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Letters: New Forest MPs out of touch and don’t care about pollution

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SIR – It is deeply disappointing that both New Forest MPs, Desmond Swayne and Julian Lewis, who have several miles of rivers and coastline in their constituencies, voted to allow the disposal of sewage into rivers and beaches.

It is only recently that we were all appalled to see that our local wastewater collection and treatment company, Southern Water, was dumping several thousand litres of untreated sewage waste at 57 different sites in the south (A&T, 9th July).

Our MPs must be unperturbed that our beaches and rivers are at risk of pollution and that there is a health risk for their constituents as well as visitors to our area who swim or fish locally and for animals who drink the water.

Sir Desmond Swayne and Dr Julian Lewis
Sir Desmond Swayne and Dr Julian Lewis

And this in the weeks leading up to the international UN climate change COP26 conference, hosted by the UK in Glasgow on 31st October to 12th November.

This is more than embarrassing. It is a disgrace. They should resign, because they have let us down.

Shirley Franklin,


SIR – Is our MP out of touch? Many take the view that Desmond Swayne’s attitude to the wearing of facemasks to protect others suggests that this is the case.

If further evidence was needed, last week he chose to vote against a measure designed to prevent water companies from discharging raw sewage into our rivers and sea. He apparently prefers to allow the chronic pollution of our waters to continue.

Our waters are already appallingly polluted. Water companies discharged raw sewage into UK waters no fewer than 400,000 times last year alone.

Yet those same privatised companies – monopolies – have paid out billions of pounds in dividends to shareholders rather than invest in our sewerage system.

Many in this area use these waters for recreation as well as business. One can only speculate as to why our MP did not vote to impose a legally enforceable obligation on those companies to stop routinely discharging more sewage into our water.

Are we not entitled to expect better? With COP26 highlighting environmental issues, clean water should represent an important part of that.

We appear to have been failed yet again.

Suzanne Sutherland,

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