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Greens call for common ownership of water companies

The consequences of a decision by the Conservative Government back in October 2021 is now having a devastating impact on our rivers and coastal waters.

Back then, Tory MPs - including the three representing County Durham constituencies - voted down a Lords amendment to the Environment Bill which would have made it illegal for water companies to dump raw, untreated sewage into our rivers and coastal waters.

The amendment was defeated. The result: the water companies, who under privatisation have failed to invest in the infrastructure necessary to prevent such pollution, have been taking advantage of the freedoms handed to them by the Tories.

County Durham Greens coordinator Fiona Shenton said the experiment of privatising energy and water utilities has failed and it is now time to nationalise them in the interests of the country and the planet.

“The current pollution of our rivers and coasts is a national scandal but, sadly, entirely predictable after the vote last October,” says Fiona.

“In addition, many parts of England and Wales have been declared drought areas because of the hot, dry weather conditions that will become a more frequent feature as the climate emergency worsens.

“People are rightly angry that they are being told to reduce water usage while millions of gallons leak out of pipes because the water companies would rather pay dividends to shareholders and high salaries to senior managers than invest in infrastructure.

“It is now time to bring water companies back into public ownership so we can make the investments necessary to secure clean water supplies for the future and to eliminate pollution from raw sewage. The Green Party is the only political party in England and Wales advocating such a response to the current crisis.”