pollution watchdog, with the financial regulator Ofwat and the Drinking Water Inspectorate

Change the law so that bonuses could be blocked if companies fail to clean up their act. CEOs of water companies who oversee law breaking will face criminal charges

End self-monitoring and force all companies to monitor every single water outlet under independent supervision so companies can no longer cover up illegal sewage dumping

Reform the industry

Introducing severe and automatic fines that water companies can’t afford to ignore for illegal sewage discharges

Setting ambitious targets for a 15% reduction in combined sewage overflows every year for the next ten years which will force them to prioritise investment

OUR FIRST STEP

As a first step, Labour will launch Great British Energy to take back control of our energy supply producing cheaper power for our country, and ensuring that profits go back into our communities.

GB Energy is part of our mission to make Britain a clean energy superpower by 2030- helping families save £300 per year off their energy bills, boosting our energy independence, and creating 650,000 good jobs. It would have three priorities:

  1. Co-investing in new technologies: GB Energy will help speed up and scale the deployment of new technologies, like floating offshore wind, tidal power and hydrogen as they develop into mature technologies.
  2. Scale and accelerate mature technologies: GB Energy will also help scale and accelerate mature technologies, like wind, solar and nuclear. 
  3. GB Energy will partner with energy companies, local authorities and cooperatives to develop 8GWs small-scale and medium-scale community energy projects.
Change
Read more about Labour's six first steps in government and missions to get Britain's Future Back
Change
Read more about Labour's six first steps in government and missions to get Britain's Future Back
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