Watch: Norfolk Lib Dems take aim at Tory plan to rip-up environmental standards

27 Sep 2023

Liberal Democrat councillors on Norfolk County Council attended the full council meeting on September 26th 2023, using their speaking time to take aim at callous Conservative attempts to water down environmental protections, endangering our natural habitat in the name of excessive corporate greed.

Sewage Dumping in Norfolk

Cllr Saul Penfold asks a question of the Conservative cabinet member, citing sewage dumps and discharge in our precious Norfolk rivers.

Last year in Norfolk there were 1939 spills for a combined total 8713 hours of sewage dumping. This is totally unacceptable and a real persistent danger to our valuable waterways upon which our natural world is reliant. This includes the rare chalk stream River Wensum we have in Norwich. 

Liberal Democrats have called for a sewage windfall tax on polluting water companies, a ban on corporate bonuses for same, and reform of the industry into public interest companies who will invest in our crumbling national infrastructure for the good of our people and our natural environment, rather than cipher away dividends from our ever-rising water rates.

You can sign our sewage cleanup petition here:

Rollback of EU environmental laws

Cllr Rob Colwell speaks on a motion condemning the government for attempting to abolish nutrient neutrality laws.

Much of Norfolk was placed under a nutrient neutrality order last year after fears of excessive environmental degredation, particularly around waste water management. This has been an unfortunate development which has put a hold on many exciting new building schemes across our county, but there are workaround solutions being worked upon that would allow us to move forward without irrevocably harming our county's natural environment.

Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives in Westminster recently attempted to revoke the laws that put these restrictions in place, which were legacy rules adopted from the European Union intended as a bare-minimum stop-gap against major natural hazards. Luckily Lib Dems in the Lords helped block this short-sighted decision.

Watch Cllr Colwell's speech here:

The Conservatives net-zero betrayal

Cllr Brian Watkins takes issue with the Prime Minister and his priorities following the announcement that the government will be significantly watering down its efforts to meet the crucial net-zero target.

In a desperate attempt to keep the most extreme members of his own party content, Rishi Sunak has endangered our country's important response to climate change. Catastrophic climate change is a very real possibility and the sooner we act to counter it, the better.

He has also scuppered Britain's historic opportunity to be a world-leader in an industry that will inevitably have to grow exponentially over the coming years, as nations accross the world look to alternative methods of energy generation and transport. We could be at the helm of that green transition, but it seems all the Prime Minister is more interested is retaining his own power in the dying days of Conservative government.

Watch Cllr Watkins' speech here: