Salter Speaks In Parliament 2 Feb on Drains

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)

Do I have to go back to my constituents-some 1,000 electors-on the Haddocks estate in Tilehurst, who have waited almost 10 years for legislation on the drains that they thought were in the public domain but by accident discovered were not, and tell them that the laudable objectives of the Pitt review and of this legislation could be delayed as a result of new clause 3, which requires a pilot scheme to be set up and that we take cognisance of the needs of some drainage companies over people who have been living with a nightmare for many years? What exactly is the hon. Lady trying to achieve?
Anne McIntosh (- Shadow Minister, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Vale of York, Conservative)
I am calling not for a delay, but for a sense of urgency. The hon. Gentleman’s Government have delayed bringing forward the guidance and the investigation that is needed. Some constituents, many of whom may be small employers in their own right, will owe their livings to these small drainage companies. They are saying clearly, not only to Conservative Members, I am sure, but to those in all parties represented in this House, that they are worried that they have not been consulted on this. I want an assurance from the Minister that they will be consulted and that there will be work for them in future. I want to know what pilot schemes have been in place and why there has not been an audit, where that is the case. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we still do not know how many kilometres there are or where these private drains and sewers are. I am not calling for a delay-I am asking the Government to speed up and reach a conclusion so that we can meet their target date of transferring by 2011.
Link to this Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 2 February 2010, c232) Watch this
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7:30 pm
Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)
I am in no way impugning the hon. Lady’s motives-if she wants to speak up for these contractors, she has every right to do so. My problem, as a constituency Member, is that I am looking at a new clause that says:
“The Environment Agency must establish a pilot scheme with the aim of…auditing all private drains and sewers”.
In my constituency, the audit has been done, and we are merely awaiting the transfer of powers. I worry that if this provision were built into the Bill, it would put another layer of delay in the way of my constituents who have been waiting for more than 10 years for their drains to be adopted.
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-02-02a.228.1&s=speaker:10526#g232.0
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Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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