The Somerset Guardian, 18th August 2021

As you will no doubt be aware, there has been recent flooding across Europe and also across London and the South East of England. Parliament was also hit and there are areas across the parliamentary estate that remain out of bounds whilst the clean-up continues. Likewise my own London house had six inches of water in it and is being dried out as I write.

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, has recently written to all English Members of Parliament to set out the Government’s commitment to tackling flood and coastal erosion risk. The Government is investing a record £5.2 billion in flood and coastal defences over the next six years and has published its Investment Plan with around a thousand schemes across England receiving investment in the first year, including £2.6 million for the Bath Flood Defence Scheme to replace the Twerton gates.

Recently a constituent contacted me to raise his concerns about sewage being discharged into Warleigh Weir from a combined sewer overflow and the implications for the Environment and the safety of water users. I wrote to Colin Skellett, Chief Executive of Wessex Water, who has assured me that the overflows, which operate under consents from the Environment Agency, are set so the discharge does not impact on river water quality. They exist because the majority of the system in the United Kingdom comprises of combined sewers, which carry both sewage and surface water. Their purpose is to avoid flooding during heavy rain. Pollution incidents occur rarely but usually where a blockage has formed from material such as non-biodegradable wet wipes.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance: jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk.