Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith responds following latest 'sewage vote'

Andrew Griffith has spoken out after MPs were criticised for a vote relating to sewage discharges this week.
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On Wednesday (January 27), a number of Conservative MPs voted in favour of setting a target for water companies to reduce sewage discharges by 80 per cent by 2038.

The vote angered many and the Liberal Democrats stoked the flames with a list of those who voted accompanying a tweet that read: “Last night, 292 Conservative MPs voted to allow sewage dumping by water companies in our rivers and coasts for at least 15 more years. Can you spot your MP on the list?”

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Ex-footballer and crisp frontman Gary Lineker even waded into the debate as many readers of Sussex World and The Chichester Observer called for their MP to explain their vote.

Andrew GriffithAndrew Griffith
Andrew Griffith

In a statement to Sussex World today (Tuesday, January 31), MP for Arundel and South Downs Andrew Griffith said: “I share the frustration of residents that sewage continues to impact our rivers and beaches. That is why I voted to implement legally binding targets to tackle water pollution and I was supportive of the Government’s unprecedented action to increase fines for water company who release sewage by a thousand fold. Last week, Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens voted against this action and continue to play party politics whilst the Government presses on in tackling this issue.”

In 2021 Conservative MPs received similar criticism after voting not to force water companies, including Southern Water, to reduce the amount of sewage pumped into waterways and onto the coast.

At the time of writing, Southern Water has been pumping wastewater into Chichester Harbour for more than 900 consecutive hours – since December 23.

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The water company told Sussex World this week: “A spokesperson for Southern Water said: “We understand the concerns raised by this storm overflow, and people’s wider unhappiness with the UK’s existing network of storm overflows. These were designed as pressure valves following periods of sustained rain and rising groundwater levels, allowing increased flows in our sewers to escape into the environment rather than flooding homes and communities.”