Local MPs vote down sewage sickness compensation scheme

8 Dec 2023
Dirty water pouring from pipe into water course

The amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, would have allowed anyone who gets sick as a result of illegal sewage dumping to claim compensation from water companies. However, it was voted down in the Commons this week after MPs, including Bim Afolami, the Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden and Gagan Mohindra, the Conservative MP for South West Hertfordshire and Mike Penning the Conserviative MP for Hemel Hempstead all voted against it.

It comes despite a recent report which found a staggering 1,924 cases of people getting sick due to suspected sewage pollution over the last year, nearly triple the number of cases reported in the previous year.

Victoria Collins, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Harpenden & Berkhamsted, said:

“It’s shameful that Bim Afolami, Gagan Mohindra and their Conservative government have once again put water companies’ profits before people’s health.

“It is a complete slap in the face to all those in Harpenden, Berkhamsted and our surrounding villages who expect their MP to stand up and fight for them, instead of for massive companies who have dumped filthy sewage into our rivers and lakes.

“It is a sad state of affairs when people who venture into polluted waterways are falling seriously sick from sewage, while water company bosses trouser millions in bonuses. With beautiful chalk streams nearby and areas such as the Batford Springs nature reserve where families love to paddle, we cannot let this go on. 

“The Liberal Democrats have exposed the sewage scandal and will continue to hold these polluting firms to account even if our local conservative MPs refuse to."