From the outset of the Cameron Conservative Government their mantra has been ‘As Conservatives, we are committed to leaving the environment in better condition than we inherited it’. If anyone was looking for evidence of how that hasn’t happened they need look no further that sewage pollution of rivers and the coast and the shambolic U turn of the last few days.

Last week the Government forced it’s MPs to voted against a Lords amendment in the Environment Bill seeking to impose a duty on Water Companies to stop sewage pollution from CSOs. At the weekend however such was the hostile reaction to this move that Defra launched a media response seeking to explain why it had taken this view.

By the 26  – 27th October when the controversy hadn’t died down Defra announce that it would introduce an amendment of its own to cover a duty on water companies in the Environment Bill

Various commentators have elaborated on the detail of what has been going on – not least how the Government are still not committed to an amendment that is as strong as the original Lords version:

Read these assessments:

Business Green …. ‘a partial U turn’

Guardian UK government U-turns on sewage after Tory MPs threaten rebellion

CIWEM – Alastair Chisholm How much does the Parliament ping-pong say about how we and our decision-makers really value water

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