Sewage in the Thames

Meeting: 
MQT on 2005-07-20
Session date: 
July 20, 2005
Reference: 
2005/1425
Question By: 
Mike Tuffrey
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

On how many occasions have you lobbied DEFRA in support of an Interceptor tunnel to avoid discharges of sewage into the Thames?

Answer

Answer for Sewage in the Thames

Answer for Sewage in the Thames

Answered By: 
The Mayor

This year I have spoken with both Elliott Morley MP (Minister for Climate Change and Environment) and Margaret Beckett MP (Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) specifically about the discharges to the Thames and in relation to the Government's decision relating to the proposed solution of the Interceptor Tunnel. I am also represented by officers on the Thames Tideway Strategy Steering Group, which has presented the Interceptor Tunnel as the preferred solution.

Understandably the Government is cautious about committing public money (whether from the government or Thames Water customers) to such a large project. There are also differing legal opinions about the meaning of the EC Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive that may or may not force us to tackle the problem. I believe that it is now obvious that this issue has to be comprehensively tackled for the good of our city.

In fairness to the Government they have not ruled out the project but a decision is needed in the near future.