Yesterday I spoke to ITV West about the Government’s weak approach to preventing water companies dumping sewage in our rivers, with current plans not set to significantly improve river conditions until 2035.

After public outcry about the issue last year, I had hoped the Government would finally listen and take strong, urgent action to clean up our waterways. Unfortunately the steps Ministers took in Parliament fell well short of what Labour has called for and now they are refusing to accept the full recommendations of the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee on the issue.

The recommendations Ministers have rejected include proposals to measure the amount of sewage dumped in rivers by water companies and preventing planning permission for intensive animal farms that would contaminate nearby rivers. This is unacceptable, and I will continue to call for the strongest possible approach to restore the health of rivers in the South West.

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