An article from Bill Wiggin (MP for Herefordshire North)

On Tuesday I spoke during a debate on the Environment Bill about phosphates in the Rivers Wye and Lugg.

In particular, I drew attention to the damaging housebuilding ban or moratorium currently enforced in North Herefordshire.

Housebuilders are suffering when it comes to phosphate pollution in our watercourses.

This seems unfair as new builds have a negligible impact on overall phosphate levels especially if their sewage emissions are properly processed.

The health of our rivers and surrounding countryside we all care deeply about.

I raised the need to address this issue in a way that satisfies everyone and most importantly, will really work.

Herefordshire Council currently have a plan to spend £3 million to buy up farmland to create wetlands around the river to soak up phosphates.

This will not actually cut the phosphates in the Wye and Lugg but might buy off Natural England. I argue that the situation requires more than just money.

What is needed is better collaboration between the appropriate agencies, Natural England, the Environment Agency and their Welsh counterparts as well as local councils and the water companies.

After all, the river starts in Wales, comes into North Herefordshire, returns to Monmouthshire and borders Gloucestershire yet only Herefordshire has a housing ban.

Herefordshire alone must not take the blame for high phosphate levels in the Wye and Lugg.

I hope that the relevant agencies will band together and devise a proper solution to negate 30-year Phosphate levels.

A solution that works for our environment and our people alike.

I will continue to update with more information as it comes to hand, and I will continue to fight for better Environmental protections that work for all.

To watch the full speech, please click here