Maria Caulfield MP has said the Liberal Democrats are 'playing politics' after the party criticised her response to the Barcombe Mills raw sewage issue.
Nearly 500 hours of sewage spills took place directly into Barcombe Mills in 2021, according to new data from the Environment Agency.The annual publication of this data is provided by Southern Water and other wastewater companies to the EA.
Southern Water said this data shows storm water releases made to protect homes and schools from flooding and are how the system was designed.
The Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Lewes, James MacCleary, has criticised the Conservatives’ inaction on the issues, and their blocking of opposition attempts to clean up rivers.
Ms Caulfield said: "I voted to end sewage discharges in the Environment Bill which became law a few weeks ago. The Lib Dems know this and put down an amendment to another bill knowing this change of the law was already happening.
"Not only has the Government introduced record breaking fines for sewage discharges but from 2025 the largest ever programme of works to reform our sewage system will begin.
"Not only will this protect our local waters and natural environment it will make it easier for regulators and the public to hold water companies to account. It is completely false to say I have voted against the ending of sewage discharges. It was the Conservative Government that introduced the legislation, I voted for it and I am pleased it is now law."