In October 2021, Guy Opperman and most of his Conservative colleagues voted against an amendment to the environment bill that would have placed a legal duty on water companies not to pump waste into rivers. Not all his colleagues agreed. 22 Conservatives had the strength of character to vote for the amendment.
The Environment Agency said that water companies allowed more than 400,000 sewage discharges in 2020 into streams, rivers and the sea, lasting three million hours, compared to 293,000 hours the previous year.
In April 2023, Labour again tried to introduce a Water Quality (Sewage Discharge) Bill, which would have introduced automatic fines on water companies who dumped sewage. It would also have set legal requirements to monitor all sewage outlets – with fines for firms who don’t follow the rules – and set a legally binding target to reduce dumping events. Again, Guy Opperman and his friends voted against this measure.
Meanwhile Northumbrian Water continues to pump sewage into the River Tyne.
If Opperman won’t take action then remember this when you get a chance to vote again for your MP in Hexham Constituency.