Changes to the House of Commons programme due to the new lockdown restrictions being introduced mean a Bill to clean up sewage pollution, introduced by Ludlow MP Philip Dunne, has been delayed from next week to the New Year.
The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill had been due to have its second reading on November 13, but due to the need to debate further measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, will now have its second reading on Friday, January, 15.
The second reading will be key to determining if the bill can advance and become law.
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Mr Dunne expressed his disappointment at the delay, but reflected it would provide more time for the public to contact their MPs to ask them to back the legislation.
“It is desperately frustrating that my Bill to clean up our rivers has had its second reading delayed to January 15, but given the need for further measures to control coronavirus in our communities, I understand why the business of the House of Commons has had to change," he said.
"I can reassure all those MPs, campaigning groups and members of the public who have got behind my Bill, that my commitment to ending sewage pollution of our rivers remains undimmed.
One advantage from this delay is we have more time to convince MPs to support my Bill at second reading.
"Public awareness is crucial, so I am asking people to sign up to support the bill via the campaign website, and to ask their MP to get on board. We already have 66 MPs backing the campaign, with considerable cross-party support. I shall use the extra two months to help build that number.”
To sign up and view the MPs supporting the Bill or its objectives, visit sas.org.uk/EndSewagePollution-SewageBill
The bill has gained mass support from a number of organisations, including Surfers Against Sewage, The Rivers Trust, The Angling Trust, Backwash, Marinet, Oceonographic, Outdoor Swimmer, Salmon and Trout Conservation Trust, Royal Life Saving Society, RSBP, Windrush Against Sewage Pollution, Wildlife and Country Link, London Waterkeeper, Blue Marine Foundation, British Canoeing, Buglife, Carve Surfing Magazine, Freshwater Habitats Trust, Institute of Fisheries Management, Sewage Free Swimmers, Surfgirl, Surfing England, The Outdoor Swimming Society, Waterkeeper Alliance and Wavelength.