Local Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Josh Babarinde is calling for Southern Water to be held to account after the environment agency downgraded Eastbourne’s water quality rating.

Southern Water have come under fire in recent months for discharging raw sewage into the sea. 

Data published by the Environment Agency has found that the levels of E-Coli bacteria in Eastbourne’s bathing waters are the highest that they have been in at least the last four years.

As a result, the Environment Agency has downgraded Eastbourne’s water quality from ‘good’ to ‘sufficient’.

Liberal Democrat candidate Josh Babarinde is campaigning for the Conservative Government to tighten up its regulation of water companies to improve water quality.

In 2021, the Conservative MPs voted against legislation to bring an end to raw sewage dumping.

Mr Babarinde has been calling for a ‘sewage tax’ on water companies and a ban on bonuses for water company executives until they get the issue ‘under control’.

Liberal Democrat candidate Josh Babarinde said:

“I’m fed up of Southern Water dumping all over Eastbourne.

This is environmental vandalism, a public health danger, and damaging to our brand as a tourist town that so many in Eastbourne are working hard to uphold.

These water companies need to get their act together – and so does this government, whose Tory MPs green-lighted the system under which all these sewage dumps along our coastline have been allowed to occur.

They must ban bonuses for polluting sewage fat-cats and impose a sewage tax on water company profits to get a grip of this issue now.”

Environmental agency water quality data (including E-coli levels) here: https://environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/profile.html?site=ukj2201-14500#:~:text=No%20pollution%20incidents%20reported

A briefing on the Government’s vote against legislation to bring an end to raw sewage discharges in 2021 is here: https://theriverstrust.org/about-us/news/parliamentary-briefing-environment-bill-lords-amendment-45b-on-sewage-pollution