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Pollution – #GE2024

Our final topic in our series of General Election questions to local candidates is about pollution and climate change. See our #GE2024 page for all four topics we asked candidates about.

We asked: Water companies polluting our rivers, incinerators polluting our air, and the ongoing expansion of fossil fuels in Cumbria and the North Sea pushing us closer to climate chaos. People are increasingly worried about the cost to our environment, how will you stop pollution and make polluters pay?

Terry Jermy – Labour Party

I am against incineration on principle. I want to see waste tackled to a greater extent at source with a reduction in excess packaging etc and I want to see increased recycling. I campaigned against the Saddlebow Incinerator some years ago and objected to the Wisbech Incinerator proposals. I want to see the Government get tough with the water companies to clean up their act and stop polluting our rivers and seas. As part of this, we need far greater resources for regulatory bodies such as the Environment Agency who have seen staffing numbers decimated through austerity and their ability to deal with polluters greatly diminished. More info here.

Lorraine Douglas – Communist Party of Britain

The privatisation of our water service has been an abject failure. The refusal to take proper enforcement action and to require the water companies to clean up their act has been one of the most scandalous failures of the last government. The Communist Party supports the re-nationalisation of water, and a major infrastructure project to upgrade our crumbling sewage and water supply systems. This is essential if we are to clean up our waterways and coastal waters, and to achieve security of water supply. Those who have profited most should be subject to a windfall tax, and those responsible for the failure to stop the sewage pollution should be held criminally liable. Water prices need to be reduced and capped to affordable levels. Read more here.

Toby McKenzie – Reform UK

The regulatory bodies need to be held accountable and fined heavily & publically – as someone who kayaks with my children/partner the thought of raw sewage pumped into rivers fills me with anger quite frankly. Personally I’d like to see further investment in biomass plants to create methane gas that can be fed back to the national grid. Below are Reform policies that I will align to. I do not consider electric cars to be environmentally friendly. There has been a lack of investment in hydrogen fuel cells. We need to slash the cost of public transport. For me to see my sister on a weekend – leave on a Fri and come back Sunday with my two children and partner costs nearly £500! I drive instead and that is not right. Read more here.

Elizabeth Truss – Conservative Party

Working people in this country should not be footing the bill for a Net Zero world when they live in a country that is already making huge progress, decarbonising faster than any G7 country. Hard-working Britons should not be forced to subsidise multi-billion pound companies through green levies which increase energy bills. The average family is handing over £200. I oppose the Wisbech incinerator and I support making environmental regulation, including for water, wildlife and flooding, more accountable to democratically elected politicians – who reflect the public’s priorities.

Josie Ratcliffe – Liberal Democrats

I believe that climate chaos is the biggest threat we face – in fact, if we don’t reverse the damage very soon, then nothing else will matter. The Liberal Democrats are committed to achieving net zero by 2045 with big gains planned in the short term, such as investing in renewable power so that 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030. Lib Dem MPs have long been calling for control of the water industry, including transforming water companies into public benefit companies, banning bonuses for water bosses until sewage discharges and leaks end, and replacing Ofwat with a tough new regulator with new powers to prevent sewage dumps. We would also pass a Clean Air Act enforced by a new Air Quality Agency, strengthen the Office for Environmental Protection and provide more funding to the Environment Agency and Natural England to help protect our environment and enforce environmental laws.

Pallavi Devulapalli – Green Party

Protecting our seas and rivers from the sewage dumping caused by water companies is a priority for the Greens. Other parties are only committing to half measures on this issue. I would push for water companies to be brought back into public hands to stop the harm being caused to our beautiful rivers and coastlines. Environment Agency data shows a 54% increase in the number of sewage spills compared to 2022. Water companies pay £2.5bn in dividends in two years as debt climbs by £8.2bn. In 32 years since privatisation £78bn has been paid out of utilities while the quality of our rivers and seas has steadily deteriorated and bills have gone up. It’s time we said enough is enough. Water is essential to life, and should be in public hands. The public are behind this proposal as well as found in surveys. They can see that privatisation has not delivered the promised benefits, and only a return to public ownership can deliver the sustained, long term improvements that are needed in this vital sector.


James Bagge (independent) was contacted but did not provide a response.

The other candidates in South West Norfolk are Earl Elvis of East Anglia for The Official Monster Raving Loony Party and Gary Conway for the Heritage Party.

Voting day is on 4th July and don’t forget to take a photo ID or ‘voter authority certificate‘ in order to vote.



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