Crossing lines: make a green shift


In this year of elections – and hopefully welcome changes – look out for attempts by some to portray themselves as environmental champions. West Dorset MP Chris Loder has just trumpeted the steps being taken to introduce stricter regulation of the water treatment industry, including 4,000 water company inspections by the Environment Agency in order to ensure that our waterways ‘remain healthy’. But our rivers can hardly ‘remain’ healthy when only 14 per cent of them currently warrant ‘Good’ ecological status.
The Environment Agency has been so heavily de-funded by the government that it has simply not been able to monitor sewage discharges effectively: instead, the water industry has been allowed to ‘self-report’.
And those 4,000 inspections? They will need to cover the 22,000 sewage outflows which discharged sewage 370,000 times in 2021.
Also, they will be funded partly by DEFRA, but also by ‘water quality permit charges’ levied on water companies … which will presumably go straight onto our water bills.
North Dorset’s MP Simon Hoare recently claimed that he has ‘supported consistently the drive towards carbon neutral UK generated energy’. This is somewhat at odds with Simon’s parliamentary voting record which says he’s voted against financial support for low carbon electricity generation, and voted instead for the Climate Change Levy to be applied to renewable energy generation. Simon has also voted 16 times against measures to prevent climate change, versus four times for them. More often than not, he has also voted against improving environmental water quality and has voted against improving biodiversity. I’ll leave it there …
There is a national campaign called Project Climate Vote which has active groups in the South West, including Dorset. Although the campaign was launched by Greenpeace, not everyone involved is a member, or even an environmental activist. They are simply reaching out to voters to ask if they will include climate change and the environment among their top priorities when deciding who to vote for. I have personally found that joining with others to do something positive helps me to cope with the relentless tide of bad environmental news. If this appeals to you, then search for Project Climate Vote on Greenpeace’s website and join in. You’ll meet nice people.
Ken Huggins
North Dorset Green Party


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

More like this

140,000 children in England with no home

he number of households in temporary accommodation in England...

Double the sewage, triple the stink

This article is published on the day that Dorset...

Election reflections

From campaign trails to optimistic tales: MP Simon Hoare...

Dorset Council’s housing policies: failing local people

It’s a known fact that 40% of Dorset’s population...