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MP hits out as surfers and swimmers threatened by Sunderland sewage scandal

April 23, 2021 12:07 PM
By Malcolm Bond

A national politician has hit out at the need to stop hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sewage and waste water ending up in the sea off Seaburn and Whitburn.

Munira Wilson MP and Malcolm Bond at Seaburn beach

Munira Wilson MP and Malcolm Bond at Seaburn beach

Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Munira Wilson MP visited Wearside as part of the party's local election campaigning - and heard for herself about the threats to swimmers and surfers posed by Sunderland's sewage scandal.

The MP's visit comes after an exposé from BBC's Panorama programme last week revealed that private water companies continue to illegally dump raw sewage and other waste water into rivers and waterways.

Figures released by Northumbrian Water itself have demonstrated that 760,000 cubic metres of waste water and sewage were released into the sea around Seaburn and Whitburn in 2019.

The release of sewage into the water in turn poses a serious health risk to water users, like surfers and wild swimmers, such as Gastroenteritis, Weil's disease, and Hepatitis.

Commenting, Wearside Lib Dems campaigner for Seaburn and Fulwell Malcolm Bond said:

"There is something deeply wrong with Northumbrian Water's system of waste water management, if these figures are to be believed. The beach users and local residents of Seaburn and Whitburn are at serious risk from health problems if they come into contact with raw sewage. It has to be stopped.

"Sunderland's Labour-run council must do something immediately and instigate an independent survey of the Sunderland sewage system, while Conservative councillors should demand their government ministers act to stop this outrage."

Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Munira Wilson MP commented:

"Illegal dumping of raw sewage in our rivers and waterways by water companies is a national scandal. This was well illustrated in last week's BBC Panorama exposé. The Government needs to stop sitting on its hands and take action to stop these large companies illegally dumping sewage, threatening our health and wellbeing."

Speaking about the Liberal Democrat local election campaign in Sunderland, Munira added:

"It is clear to see that the Lib Dems are on the up and setting the political agenda in Sunderland - looking set to gain even more new ground from Labour party as well as winning in Conservative areas like Fulwell and Seaburn too.

"If people across the city want a hard-working councillor who will stand up for Sunderland and fight to improve local communities they should vote Liberal Democrat on 6th May."