Thérèse Coffey has seemingly admitted she can’t end the sewage scandal, ruining our coasts and waterways with vile sludge, in what critics are calling a “complete abdication of duty”.
It comes as it was revealed that England’s most cherished beaches are being pumped full of sewage.
Many beaches with blue flag status were found to have been covered in waste over the last 12 months.
Among the worst-hit were Brighton beach, where Southern Water discharged sewage 45 times last year.
Could it be cleaned up?
Launching her department’s cleaner water plan the environment secretary said upgrading the sewage network to stop spills could add hundreds of pounds each to people’s bills.
She said: “While London and the Thames may have space for its new supersewer, wider upgrades of the sewer network lead to destructive works on our streets and put hundreds of pounds on people’s bills. There’s no way we can stop pollution overnight. If there were, I would do it without hesitation.”
She added: “There is no way you can stop pollution overnight. If there were I would do it just as quickly without hesitation.”
Coffey said that building more infrastructure such as super sewers could add “hundreds to people’s bills.”
Why do we have to pay?
Jolyon Maugham is saying what a lot of us are thinking?
He tweeted: “Who is paying for the pathetic reduction of 10,000 sewage spills a year to 290,000 trumpeted by Therese Coffey? Surely it is water companies? No, it’s you – your bills will go up – because nothing must be allowed to interfere with their profits.”
He added: “No book on capitalism had water companies breaking the law, destroying the environment, and capturing monopoly profits, all without sanction. This is corporate capture, of this Government.”
Or indeed this?
“This is the endgame of pure capitalism. Don’t be deluded thinking capitalism has a soft side. Don’t be deluded thinking capitalism can be regulated. Don’t be deluded thinking capitalism has any worth to society.”