The Leader of Milton Keynes Council has written to Anglia Water with concerns over Government plans to allow sewage to be discharged into rivers and waterways.

The letter and further comments follow news reports last week that the Government plans to allow partially treated sewage to be discharged more freely directly into rivers, waterways and the sea in response to a possible shortage of chemicals used to treat sewage.

The shortage is being caused by issues linked to the UK-EU Brexit agreement, with a lack of qualified HGV drivers as well as difficulties importing the correct chemicals due to added paperwork caused by the Brexit withdrawal deal are impacting the supply of water treatment chemicals in the UK.

MK Council leaders have voiced concerns that rivers and lakes in Milton Keynes could be affected as there is a sewage treatment facility at Pineham, located near to junction 14 of the M1.

Milton Keynes has a large number of lakes and rivers that are used for recreational activities such as water sports and wetlands that are home to many different types of wildlife.

Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of Milton Keynes Council, has now written to the Chief Executive of Anglian Water to oppose any discharge of sewage that has not been fully treated into the waterways of Milton Keynes.

Cllr Marland said, “The Conservative Government plans to relax the rules and allow sewage to be discharged directly into our rivers and waterways. It is another appalling result of their inept abilities. Our environment should not have to pay the price for their incompetence.

“Milton Keynes has an amazing network of rivers, waterways and lakes. The thought of partially treated sewage being allowed into our local waterways is genuinely horrifying. It is a catastrophic step backwards in environmental standards. Something that Boris Johnson himself said would not happen after Brexit. And to be very clear, the chaos at our borders, the added red-tape and the lack of HGV drivers are all a direct result of his Brexit deal.

“I have therefore written to the Chief Executive of Anglian Water to seek assurances it will not happen here. Our rivers and lakes should not be damaged because of Conservative incompetence and a botched Brexit deal.”