"Any sensible reader can see that any storm overflow discharge reduction plan will require time and money" - Pershore's MP Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary - The Evesham Observer

"Any sensible reader can see that any storm overflow discharge reduction plan will require time and money" - Pershore's MP Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary

Evesham Editorial 10th May, 2023   0

I KNOW how many readers will share my passion for water quality in the rivers Severn, Avon and Teme that run through West Worcestershire.

When I was first elected in 2010, 45 per cent of United Kingdom bathing waters were classified as good or excellent.

Now, thanks to the hard work of environmentalists, local people and water companies, 97 per cent of UK bathing waters are now good or excellent.

That still leaves three per cent that must improve and last year, I voted for an Environment Act that increases environmental protections.

I’ve also supported giving more powers to regulators to punish or fine bad behaviour by water companies who need to invest more to reduce storm overflows. I am pleased that £56 billion has been set aside to reduce storm overflows through a programme of ongoing investment.

Any sensible reader can see that any storm overflow discharge reduction plan will require time and money. There is no magic switch that anyone can turn on that will instantly end discharges during times of very bad weather, at no costs to the taxpayer or passed on via water bills.




We’ve come a long way on improving the Victorian infrastructure, but we need to keep investing. ‘What gets measured, gets done’, which is why we have started to actually measure storm overflows for the first time and make sure the water companies know we all want them to act better.

I recently visited Severn Trent’s water treatment plant near Pershore to see how water is treated before it is returned safely to a local stream. I was shocked by the piles of waste, especially wet wipes which are retrieved from the system before treatment with microbes. I am pleased that the Government has acted decisively to ban plastic microbeads, plastic cotton buds and other single use plastics but we must all work much harder to reduce how we use and dispose of wet wipes. I’d support a full ban, but until them, please be responsible and dispose of them in an environmentally conscious was and don’t just flush them down the loo.


Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin writes for the Observer

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