Last night in the House of Commons, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron tabled an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill which would provide compensation to those who have suffered illness as a result of sewage in the waterways.
It comes after a recent report from Surfers Against Sewage 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.
Tim’s amendment would permit anyone who has suffered illness as a direct result of criminal conduct in relation to sewage to claim compensation. It would also ensure the government establishes a compensation scheme.
During a debate in Parliament yesterday, Tim said: “Speaking on behalf of communities around Windermere, Coniston and Ullswater, the rivers Eden, Kent and Eea, and all the other wonderful waterways it is my privilege to represent, this issue is deeply personal.
“We should deliver justice for victims and ensure that there is an incentive for the water companies to clean up their act. I commend this amendment to the House.”
However, Tim’s amendment was voted down in the House of Commons after Conservative MPs lined up to oppose it.
Speaking afterwards, Tim said: “Conservative MPs have yet again voted to let water companies off the hook by blocking our call for a sewage sickness compensation scheme.
“It is an absolute disgrace. Not content with allowing the water firms to pump their filthy sewage into our rivers and beaches, now the Conservative Party is refusing to support people who fall sick from this disgusting practice.
“It is a sad state of affairs when swimmers are falling seriously sick from sewage while water company bosses trouser millions in bonuses.
“The Liberal Democrats will keep fighting to hold water companies and this Conservative government to account and get justice for the victims of this sewage scandal.”