Last month, the Government voted to reduce the amount of raw sewage dumped into England’s rivers, including the River Chess. MPs voted 283 to 163, majority 120, to approve a Government concession that aims to cut the dumping of raw sewage into waterways.
Thames Water has discharged raw sewage into the River Chess on multiple occasions over the years and residents and campaigners have urged Gagan Mohindra MP to listen to constituents’ views opposing this.
The South West Hertfordshire MP originally voted to disagree with an amendment to the Environment Bill tabled in the Lords, which sought to place a new duty on water companies to reduce raw sewage discharges into rivers.
One resident commented: “Gagan, like most other MPs in the Conservative party, voted to allow water companies to release raw sewage into our rivers. Rivers like the Colne and Chess, which flow through his (and our) own constituency.”
Another added: “Come on Gagan! Our MP, support your constituents. We need our chalk rivers clean. We don’t want sewage dumped in our small rivers polluting even our watercress beds, damaging livestock etc. Come on if you want us to vote for you in the next election you need to pull up your socks. We require action right now.”
The River Chess Association said: “You may have seen the discussion on the proposed Environment Bill. The House of Lords proposed a strong amendment to the Bill which was designed to eliminate sewage discharges into our rivers and seas. We know, only too well, from our experience on the Chess that this problem is only getting worse.”
It comes after Gagan Mohindra MP raised the issue in Parliament in April, asking the Prime Minister: “Can my Right Honorable Friend reassure this House that the government will actively protect our rivers and streams?”
Most recently, The Environmental Agency South East announced on November 19, 2021 that Thames Water has been fined £4 million for discharging an estimated half a million litres of raw sewage into the Seacourt and Hinksey streams in Oxford in July 2016.
Gagan Mohindra MP was approached about the vote and declined to comment.