Wycombe Labour said it is ‘angry and baffled’ at Bucks MPs voting down an amendment to the Environment Bill.

It would have pressured water firms and the Government to reduce discharges of untreated sewage into waterways.

A proposal from the House of Lords for tougher measures was defeated by 265 MPs (to 202) last week.

After “considerable anger” online, some Bucks MPs hit back at claims they had green-lit water companies dumping raw sewage in rivers.

Buckingham MP Greg Smith joined fellow Conservative MP for Beaconsfield Joy Morrissey and Tory MP for Wycombe Steve Baker in explaining why they voted the way they did.

Greg Smith MP said he does not want to see sewage discharged into UK rivers, adding the Lords’ ‘well-intentioned but terminally flawed’ amendment would have cost the taxpayer dearly.

Joy Morrissey MP said the Lords’ amendment was “un-costed and unworkable”.

Steve Baker MP added: “Of course no one wants sewage entering our precious waterways – I certainly do not.”

But Wycombe Labour Green Group expressed concerns about the move – and following issues with The Dyke at The Rye in High Wycombe, and the River Chess in Chesham.

It demanded the Government “sort it out before it’s too late.”

Bucks Free Press:

The Dyke at The Rye, with blue-green algae. 

“It has taken this country a good half-century to clean up our rivers to a near decent standard,” a spokesman said.

“Now this Government wants to wilfully allow the dumping of pollution into our beautiful rivers.

“It will affect our public health, our wellbeing, the wildlife and our pets will not be able to go into the water.

“Have they any concern for the harm this practice has done in the past, and the harm that will be visited upon us in the future, as seen in the past with the contamination of The Rye in Wycombe and the Chess in Chesham.”

They added: “Following the justified outcry on social media, the Government claims that it will authorise the water authority, Ofwat to mandate ‘progressive reductions’ in the harms caused by storm drains.

“But with no detail on the reductions, or the methods that will be used to ‘incentivise’ the water companies to comply, this offers little reassurance.

“By the time this is implemented, severe environmental damage will have occurred. Neither does it address the problem, highlighted by the Government itself, that our Victorian sewers are not fit for purpose.

“This mess is owned by the Conservative Government. Wycombe Labour calls on them to sort it out before it’s too late.

“If the Government ‘can’t afford’ to sort this out, then what hope is there of tackling Climate Change?”

To read Steve Baker’s full response, click here

Rob Butler MP did not respond before the Free Press went to press.