Fixing Cornwall's sewage crisis - Jayne Kirkham to meet South West Water

By Max Goodman

1st Nov 2022 | Local News

Jayne Kirkham, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth.
Jayne Kirkham, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth.

Jayne Kirkham, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth, will be meeting with South West Water this week to discuss the crisis in sewage outflows onto Cornish beaches and into rivers. 

The issue has been a major talking point in Cornwall for months, a tweet from Carve Surfing Magazine yesterday about a beach in St Agnes only highlighted the matter further.

Jayne said: "For the sake of our health, our ecosystems, and our economy, we need to stop this appalling practice of discharging sewage and the next Labour government has pledged to clean up our waters. 

"To stop the spills and protect customers, Labour will give the Environment Agency the power and resources to monitor all sewage outlets. we will introduce automatic fines for discharges and a legally binding target to end 90% of discharges by 2030. 

"We will ensure that failure to improve is paid from dividends, not customer bills and bosses who routinely and persistently break the rules will face personal fines. 

"In the River Fal, on beaches from St Agnes to Gyllyngvase, sewage is being pumped out into our waters day after day and we are - literally - sickened by it."

One year ago, Conservative MPs in Cornwall voted against a Labour amendment to the Environment Bill that would have put an end date on water companies spilling sewage into our rivers & seas. 

The bill was defeated by 265 MP votes to 202, all votes against the Bill were conservative including Steve Double (Conservative – St Austell and Newquay)Scott Mann (Conservative – North Cornwall) George Eustice (Conservative – Camborne, and Redruth – Cherilyn Mackrory (Conservative – Truro and Falmouth – St Agnes, Porthtowan, Falmouth, Perranporth etc) Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall) The only Cornish MP that didn't vote against the Bill was Derek Thomas of St Ives.

Jayne explained how Liz Truss the former Prime Minister also cut the funding to the Environment Agency, they are now unable to monitor spills, and many overflows, like the one at the Prince of Wales pier or Pendennis Point, are not even monitored.

Jayne met with former Undertone turned environment campaigner Feargal Sharkey at Labour's conference this year. 

Jayne added: "I am grateful for Feargal's help in publicising the damage that is being done to our environment, our economy, leisure and health. I will keep campaigning to fix this crisis and make our waters safe for wildlife and people in Cornwall. 


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